Unsacred Cow

A fun-forward, iconoclastic take on burgers and shakes

In Las Vegas, food experiences are as much about entertainment as they are about flavor. Fittingly, the charismatic Pearl newcomer Holsteins (1139 NW Couch St, 503-616-4321)—which is based in Vegas and opened in the Brewery Blocks in May—has quickly earned a reputation for its wildly over-the-top burgers, shakes, and other elaborate iterations of classic pub favorites. The roomy restaurant is decorated with colorful cow sculptures and anime-style murals. And the emphasis is squarely on novel, flavorful dishes that stand out dramatically on Instagram and Facebook feeds.

With its roomy banquette booths, flashy bar, and cheeky vibe, Holsteins is a great place to congregate with a few—or perhaps a multitude of—spirited friends. The apps are designed for sharing. Plan carefully as you order: a couple of these starters on steroids—such as beer-brined buffalo wings with blue cheese dip and poutine fries slathered with stout-infused gravy and cheese curds and topped with a fried egg—can make a noticeable dent in your appetite, and you should make every effort to save space for dessert.

Somebody had a lot of fun coming up with the ambitious burger menu. Unusual takes include the Rising Sun, a nod to Asia that’s stuffed with teriyaki-glazed Kobe beef, nori furikake, crispy yam, tempura avocado, and a helping of spicy mayo. The clear attention grabber, however, is the $28 Billionaire burger: a wagyu beef patty crowned with foie gras, port-onion marmalade, frisée, and truffle mayo. Steelhead, chicken, and vegan options are also available, and whichever burger you choose, it’s worth the $2 surcharge to upgrade to the buttermilk onion rings with a chipotle-ranch dipping sauce.

You’re still hungry, right? Cue the pièce de résistance: the “Bam-Boozled” milkshakes (which can all be ordered booze-free, too). Regulars swear by the Cookies & Cream version, a resplendent concoction of vanilla ice cream, whipped-cream vodka, Oreo and chocolate chip cookies, vanilla frosting, dark- and white-chocolate crunchies, and a chocolate chip ice cream sandwich. It’s as ridiculous—and delicious—as it sounds. – Andrew Collins | Photos by Paul Wagtouicz

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