Restaurant Review: BLT Burger at The Mirage

by Gray Cargill on December 28, 2009

BLT Burger at the Mirage isn’t your typical burger joint. First, it’s owned by Chef Laurent Tourondel, one of those celebrity chefs Las Vegas is so famous for.  He owns a series of New York City restaurants under the BLT moniker  (BLT Steak, BLT Fish, and BLT Prime) in addition to the BLT Burger restaurants.  So it’s kind of an upscale interpretation of the classic burger restaurant.  Yet, it’s still a casual dining establishment, which I appreciate.  It’s a very attractive space with a sleek, contemporary design, heavy on the color red.

I’ll admit, I was predisposed not to like this place, because it occupies the former space of the Mirage’s White Tiger Habitat, which I loved.  For me, it was a tradition on every trip to Vegas to visit the habitat and watch the white tigers splash around in their pool and pace the fake rocks.  I really hate it when Vegas hotels get rid of things I loved and replace them with new things that are “hip” and designed to draw in the young, southern California crowd.  But BLT Burger came recommended to me, so I gave it a chance.

Back of bar, facing open kitchen

Back of bar, facing open kitchen

Between the open kitchen, two huge murals on opposite walls, plenty of flat-screen TVs, and the large glass windows looking out onto the walkway into the Mirage, there is plenty for the solo diner to look at here while waiting for food to arrive.  I also really enjoyed the rock music playing in the background.  Overall, it was a great solo dining experience with not an uncomfortable moment in sight.

The restaurant was pretty busy when I arrived at lunchtime, but there were lots of open seats at the very long bar, so I sat there.  My server/bartender was Fred, who was cute as a button.  He was very attentive, and I didn’t have to wait long for anything. In fact, I was surprised by how quickly my food was delivered. . .until I remembered that the kitchen was right in front of me, so it didn’t have to travel far.

The menu has some really interesting choices on it, like a Lamb Tandoori burger, Veggie Falafel, a Salmon burger, Kobe beef, and the Asian “Banh Mi,” a pork and shrimp burger.  You can also customize your burger of choice with whatever toppings you want, from choice of cheese to toppings like a fried egg, homemade chili, bbq onion, and portobello mushroom, among other things. Given that, you might think I would have ordered one of these unique creations, but you’d be wrong.  I was pretty boring that day.  I ordered the #2 combo–a classic burger with fries and a shake.  I guess I’m just a traditional girl after all.

The All Nighter

The All Nighter

I upgraded the included milkshake to a spiked milkshake, “The All Nighter.”  The drink was without a doubt the best part of the meal.  It was the best milkshake I’ve ever had.  (I’m thinking that probably had something to do with the Kahlua and Baileys in it.) It also had espresso and was made with my favorite flavor of ice cream–coffee–and was piled high with whipped cream.  Very tasty.  If you’re lactose intolerant, or milkshakes just aren’t your thing, the bar here also has a large selection of beers on tap and a smaller selection of wines by the glass.

Classic Burger and Sweet Potato Fries

Classic Burger and Sweet Potato Fries

The classic burger is made with 7 ounces of Black Angus beef.  By default they cook it medium, but I requested medium rare.  My choice of cheese was Vermont cheddar (naturally).  It wasn’t as good as the Cheeseburger in Paradise at Margaritaville, but it was good.  Unfortunately, they loaded it up with so much shredded lettuce, it was a little messy to eat.  That sort of thing bothers me.  I don’t like making a mess when I eat.  The plate came with a pickle on the side that was more like a cucumber than a pickle (not as salty), and I really liked that.

I also substituted sweet potato fries instead of regular fries.  They were among the best I’ve had outside the state of Vermont.  (I know I’m biased, but I still believe no one makes them as well as we do here in Vermont.)  The only thing these fries were lacking was a good, honey mustard dipping sauce. Please take that under advisement, BLT Burger.  A sweet potato fry without dipping sauce is like a day without sunshine.

All in all, it was a very satisfying meal, and I was glad I tried the place. The total bill (before tip) came to $27.  Yes, that is very expensive for a burger and fries (even allowing that the spiked milkshake drove up the price). That kind of thing wouldn’t fly in Vermont, but those are typical Vegas prices. If you’re not on a tight budget, I definitely recommend this restaurant to solo travelers to Vegas. I’ll be back–to try one of those more creative burger concoctions.

SoloFriendly January 6, 2010 at 11:38 am

You are referring to the Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat. Yes, that's still there. There is an admission fee for that. I meant the free white tiger habitat that used to be right inside the Strip entrance (the one with the people mover). It was inside the hotel. They've changed that area quite a lot. They've added the Rhumbar off to the right, just outside the Mirage, with a nice patio view of the Strip, and then BLT Burger inside on the left. That's Vegas for you; always changing.

wdwprince January 6, 2010 at 6:44 am

I may be confused but the Mirage has the zoo behind the pool right? Is that where this restaurant is? If so are the other animals still there?

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