It’s not very often these days that a new burger joint pops up on the scene and generates as much inquiry and drama as PoshBurger Bistro has lately. I’ve had friends text me about its arrival, followers tweeting me, and plenty of hype and rumors on local web sites. The menu offers a $29 burger, along with much skepticism as to if an off-Strip location can really sustain such a high priced meal. I’ve had cheaper burgers on the Strip that weren’t worth their value, so this promised to be an interesting ordeal. All of this, combined with a recent Groupon offer made it the perfect storm for my latest review. And boy is there some drama around it.
PoshBurger is horribly located to the side of your typical Vegas suburban strip mall in Summerlin, to the point that if you didn’t know it was there, you would probably never stumble upon it. The restaurant space is equally awful; a high, open ceiling, not much furniture, and massive amounts of tile make for a very loud space. The night of my meal there was maybe 25 people seated, not even half full, but it was extremely loud. And speaking of the furniture, someone made the awful decision to use shared tables and hard, backless benches that made my butt hurt after maybe 20 minutes. If you’re looking for an intimate, long meal this is probably not your best option as you’ll be sitting directly next to another couple or even loud children on the worst bench ever. The menu features a few beef burgers, as well as lamb, tuna, turkey, wild boar and venison, all with some great sounding toppings. You can also design your own burger, choose from several raw juices, salads, side orders and desserts. Be careful, as this will not be a cheap meal; unless you build it yourself, these burgers START at $16 and go up quickly from there.
I had to go with the star of the menu, the kobe burger with a brioche bun, truffle aioli, seared foie gras, frizzled onion, watercress cherry tomatoes and a fried quail egg. Despite all those toppings, I was brought out a burger that was completely flavorless and sadly disappointing. The meat on its own had no seasoning at all, and was just lost in the burger. The patty was not formed well for the size of the bun, and was way too narrow and thick. It was also quite dry, despite the mess of grease that formed on my plate early on. Or maybe that’s where all the moisture went? It also seemed to be cooked a bit more than the medium rare that I ordered (despite how it looks in the picture), which I heard many times prior to my meal that this is a consistent problem here. The brioche bun was also dry, and actually cold to the touch when brought out. The foie gras was non-existent except for maybe one or two bites, and the quail egg wasn’t noticed at any point. The cherry tomatoes were the only stand out flavor, and it was a travesty when my girlfriend accidentally dropped one when I handed her my burger to sample its dryness. I’m not quite sure what the frizzled onion is, as they weren’t noticeable either. Overall I don’t get the hype, and am partially convinced that any negative comments about Posh not being included in my Burger Tournament are more than likely from the restaurant’s PR team as all of my friends and readers have been very disappointed by their meals here to date.
The fries were even more horrible; raw, soggy, and cold with the taste of raw potatoes. The fat fries were actually fairly hot upon arrival, and even cooked a bit more than our skinny fries, but still not nearly enough to make them edible. The skinny fries with parmesan were literally just fries with a huge clump of shredded parmesan piled on. Also, neither accompanying aioli was brought out initially, only a small cup of ketchup. We had to ask for the items that are supposed to come with the fries, this is an issue I also saw a couple times in their comment book that was handed to us with the bill. The garlic aioli (a redundant statement) tasted more like ranch than anything, the truffle aioli was decent enough to mask the raw potato flavor but still wasn’t that great.
If this meal couldn’t get any worse, let me tell you about our Groupon deal which is a total scheme on the part of the restaurant. The deal is $49 for supposedly $100 worth of food, and includes two burgers with sides, one shared dessert and one bottle of wine. Once our meal was done and my Groupon was scanned, we were still brought a check for $25.84 which was instantly confusing. On the check they list a $99 (not $100) Groupon meal, sales tax for the full $99 amount and an 18% (!!!) gratuity bringing the total to $124.84. They then subtract $99 for the value of the Groupon (not $100), and expect $25.84 from you to complete the meal. First of all, after doing some research I have found some specific tax laws about this such as: “if a restaurant offers a patron, upon presentation of a coupon, two meals for the usual price of one, the price of the free meal is excluded from the meal’s tax. The tax is due on only the actual amount the restaurant charges the patron.” Meaning that they’ve charged me more tax than they’re legally allowed to! Second of all, I have no problem tipping my waiter on the entire value of our meal as opposed to the Groupon price, but forcing me to pay 18% minimum for two people regardless of my experience is absolutely absurd. A gratuity is 100% optional with all meals; sure it would be a total dick move not to tip a waiter, especially if they’ve been great, but for this to be a mandatory portion of my bill is absolutely infuriating. So without any choice of my own, my $49 Groupon by default is $74.84, or a clever way for the restaurant to get another $25 out of each Groupon deal. And who knows how much of that 18% actually went to my waiter. I mentioned this issue to our waiter, who was apologetic but didn’t have a good explanation for it, and I have filed a complaint with Groupon and am still waiting a response.
With all that being said, how do I even sum this up? Forgetting about the Groupon for a minute, if I had paid the full price of $100 for this meal I would have been so horribly disappointed that I would not have walked out of there until both of our burgers and fries were replaced with absolutely perfect versions of what we ordered, if this is possible of achieving. Even at that point, $100 for this meal is outrageous. If we had paid just the $49 plus a tip that I deemed appropriate I would still be completely disappointed with this meal as a self claimed gourmet restaurant should be spot on every time, and this clearly wasn’t. But now factor in some questionable charges on my bill and you have all the ingredients for a very low score. Horribly overpriced, dry, inconsistent burgers, and almost raw, inedible fries served without their proper sides leave me with no choice but to give this one of my lowest scores yet, and my highest recommendation to stay as far away as you can from this place until they can maybe get their act together. If you’re looking for a good night out in Summerlin with some fun food, better atmosphere, and one of the best burgers I’ve had in Vegas, go to View Wine Bar down the street.
As a side note, my girlfriend’s wild boar burger was no treat either; her medium was almost raw, her bun was maybe colder to the touch than mine, had some decent flavor but still nothing great. I think the standout flavor in hers was the poached pears, so maybe if you just have to go here you should order extra toppings to give your burger some character.