Food Wars: AJ Bombers Vs. Sobelman’s
Who offers Milwaukee’s best burger?
In each episode, “Food
Wars” travels to an American city, finds two local eateries that serve one of
the area’s signature dishes, and hosts a blind taste test to determine which
restaurant’s version is better. Previous shows have featured Buffalo,
N.Y., where Anchor Bar and Duff’s battled over
chicken wings, and Chicago,
where Al’s Beef and Mr. Beef went head-to-head over who sells the best Italian
beef sandwich. Here in Milwaukee,
“Food Wars” is pitting AJ Bombers versus Sobelman’s Pub & Grill to decide
once and for all who serves the best burger.
While Milwaukee’s burger rivalry doesn’t have roots
as deep as, say, the fish fry debate or the frozen custard question, the city
will certainly benefit from the notoriety generated by the Travel Channel.
“Food Wars” will help Milwaukee
gain a star on the culinary tour map and generate business for restaurants that
claim burger greatness.
As far as what
ingredients are used to make a quintessential Milwaukee burger, AJ Bombers co-owner Joe
Sorge and Sobelman’s Pub & Grill co-owner Dave Sobelman are collaborating
with the show’s producers to decide. As we go to press, Nueske’s bacon and
Colby cheese look like ingredient front-runners.
“Food Wars” host Camille
Ford will visit both restaurants, sample a burger from each joint, and chat
with the owners and customers. The show is edited to include a short history of
each restaurant and the origins of Milwaukee’s
fledgling but heated burger rivalry.
The end of each episode
is punctuated by a lively showdown. Loyal fans of each restaurant gather while
a panel of blindfolded judges, usually consisting of impartial local
personalities, taste a sample of each dish and vote for his or her favorite.
The restaurant with the most votes is declared the winner of Milwaukee’s food war.
Here’s a breakdown of
the two competitors in Milwaukee’s
1247 N. Water St.
AJ Bombers is new school
in both age and approach. Open only a year, the burger place has already been
featured in The Wall Street Journal
and The New York Times, among other
periodicals, for owners Joe and Angie Sorge’s effective employment of new
social networks like Foursquare, Twitter and Facebook to grow their customer
base exponentially. From its corner on Water and Knapp streets, AJ Bombers
attracts steady Downtown lunch business and a young dinner crowd with its juicy
quarter-pound blended burgers served on fresh potato rolls.
When asked what makes a
burger good, Joe says, “It’s all about the science of the burger, the ratios.
It’s about having the right amount of meat, the right amount of cheese, the
right amount of bread and the right amount of sauce. That is why I believe we
will severely dominate Sobelman’s, because that burger is all about the bun.”
Sobelman’s Pub & Grill
1900 W. St. Paul Ave.
Dave and Melanie Sobelman have deemed their renowned Sobelman Burger “Milwaukee’s Best Burger” since they first opened their pub and grill in a renovated Schlitz tavern more than a decade ago. Sobelman’s boasts an enormous contingent of loyal Marquette students and Downtown workers willing to journey to the Menomonee Valley for Sobelman’s fresh Black Angus beef patties served on egg-washed country butter rolls. Dave Sobelman is so confident in his burger, in fact, that he offered Joe Sorge “Terms of Surrender” on the Sobelman’s website.