Gordon Ramsay BurGR
3667 S Las Vegas Blvd (map); 866-733-5827; planethollywoodresort.com
Cooking method: Grilled
Short Order: A tasty, well constructed burger that's overshadowed by terrible service
Want Fries With That? Skip them; the upcharge isn't worth it
Price: Hell's Kitchen Burger, $14; Sweet potato fries, $9
You'll get a tasty burger at Gordon Ramsay BurGR, a flashy spot within the Planet Hollywood casino, if you're willing to wait what seems like forever. At 11:30 a.m., the line was five-deep. Reasonable, but since I was already hungry when I arrived, the 20-minute wait for a table felt longer. Once seated, there was more waiting. I was able to order within about 10 minutes, but I waited for my food for an excruciating 30+ minutes. I say all of this up top, before even mentioning the burger itself, because the slow service and constant "ma'am"-ing I was subjected to during my visit is what I remember most. Without photographic evidence that yes, a burger and fries were consumed, you could convince me that the eating portion of my visit never actually happened.
If you were to divide a pie chart into three segments (eating, waiting, and being called "ma'am"—something I can't stand, and based on my appearance, isn't warranted), the portion of time I was actively engaged with my burger would be about 20 percent. Not good.
If you're still game, I will assure you that the burger I ordered, the Hell's Kitchen ($14), topped with avocado, roasted jalapeño peppers, oven-roasted tomatoes, and Asadero cheese, was delicious. The loosely-formed patty blushed bright red and was juicy and flavorful, though a tad heavy on the salt. The poppy and sesame seed bun squished down to provide the ideal bread-to-meat ratio, and the toppings were complementary and clever. Whoever designed this burger (maybe even Gordon himself?) knows what they're doing, as did the cook who prepared it.
Fries are a different story. First off, you have to order them à la carte. The good news: you get a crap-ton of them. The bad? The most thrifty option, standard spuds with two flavored ketchups, is $7. That's fine if you're with a group, but dining solo, I got through about a quarter of my order, and that was mostly me trying to get my money's worth.
Since ketchup isn't my jam, I went with the sweet potato fries ($8), which are served with what's described as honey jalapeño mayo. It looks like a lighter version of something you might be showered with at the Teen Choice Awards and tastes so bland I'd hesitate to confirm that any of the ingredients in the description are actually in the sauce. There's a mild sweetness, but no spice, and it looks more like paste than mayo.
The fries themselves are nothing special, just mass-produced, commercial quality, likely from Sysco. Unless you're sharing them, I wouldn't bother.
Upon leaving the restaurant, I noticed the line had significantly grown. Those waiting to gain entry were being quoted a 45-minute to one-hour wait. So, unless you line up before you're actually hungry and are willing to commit a significant amount of time to pursuing a burger here, my vote would be to go to Holsteins instead. It's just across the strip (accessible by a walkway). There, the food and service are better, and fries are graciously included with the burgers.
About the author: Erin Jackson is a food writer and photographer who is obsessed with discovering the best eats in San Diego. You can find all of her discoveries on her San Diego food blog EJeats.com. On Twitter, she's @ErinJax