Le Burger Brasserie

Paris (last visit: September 2007).
Hamburgers/Sports Bar.

When chef Hubert Keller opened Burger Bar at Mandalay Bay in 2004, it was a bit of a gamble. How would people react to a gourmet (read: expensive) hamburger restaurant? The answer: with gusto.  Never a town shy about imitation, upscale hamburger joints are multiplying. One of the newbies is Le Burger Brasserie, which professes to be "a French interpretation of an American classic."

The Menu
There are in fact choices other than hamburgers, but I barely noticed them. The emphasis is on burgers. Like Burger Bar, Le Burger Brasserie gives you a choice of basic styles (beef, lamb, vegetarian), and you specify what kind of bun and what toppings you want. The French influence seems to be limited to the copious use of "Le" in names.

The Atmosphere
Pretty typical sports bar. Lots of televisions, fairly informal. Service was friendly and efficient.

The Meal
I ordered Le Classique (a standard beef hamburger) on a sesame seed bun, with Swiss cheese, pancetta and a fried egg.  To accompany the burger: waffle fries, and a bottomless glass of Pepsi.

The hamburger, ordered medium, was seriously overcooked, with no pink visible and not much juice. However, its flavor was just fine. The fried egg was OK, the pancetta was very good, and the Swiss cheese was...well...Swiss cheese. Overall, this paean to cholesterol was a pretty good hamburger - better than fast food versions, but in no way a gourmet burger.

The waffle fries were crisp, but large enough to still allow for some soft insides. I would have rated them highly, but they didn't have much flavor. They were a lot like the hamburger: pretty good, but not gourmet.

If you're in the mood for a decent hamburger, are nearby, and are willing to pay a premium over fast food joints, then stop in. However, given the so-so quality, I'd be inclined to try one of its competitors, in the hope it was better. If you want a great burger, go somewhere else (e.g., the bar at Bradley Ogden).

The Bill
I neglected to write down the price.  My vague memory is that the burger was about $10, and the waffle fries were $3. To this, add drink, tax and tip.

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