Double SmokeShack

Double SmokeShack at Shake Shack
National Hamburger Month isn't over yet, so let's get back into it. The SmokeShack is probably the single best bite at Shake Shack, and maybe it should be the signature burger. Maybe it already is, but it seems like the standard Shack burger is more popular and iconic. This one, however, offers more unique flavors, a spicy and salty combination not readily available at most fast-food burger spots. Shack's supreme-quality beef is topped with smoked applewood bacon—we're talking legit bacon strips with fat and everything, not the paper-thin bacon flakes that sometimes spoil fast-casual bacon cheeseburgers—and a sort of chopped cherry pepper relish, two elements that bring smokey, savory, vinegary notes to the beefy-cheesy party. Those peppers cut through all the fatty richness like no other Shack burger ingredient can. Add some creamy, tangy Shack sauce and it's quite the combo. The only thing that prevents me from going A+ on this one is the simple fact that too much of a good thing is a real concern when it comes to Shake Shack; I prefer these burgers with a single patty for perfect proportions. This double is a monster … a super-delicious monster.

Chicken Ring Slider

Chicken Ring Slider at White Castle
"Like our sliders? Then put a ring on it. Two lightly breaded, crispy Chicken Rings made with all white meat, that is." Gotta love the timely Beyoncé reference from White Castle. Also, the way they just throw Chicken Rings out there so casually, as if Chicken Rings are just an accepted part of our society. And I don't believe these are made with all white meat, because these things are chewy and rubbery in a very McNuggety kinda way. Stick to White Castle's more familiar fare.


Pat LaFrieda Burger

Pat LaFrieda Burger at the D Grill
Pat LaFrieda is a pretty big name in beef. If you go to a restaurant in Las Vegas or New York or anywhere else and see his name on the menu, you're supposed to get excited about the hunk of beef you're about to eat. Every time I've had that experience, the results were fantastic … until now. But I'm not blaming the butcher for the mediocrity of this burger, it's just that it's the most normal burger I've ever eaten, a little overcooked and under seasoned. But it's still 100 percent USDA Choice Angus beef, including a little short rib in the grind for a little fatty flavor. I topped it with cheddar, lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle, so maybe it's my fault if this was a boring burger. But sometimes you just want it basic, and really, really good. This one missed the mark.


Crispy Turkey Breast Sandwich

Crispy Turkey Breast Sandwich at PDQ
The quality of the food at this new chicken joint PDQ—new to Las Vegas, anyway—came as something of a shock. I was expecting totally generic chicken tenders, and that's generally what it is, but everything tastes way better than I assumed it would. Case in point, this undeniably tasty, surprisingly juicy turkey breast sandwich, coated in crunchy fried goodness. The meat itself isn't very flavorful (this is turkey we're talking about) but the texture is pleasant and the moisture is, again, shocking. The outside is savory and crisp, the egg bun is lovely, and the lettuce, tomato and pickles are fresh and big and nice to eat. PDQ's "sweet heat" sauce, a tangy mayo-ish thing, adds a bit more to each bite. Nice work.

Mirage Burger

Mirage Burger at Steiner's
It's back to Steiner's Pub for a another solid burger named for a casino: "This one is a Wynner!" Ah, I see what you did there. Whatever. This one's got sautĂ©ed onions and mushrooms, bacon and melted Swiss, an ordinary yet satisfying combo. If the bacon's crisp, the mushrooms aren't too mushy and the burger patty is cooked just right, this one really is a winner. I've said it before and I'll say it again—bars are my favorite places to eat burgers.

Sandwich Sundays Presents: The Fake-Cago Dog

The Fake-Cago Dog
It was just supposed to be hot dog-grilling day at bro's house, but then we saw the big dill pickle spears and got a stupid-tasty idea. So, big-ass pickle goes into the bun with the all-beef frank with tomatoes, mustard, crunched-up Ruffles and some home-made fries. Really needs some onions and relish. But hey, it works. Sorta.