Just caught up on all the posts...many thanks. I land at 3pm so I believe a chilli dog downtown may be on the cards that evening... roll on the next 3 weeks..
Lani's Express at the Fremont was the downtown spot that Zin had suggested to me on a previous trip to Vegas. I can still taste the little afterburps even yet today and it makes me a little misty as I stare southwest wondering when my next trip to Vegas will be....
I'm always a bit wary of "gourmet" burgers. What usually happens is they throw on a couple of fancy-sounding (not necessarily expensive or gourmet, just fancy-sounding) ingredients in order to jack the price up. But I found a gourmet burger that's actually worth its price tag: the Steakhouse Burger ($13.50) at the Barrymore in the Royal Resort. The burger is great -- half-pound of beef, and if you order it medium, it'll actually come out medium -- with gruyere, frisee, bacon marmalade, oven-roasted tomato, and garlic aioli. My only nitpick is the fries (included) are awesome but a bit too salty.
Where da heck is the Royal Resort? 99 Convention Center Drive, the road that leads into the Las Vegas Convention Center. It's walking distance from Circus Circus, Riviera, Wynn, and Encore. The Royal Resort is, uh, nothing special. But they're trying to spiff it up, and the Barrymore restaurant is the best part of their efforts.
They offer the standard stuff (steaks, lobster, salmon) as well as some fancier items (pork belly, seared foie gras) at prices that are 20-30% below Strip restaurants without little to no sacrifice in quality. If you're just getting the burger, you can go any day of the week. If you're having something else, go Wed thru Sat. It seems like the 2nd-string is in Sun/Mon/Tue.