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Vinegars of all kinds. Great to add complexity and balance to rich dishes, making vinaigrette to drizzle over fish or meat and essential for picking.
I use miso mixed with butter as a sauce for grilled vegetables or fish.
Haa, how are house made potato chips out of stock for more than 1 day? Is there some potato shortage that I am unaware of? Sounds like they just don't like making them.
My issue with this place is that it replaced Haute Taco, which was awesome with yet another burger joint. However your review makes me at least want to head over and check it it.
There are places in Milwaukee that I have had perfectly cooked (or at least close enough to not affect taste) burgers on a consistent basis. Some of those include: Todd's Grill (Oconomowoc), Stack'd, Fuzzy's (Waukesha), People's Park (Waukesha), Mulligan's (Franklin), Wicked Hop, Harry's, The Knick, Bar Louie, and Bunkers (though I haven't been there since the chef that put them on the map left).
Then there are the places that serve burgers with little to no trace of pink, but they still are great and do not suffer. Those include Soblemans, Kopp's, Elsa's, Nite Owl, North Point Custard, Solly's, and Mazo's.
On my must visit list for burgers list is Distil, Palomino, Dr. Dawg, and Oscars.
I haven't had a burger in Wisconsin that could compare to Edzo's char burger in Evanston, IL. I still think about it months later.
I love the atmosphere there. Friendly bartenders and a cool old building. The burgers are so middle of the road I would never consider ordering one again. They are (from what I can tell) frozen food service grade patties that, as Lacey says, are overcooked, no matter how you order them. Truly uninspired. The upgrade to sweet potato tots is a must.
I would invite all of my burger loving friends over I'd also invite AHT's Milwaukee writer Lacey Muszynski to come over and review them to see if I could meet her very high standards. I'd prepare a bunch of fun toppings so people can customize them. Homemade pickled jalapenos, caramelized onions, fine Wisconsin cheeses (Pleasant Ridge Reserve, Carr Valley 5 year Cheddar, Clare Farms Evalon, Crave Bros Petite Frère), bacon from the local Butcher shop, etc.
The turkey fryer would come out and I'd fill it with peanut oil and do some twice-fried french fries too and of course since it is Wisconsin, some beer battered cheese curds.
I'd also stock up on some great summer craft beers.
Hooligans is what was acceptable for bar food a decade or two ago and I would argue that they probably had some of the best bar food in the City in the early 90s but everyone's expectations are different now. Frozen foodservice style patties are unacceptable these days, they were standard then. You cannot claim you have great burgers if you are using frozen, machine pattied crap. You can make good burgers with them but they are never going to get to the level of a place like Edzo's in Evanston, IL, who made my favorite burger of 2011.
I think Lacy is unfair with her continued criticism of places serving frozen fries. When Bouchon, one of Thomas Keller's restaurants, uses frozen fries, I find it hard to fault a corner bar for doing the same. As long as you are using 100 percent potato fries (no sugar or other crap) you can make an awesome fry. The problem isn't the use of frozen ones, the problem is lack of care when making them.
I do think Lacy has higher standards than most burger consumers but in recent months, her reviews have been really accurate. The burgers at Hooligans suck.
I usually go to one of my favorite bars for a private superbowl party but it isn't happening this year so I plan on making some wings and other snacks and watching it with my family in the Man Cave.
I like the burgers at Miller Time too and agree that the new menu is a huge improvement over the decent, but uninspiring sandwiches they used to offer. The beer cheese soup is good too. Though in general hotel restaurants are crap, that trend is changing not only in Milwaukee, but nationwide. Just here in town we have Smyth and Branded, The Mason Street Grill, Milwaukee Chophouse, Hotel Metro, and Kil@Wat, all of whom serve good food.
I was underwhelmed with Bouchon but loved Mustard's Grill in Yountville and recommend it to anyone travelling to Napa Valley.
I have a bunch of knives but my favorite is a 60 or so year old carving knife that my grandparents had for special occasions. I still have the original box and its still razor sharp.
In a perfect world you should never have to do this and in many cases I never would return it. Charcoal Grill would probably never make the burger right and places like Bartolotta's North Point Custard really only cook to well done or "a little pink" which they alost never hit.
I think you draw the line depending on the restaurant and style of burger. A place like say Bunkers, Stack'd, or Lagniappe where they are pushing higher quality beef, cooking to temp is key. In that case I think it might have been warranted. A stale bun just added more reasons to send it back. I agree they should get it right the first time but with Bunkers (who just made JSonline's top 30 restaurants today) I feel your burger was an abberration given all of the people that love it. Bunkers didn't make this list because they have crappy food and an erratic kitchen.
I do wish Lacey would return burgers when they are cooked improperly to give the restaurant a chance to fix their errors. She really should have done this at Bunkers Classic Lounge because the Brad's Barnbuster is one of the best burgers in the Milwaukee area.
