Pub 1842 seriously elevates the concept of bar food
Early in his career, celebrity chef and restaurateur Michael Mina established the beachhead of his culinary empire in the Vegas Valley. Now with a quartet of venues across MGM properties, his venues demonstrate the versatility of his culinary team. Depending upon your tastes, you can explore French bistro fare at Bardot Brasserie, delve into American cuisine and seafood at his eponymous restaurant, or placate your meat craving at the upscale Stripsteak. But if you’re looking for something a bit more casual without sacrificing Mina’s characteristic attention to quality, MGM Grand’s Pub 1842 is likely the destination for you.
Named after the year the pilsner style of beer was first invented in an area now a part of the current Czech Republic, Pub 1842 certainly has a focus on its namesake libation. With 33 beers on tap and another 33 in cans and bottles, you’re bound to be able to find a style to your liking. Explore the Valley brewing scene with tap list selections from award-winning local breweries such as Big Dog’s, Joseph James and Tenaya Creek. Or, if you’re looking for something frugal, consider the comically large 40-ounce Mickey’s malt liquor. Why not relive your college days while in town?
Pub 1842’s menu complements the diverse beer selection. Hot soft pretzel sticks are served with an American beer cheese fondue garnished with a poached egg, perfectly suited to soak up your alcohol. And besides, why wouldn’t you want a poached egg garnish for your beer cheese fondue? A more protein-centric snack is oversized barbecue chicken drumsticks slathered in Carolina barbecue sauce with an addictive blue cheese dressing for dipping. And the namesake 1842 Nachos are an outrageous offering worthy of the moniker, rife with pork chili verde, American cheese and black bean relish. They’re a meal unto themselves.
The kale Caesar is arguably one of the Strip’s best salads. While kale might have fallen out of favor as the “It” ingredient, this dish exemplifies how superior it is to plain old lettuce. The garlicky dressing laden with Parmesan doesn’t drown the flavorful leaves, reminding you you’re having something healthy before you dive into PUB’s collection of burgers.
And you must sample the burgers. The eponymous 1842 Burger is rife with umami from mushrooms and truffle aioli, while the Bacon Burger is reminiscent of an elevated Big Mac. But with bacon, because bacon makes everything better. A healthier option is the turkey burger, combining a trio of guacamole, pepper jack cheese and harissa (Tunisian hot chili sauce) aioli to accent the mild fowl-based patty without overwhelming it.
But the coup de grâce is the PB Crunch Burger, where the PB gloriously stands for peanut butter. And the fun doesn’t stop there as the burger also includes pimento cheese, bacon jam and potato chips. Saltiness melds with the pimento cheese’s sharpness for an amalgam of flavors, while the chips contribute a contrast of texture.
Save room for some old-school desserts with either a shake-tasting sampler, including decadent salty caramel, or the creative campfire s’mores bar. A play on the Boy Scouts favorite with a twist, the s’mores bar swaddles devil’s food cake in toasted marshmallow and a graham cracker crust. It’s a sweet finish to an even sweeter Mina meal.
MGM Grand, 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Thurs.-Mon. 702.891.3922