Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer
Spicy Pina Slushie – Tequila, Mezcal, Pineapple, Lime, Chili Salt
The Texan Burger – Prime Beef Burger, Aged Cheddar, Crispy Onion Ring, Bacon, Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce, Mayo with Onion Rings
The Bison Burger – Bison Burger, Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, Pesto Mayonnaise, Arugula, Shaved Parmesan, Roasted Tomatoes with Sweet Potato Fries
Crispy Chicken Sandwich – Korean BBQ, Buttermilk Coleslaw, Cilantro, Fresh Lime, Spicy Mayonnaise with Fries
Sweet N’ Salty Peanut Butter Shake – Chocolate Frosted Rim, Chocolate Gems, PB Cups, Sugar Daddy, Pretzel Rods, Chocolate Covered Pretzel, Whipped Cream, Chocolate Drizzle
Cookies N’ Cream Supreme Oreo Shake – Vanilla Frosted Rim, Crushed Oreos, Cookies ’N Cream Sandwich, Crumbled Oreo, Whipped Cream, Chocolate Drizzle
The Cake Shake Cake Batter Shake – Vanilla Frosted Rim, Rainbow Sprinkles, Funfetti Cake Slice, Whipped Cream, Maraschino Cherry
Open for just over a year in the former B&B Burgers & Beer space it was sort of a last minute decision to visit Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer on Wednesday, alternative plans changed due to a sizable conference taking place at The Venetian but the pleasant staff ready, willing and able to take care of three more in addition to a fairly packed house.
A SoHo staple since 2015, Michelin-starred Chef Joe Isidori having departed the world of hotels and fine dining to focus on a casual concept close to his heart, it is immediately on approach to the Las Vegas location that guests are greeted, the sights and sounds emanating from inside a combination of neon and hip-hop from the ‘80s and 90’s.
Completely redesigned from its former occupant, the patio overlooking Venetian’s canals on this particular evening pending Sin City’s most substantial snowfall since the 1930s, it was into a sizable booth flanking the Shake stand that guests were seated, two youngsters consistently mixing, blending and topping throughout a nearly ninety-minute visit.
Urban-chic but comfortable, noise levels near the bar only half as loud in back, it was after perusal of a lengthy list that one Cocktail, three Sandwiches and a trio of Shakes were requested, the former arriving only moments later and everything the lady craves including Salt, Spice, Citrus and Tequila suspended in Ice.
Sourcing Beef from the legendary Pat Lafrieda, but not forgetting those with dietary restrictions by additionally offering Chicken, Falafel, Gluten Free Buns and Salads, it was perhaps a mistake to request both Shakes and Sandwiches simultaneously as remarkable portions soon filled the dining surface, though a first bite of Black Tap’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich definitely benefitted from cold Dairy since the Spicy Mayonnaise is most certainly no joke even when paired to brined Bird, Coleslaw and tangy Korean Barbeque Sauce.
Further impressed by Isidori’s Fries, the hand-cut Spuds crunchy and hot with just enough Salt, it was from there that the Bison Burger was tasted, the lean grind unfortunately a little dry even cooked medium beneath vibrant topping while the USDA Prime Beef comprising the Texan Burger was appropriately juicy and richly flavored enough to still be tasted amidst aged Cheddar, BBQ Sauce and Bacon.
Not bowled over by Sweet Potato Fries, some light and crispy while others suffered a substantial amount of sog, it was after enjoying several thick-cut Onion Rings that Shakes took center stage, the Sweet N’ Salty Peanut Butter version all sorts of audacious with viscosity best consumed via spoon that also comes in handy when scraping Chocolate, Peanut Butter Cups and M&M’s off the side.
Equally over the top otherwise, The Cake Shake which is apparently only available in limited quantities adorned by a Funfetti wedge with airy Buttercream, it was as Whipped Cream began to topple that Cookies N’ Cream Supreme was sipped and scooped, the flavor as expected but the texture a surprise as the crumbled Oreos remained firm in juxtaposition to the velvety Ice Cream.
THREE AND A HALF STARS: With almost every Casino on Las Vegas Boulevard now offering their own gourmet Burger Bar one might argue that Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer is unnecessary, but between the combination of Food, atmosphere and service The Venetian seems to have done their homework on this one with a menu ready to please serious diners and Instagrammers alike.
RECOMMENDED: The Texan Burger, French Fries, Onion Rings, Cookies N’ Cream Supreme Shake, Sweet N’ Salty Peanut Butter Shake.
AVOID: The Bison Burger, Sweet Potato Fries.
TIP: Unless in a hurry consider ordering Shakes to follow Burgers as the piled-high construction becomes tenuous after a few minutes with Whipped Cream, Cake and more threatening an avalanche to the table.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.