Here’s the scoop, Charcoal Grill used to be a good casual restaurant. They had great ribs and chicken and the burgers were really tasty. It was my go-to lunch spot on Fridays and I almost always got a burger with bacon and bleu cheese. Then around 6-7 years ago they started buying cheaper ingredients. Cheaper buns, cheaper meat, cheaper everything. I actually heard this information from an ex-employee but any customer could tell that the quality went down. They also started neglecting their restaurants so they became dumpier. The service started going downhill too. As a result many of their locations closed. So Lacey you are probably correct, the burger of your childhood was probably pretty good and the burger you ate recently probably did suck. They are hospital-food level burgers now and I actually doubt that they are ground in-house at each restaurant anymore. It’s probably something they left on the menu from years ago when they actually were.
So from someone who has been very critical of several of Lacey’s AHT reviews, she is spot on with this one. This place is terrible.
I dined at Northpoint on the lake once and it was pretty good for a burger stand. I now freqent the airport location and the burgers have ranged from really good to pretty good and I have never been disappointed with a burger (I have never been thoroughly impressed either). With that being said, the burgers you got look horribly overcooked. I guess that's the problem with these reviews, they come from one single visit, not repeated visits where you can guage the food over the course of a couple visits. I will agree with Lacey though, for the Bartolotta's I expected much much better. They should be serving burgers like the Shake Shack or that place you last reviewed (B-1 Burger).
I agree that the prices for sides are obnoxious, especially for the amount you get. Its like 2.50 for a pretty small order of fries. The cheese curds are pretty good but could use some ranch or maybe a custom made dipping sauce.
I don't fault them for serving frozen fries, etc. They are trying to keep prices down and service at a fast pace. Using fresh potatoes would be a pain in the butt. I am guessin their leases at both spaces are pretty obnoxious, especially the airport.
A bone in ribeye is nice but I just love the taste of hanger steak, especially when paired with something acidic like a BBQ sauce/red wine reduction.
Taylor's Peoples Park in Waukesha uses Ciabatta for their burgers and its small enough and soft enough to work perfectly. That's really the only place that I have been that uses them.
Sov is right about the location. For years it was La Casita, then Sol Fire (which ruled), then Pepe's Pink Taco or some nonsense like that, now the Eatery.
As much as I ragged on Lacy's earlier postings, I do agree with her that overcooked burgers are somehow problematic in Milwaukee.
Gotta check out the burger. One of my favorite things on the menu are the seitan "wings." The fried pickles and okra are also not to be missed.
Stick with Bud Selig's favorite, a hot dog. I had a burger there once and would have reviewed it the same as Lacey.
Love Stack'd and I am glad you did too. In my opinion their burgers are better than Sobleman's or AJ Bombers, though it might be because I am partial to the style of burger they served at places like Stack'd, Wicked Hop, or Bunkers. The fried pickles are very good, though I take em off my burger as I don't like pickles on burgers. I like getting one with a pretzel roll, Wisconsin goat cheese, bacon, and jalapeno.
Lacey and I agree on 2 burger joints in a row! What is this world coming too? :)
So to be fair to Lacey I decided to give this burger another shot. Sadly it was worse than I rememberd. Underseasoned, frozen patty with a mealy texture with pathetic tomato. If you are coming to Milwaukee looking for a great burger, this is NOT the place to find it.
The wings, as usual, kicked ass.
Fondybadger - ugh...a review of Summerfest burgers would turn even the biggest burger fan into a vegetarian :) There is some good food at Summerfest but burgers aren't so hot. I'll stick with my Saz's combo, Venice Club Eggplant Strips, and Martino's Hot Dogs.
Fondybadger - I have been at odds with many of Lacey's reviews, as you well know, but I think she hit the nail on the head here. Her thoughts on Sobleman's are about what mine are. Yay! Actually I really agreed with her take on Mazo's too, except I have always had exceptional service there, whereas she ended up with a crappy server.
I still have some favorites out there that I eagerly await her review of....Wicked Hop, Stack'd, Fuzzy's and Taylor's Peoples Park. Also would love to see her venture out to some classic places like Weidl's in Jefferson, Zweig's in Watertown, and the American Legion Post in Lake Mills. Oh, and Fred's in Burglington.
jkdrummer - That is usualy my only complaint about Sobleman's, sometimes they sit on the griddle for too long and get somewhat dry but 9 times out of 10 they are juicy enough. Even if you get a dry patty, the Sobleman burger can usually make up for it with the gooey cheese and fried onion and jalapeno mix.
Lacey is right-on about the bun. It is awesome and I wish more restaurants pay as much attention to their buns as Soblemans. The only bun I like better is the pretzel roll and you need a big, thick burger to stand up to those.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion about burgers but if an out-of-town visitor was coming and used this site for burger research they are going to think that Milwaukee's burger scene is a joke.
For another viewpoint I'd recommend http://bestburgersinmilwaukee.com/
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