Public House (Luxor)

September 24th, 2012 by Erik Chudy

looks a bit plainHow often do two different restaurants open with the same name in the same city? I guess this is a stupid question because I really don’t care about the answer, but it surely creates some confusion. This recently happened with the opening of Public House at the Luxor. Somehow sharing the same name as the expensive but superior Public House at the Venetian, the one at the Luxor opened with minimal fanfare a couple weeks ago. Does it hold up as well as the fancy Gastropub down the street?

big and sparsePublic House at the Luxor has a decent but somewhat generic Stations-feeling interior to it; it’s very open and clean, but not really as stylized or fun as it could be. It features a few pipes tied back to the beer kegs similar to what you would find at a place like Yardhouse or even the unrelated restaurant of the same name at the Venetian, but they’re not quite as impactful. There’s a darker, more intimate and inviting bar area as well as a large open dining area. The General Manager came to my table to greet me before my food came out, and mentioned that the official opening of the restaurant was later that night. An early opportunity such as this is exciting, but kind of leaves the venue open to a revisit if the meal is less than ideal so early on.

looking betterThe menu isn’t available yet on their website, or much else for that matter, but their Luxor page mentions ‘upscale American Fare’. I didn’t really pay attention to anything other than their burger: half pound angus burger, brioche with a choice of a cheese and a topping including mushrooms, sautéed onions, fried onions and the like. What came out didn’t look too impressive, but the meat had great flavor upon first bite and was cooked more to medium than the medium rare I had ordered. The brioche bun was buttery and good, and the mushrooms had good flavor. The cheese was melted well and coated my entire patty. Speaking of the patty, it seemed hand-formed as it wasn’t close to being a perfect circle and had a pretty weird shape to it. Even if it actually isn’t hand-formed, the illusion is always welcome. Overall the burger was a bit messy, but this is a somewhat negative connotation that I don’t want to apply to this burger as a formed standard looking burger every time gets dull, and the irregular look is a bit refreshing.

The fries sucked; they had little flavor and weren’t really hot. They got very hard by the end and had a kind of odd unwelcome texture to them. The best part about them was definitely the chipotle ketchup which wasn’t an option given to me by my waiter when asked if I wanted ketchup, but by the person that brought my food out later on with no ketchup in hand.

The burger comes with kettle chips or salad for $12, which isn’t too bad of a price for a restaurant directly in a casino, but I hate the fact that I have to pay an extra $3 to get fries instead. That, combined with my iced tea brought my meal to $18.75 very quickly, which is a bit much for what you get. I suppose I could start drinking water and cutting out easily $3-4 with every meal, but I’m sure most visitors to these locations would probably order a beer or something more expensive so it doesn’t matter much. The additional money for fries annoys me, but if you’re looking for a burger and don’t want to leave the Luxor this isn’t too bad. If you’re willing to walk a couple minutes and spend a few dollars more, Burger Bar is by far the better choice.

Overall score: 72

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