It’s my last night in Las Vegas. The trade show is over, I’m checked in for my flight tomorrow morning and there is nothing left to do but wander the city for one more tasty adventure.
I was looking for something really good but uncomplicated. There were two restaurants tied to Treasure Island where I was staying that I hadn’t tried yet. One was a fancy Italian place. While pasta and eggplant sounded good, I didn’t feel like dressing up. The other place was Gilley’s – a country themed bar featuring bikini bull rides. Not really my usual scene but their menu offered burgers and that sounded just about right.
There was a wait for tables but a few open spots at the bar (Reason #16 why I always sit there). The two bartenders were from Ohio and we chatted about craft brews and our favorite spots back home while I waited for my Bob Wills Burger. Named after the Western Swing musician this burger had pieces of some of my favorite burgers.
The foundation of this burger is a light honey wheat bun and a well seasoned and even better cooked medium 1/2 pound burger. Pepper-jack cheese is melted on top with a thick pour of their Jack Daniels bbq sauce. Next we have thick cut smoked bacon. That alone would be a damn good burger but they didn’t stop, no they went to the far side of ridiculous.
Guacamole on a burger is not what makes this crazy. It’s the generous portion of amazing guacamole that blew me away. A large scoop of chunky, fresh, cool and spicy guacamole is sitting on top of this burger. Then, just to be silly they sprinkled some fried onion straws.
Each part was essential once you tasted the combination. Crunchy onions both fried on top and fresh nestled in the guacamole contrasted the ripe avocado and tender burger. Just enough bbq sauce covered the burger to add flavor but not enough to drip. The guacamole acted like glue keeping everything together.
As an extra special bonus the fries were perfect! Shoestring cut and dipped, fried extra crispy with a light season. Just perfect. I dare say that may be in my top 5 burgers of all time and this was a wonderful end to my stay in Vegas.
Fully prepared for airport blandness the next morning I was pleasantly surprised by my options. I always find it funny when chain restaurants who serve only lunch and dinner feel the need to throw breakfast options on the menu in airports. It’s usually not good or creative. California Pizza Kitchen pulled it off!
CPK was offering breakfast pizzas, a burrito or a waffle. I chose the waffle which came with bananas, pecans and whipped cream. I skipped the whipped cream. Prepared for the worst I was thrilled to see this was how I would make this at home. I was expecting overly syrupy fried bananas and candied walnuts with too much butter sauce over a soggy waffle. Instead I got a light and fluffy, perfectly toasty buttermilk waffle topped with fresh cut bananas and toasted pecans. Butter and real maple syrup were served on the side.
Fresh fruit is always a plus for me and since the bananas are naturally sweet I didn’t see the need to saute them in tons of butter and sugar. This is breakfast, not dessert. A touch of maple finished the whole dish and I was satisfied but not bogged down with a sugar rush and it’s impending crash.
I left Vegas on a good note. Matt’s planning our next trip so he can get a burger…
Until we eat again,