Emeril’s Burgers And More / Prime Burger – $14
Sand’s Casino – Bethlehem, PA | emerilsrestaurants.com
I’ll never forget the first time I saw Emeril Lagasse on TV. It was circa 1997, and I was stuck at home during a snowstorm, watching the nascent Food Network. A new show called “Emeril Live” had come on, and I was immediately transfixed. The recipe called for 3 cloves of garlic, but screw that, he was adding A HOLE HEAD OF GARLIC. The studio audience went CRAZY at the notion of this chef being so unwieldily with his ingredients. And he kept YELLING. How in the world did this guy with the Fall River accent have the audience so worked up about garlic? Garlic?! Then he threw some oregano in the pan and the crowd went even wilder. I couldn’t believe what I was watching.
Fast forward several years, and Emeril Lagasse is a household name. He’s synonymous with Food TV, and can almost solely be credited with the Food Networks meteoric rise in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. What Chris Berman is to ESPN, Emeril Lagasse is to The Food Network.
So let’s kick this review up notch! BAM!
You man already know about Emeril’s more swanky Chophouse in Bethlehem’s Sands Casino, but not many people are aware that Emeril also has a burger joint called Emeril’s Burgers And More. BAM! Matching the casino’s decor the restaurant borders on slightly kitschy, with bright colors and a massive abstract mural of the chef himself on one the walls, almost like a futuristic school cafeteria. You might think this is a chain, but the Burgers and More located in the Sands remains date, a once-off concept. So, consider yourself lucky to have not just one, but 2 Emeril Lagasse restaurants. And this is more than just a burger place, as you may have gleaned from the “And More” portion of the name. The menu consists of a few salads, seafood, chicken, and Creole-inspired items which Emeril is famous for.
From the burger menu, you can build your own, however I opted for the standard Prime Burger, which is prime chuck, choice of cheese, lettuce, vine tomato, and pickle.
The patty is just slightly undercooked, but tastes great and is seasoned well. I chose American as my cheese, and what’s interesting is the American makes the burger taste almost identical to a Five Guys burger. Just with more bun. The very generous amount of cheese on top makes for a perfectly gooey burger. The lettuce and tomato are fresh, and perfect in proportion to the burger, making for a good overall balance. With the crunchy, briny pickle on the side, this burger hits on all the necessary flavor and texture profiles.
The bun is just above average, being lightly toasted with a slight buttery flavor. It’s firm on the outside and soft on the inside, a lot like Emeril himself. BAM!
Unfortunately the fries aren’t anything to rave about. Some are soggy, some are crispy, but overall they’re pretty flavorful. In the end, I’d call them slightly above average.
Final thoughts: I couldn’t get past the fact that this burger tasted so much like a Five Guys burger. But that’s not a bad thing considering how much I like Five Guys. Is this burger worth making your way over to the Casino for? Perhaps not this exact burger, but with the customization options that Emeril’s Burgers and More provides, such as dry-aged beef, you could build yourself a pretty impressive burger. BAM!