Las Vegas Pub Crawl

February 11, 2014 at 9:36 PM Leave a comment

The food cost in Las Vegas continues to spiral out of control. It has become near impossible to walk out of a restaurant for a reasonable amount of money. Costs at better restaurants exceed those of even better quality establishments in New York, San Francisco and even Chicago. Jeff was working in Las Vegas this week and in an effort to find some reasonably priced foods, ended up comparing a recent trend in “Pubs” in sin city. Unfortunately, the trend did not necessarily result in good meals.

We had enjoyed Todd English’s Olives in the Bellagio during a past visit, so assumed his new Todd English P.U.B. would be a smart take on this classic British fare. That was unfortunately not the case. Located in the Shops at Crystals, the P.U.B. has a classic look of an Americanized version of a British pub. They offer a nice variety of beers on tap and the wait staff appears to have mastered the talking points of the lot, but their responses almost seemed recorded, not genuine. With the cost of a pint in the “teens” you expect a bit more than the PR printed on the back of a barrel. The daily appetizer special was Buffalo Wings. At one dollar each, they were well price, properly (not too) spicy, tender and enjoyable, but would have been more so if the Bleu Cheese accompaniment was better. It tasted as if someone tossed bleu cheese chunks in watered-down sour cream. The main course was a Chicken Pot Pie with precious little chicken, machine cut into recognizable chunks, floating in an excessively rich béchamel. The topping was not a puff pastry, but instead a heavy biscuit, that would certainly force even the heartiest of eaters to kick aside, midway through the meal. All in all, Todd would have been better served keeping his name off of this place.

The same certainly must be said for Michael Mina’s Pub 1842. it remains a mystery still how Chef Mina could attach his name to this place. Hidden away in the basement of the MGM Grand (so as not to taint the “real” restaurants upstairs!) like P.U.B., it was sparsely populated and rightfully so. Mina offers a slimmer selection of draught beers, but a more informed staff. Pints priced in the “teens” continue to gall, however. Jeff tried the Double Dog Dare. At its heart, a valiant, creative effort, but unfortunately realized less successfully. The dogs were wrapped in bacon, then flash-fried, topped with guacamole and pork rinds. While it should have been satisfying for a dog-lover like Jeff, it just wasn’t. The bacon was just short of crispy, forcing excessive knife-work to cut through the fat, without having the whole think fly off the table. The guacamole was pedestrian and the dogs, supposedly Wagyu, were serviceable at best. Jeff dined at Michael Mina’s signature restaurant in San Francisco years ago. The attention to detail there was flawless. While no one expects the same in a pub setting, no good has been added to his name with this venue. It may as well have been called, Michael Mina’s Applebee’s.

Gordon Ramsey has probably done no favors to his status as a serious Chef with his many loud mouth appearances on Fox television. People like us who regard food as a pleasure of life created by serious professionals could immediately dismiss him as a buffoon created by the networks. We ended that illusion years ago when we dined at his restaurant in The London Hotel in New York. It was a remarkable meal, polar opposite to his brash personality, full of subtleties and nuances. We also believe his Las Vegas burger joint, Gordon Ramsay BurGR serves one of the best burgers on the strip. Gordon Ramsay’s Pub & Grill fits well into his cadre of restaurants and carries his banner well, but it isn’t an easy carry.

Jeff and Michele also comment about food on Yelp and Twitter. After a side-note comment regarding Gordon Ramsay, a reader thought our positive comments regarding GR Pub was a sarcastic joke. Upon further investigation we found LOTS of negative Yelp comments about Gordon Ramsay’s Pub & Grill, resulting in a markedly lower overall rating than for either P.U.B. or 1842. Despite its slightly higher pricing than both 1842 and P.U.B., GR’s Pub & Grill has been fully packed each visit and we believe, as we have stated, serves better food. We think this is the result of a negative reaction to his celebrity status, gone wild. Without regard to a fair assessment of his food, we assume a guy who is so famous and so obnoxious, must be a bumble bust in the kitchen. It is good to poke holes in the famous.

After a number of visits, we have found the food at Gordon Ramsay’s Pub & Grill to be very good. Is it the best food in the city? No. is it as good as his place in New York? No. Is it the best of the emerging “pubs” in Las Vegas? We think so and we recommend you give it a try. Michael Mina and Todd English appear to have delegated their pub offering to lesser staff palettes. Chef Ramsay seems to have at least a marginal stake in the efforts and it shows. Don’t let the blunderbuss fool you. He is regarded for a reason.  3720 South Las Vegas Boulevard Las Vegas, NV 89109  3799 South Las Vegas Boulevard Las Vegas, NV 89109 702-891-3922  3570 South Las Vegas Boulevard Las Vegas, NV 89109 886-227-5938  3667 South Las Vegas Boulevard Las Vegas, NV 89109 866-919-7472

Entry filed under: Eatin' Out of Town. Tags: , , , , .

Cork & Cleaver The Pub Beachwood

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