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Milwaukee Burger Week Guide 2017

Aug. 15, 2017
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The Shepherd Express is happy to introduce the Inaugural Milwaukee Burger Week.

Aug. 14-20 is a chance for you to sample some of the best burgers Milwaukee has to offer as a part of a citywide celebration. From locally sourced beef, black bean, classic bacon cheeseburgers and everything in-between.

A portion of the proceeds from each burger sold during Milwaukee Burger Week will be donated to Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin.

Big Deal Burgers

1440 S. 84th St.

414-774-4000

bigdealburgers.com

Located in the heart of West Allis, Big Deal Burgers specializes in not just their namesake, a one-pound beef burger with six strips of bacon, four slices of cheese and extra butter, but custard as well. But we aren’t here to talk about that. The most unique thing on the menu at Big Deal is their deep-fried bacon cheeseburger, which fits in perfectly with the Wisconsin Fair Grounds just blocks down 84th Street. (Rob Hullum)

The Brick Pub & Grill

6343 N. Green Bay Ave.

414-797-0710

thebrickpubandgrill.com

A charming gem in Glendale, The Brick offers up a variety of takes on the hamburger. As a strong believer in ordering the dish named after the restaurant (or vice versa), I suggest The Brick Burger ($11). It’s a sort of Midwestern take on a California burger, sporting a hand-pattied Angus beef burger, pepper jack cheese, avocado, house-made Southwest ranch sauce and a tall pile of haystack onion rings that are really satisfying to smoosh down before you unhinge your jaw to take the first bite. I was impressed by how well the burger held together given the slipperiness of avocado. A bit messier was The Hickory Burger ($10.50), which comes topped with cheese and house-made hickory sauce—sweet and smoky. Burgers come with sides aplenty, but really, I’ve never met a tater tot I didn’t like. (Franklin K.R. Cline) 

Camino

434 S. Second St.

414-800-5641

caminomke.com

Long and narrow, with a tall ceiling and freshly cleaned century-old brick, Camino is another bright addition to the rejuvenated Walker’s Point. They serve one kind of burger, a juicy patty covered in American cheese and fried onions and served on a pillowy bun. Recommended side: How about the Clock Shadow Creamery cheese curds with Russian dressing for dipping instead of the usual French fries? Check out happy hour, 4-6 p.m., Monday-Friday. Wednesday is “Burger Time” with a burger and fries for $10. (David Luhrssen)

Club Charlies

320 W. Menomonee St.

414-763-8548

With a patio out front and a wide-open entranceway, Club Charlies is a favorite in summer for lunch and happy hour in the Third Ward. And come winter, the interior becomes dark and cozy as a womb. Year round, Charlies offers a tasty menu of light contemporary pub fare. Popular among the selections is the house’s signature, the Charlie Burger ($10), a half-pound of unique flavor compounded from ground beef and ground pork sausage. The Charlie sits on a seeded bun, topped with a special mayo sauce and is served in a basket full of excellent fries. (David Luhrssen)

Fatty Patty

414-522-1133

thefattypatty.com

One of the many food trucks to pop up in Milwaukee recently, Fatty Patty distinguishes itself from the pack by offering some of the most fresh-tasting, excellent hamburgers one can find in the city. Their Ring of Fire ($6.49) features a house-made beef patty, jalapeños, Swiss cheese, sriracha mayo, an onion ring and lettuce. It has just enough piquancy to give it some zip, but is grounded by the beefiness of the patty, the crunch and vibrancy of the lettuce (no, really; the lettuce made the burger better and was thoughtfully incorporated, not just treated as an afterthought), and the sweetness of the bun. The Fatty Patty burger ($8.99) has too many ingredients to list in this space, but trust me that it’s an incredibly filling and tasty sandwich that’s worthy of naming a truck after. Fatty Patty also offers some excellent gyros and has two vegan veggie burgers, one of which, the Fryer Buyer ($5.99), is piled high with fried veggies. (Franklin K.R. Cline)

Hamburger Mary’s

730 S. Fifth St.

414-488-2555

hamburgermarys.com

Hamburger Mary’s has built a reputation in Milwaukee as a fun, LGBTQ-friendly destination for everything from bingo nights to bachelorette parties. Even with a recent move to the booming Walker’s Point neighborhood, the restaurant has kept a menu full of the same delicious, highly customizable burgers, including a special, rotating burger of the month. A standout on Hamburger Mary’s menu is the Daddy Mac, with homemade mac-n-cheese, two slices of American cheese and Mary’s sauce. (Rob Hullum) 

Jackson’s Blue Ribbon Pub

1203 N. 10th St., 414-276-7271

http://www.jacksonsmke.com

Jackson’s Blue Ribbon Pub is located within the historic Pabst Brewery complex Downtown. The kitchen is open late and you’ll definitely leave satiated. Try the “Gorgie,” comprised of a half-pound Angus patty topped with thick-cut bacon, cracked pepper, pickled red onion, lemon feta-infused arugula and a tangy gorgonzola aioli on a brioche bun. Build-your-own and veggie burger options are also on offer, along with many other sandwiches and wraps. Start your meal off with an order of Wisconsin white and yellow cheddar cheese curds, a delicious blend of gooey cheese and feather-light breading. (Selena Milewski)

Ka-Bob’s Bistro

6807 W. Becher St.

414-588-8020

ka-bobs.com 

Grilled pineapple or rice with that burger? It’s two of the most unusual sides in town, offered by Ka-Bob’s along with the expected French fries or chips. And all are well prepared. A bright and lively venue in West Allis, Ka-Bob’s serves an array of kabobs and “handhelds,” but check out the hamburgers. Wednesday is “Build a Burger” day, yet the daily menu includes several unique burgers built around handmade patties. The Allis Chalmers is a messy masterpiece with smoked beef brisket, arugula, caramelized onions, mushrooms and a melted slab of horseradish cheddar topping the patty and spilling out of the toasted bun. (David Luhrssen) 

Kil@wat

39 E. Kilbourn Ave.

414-291-4793

kilawatcuisine.com

Long-time Milwaukee residents will recall those wonderful trips to Marc’s Big Boy; despite that restaurant’s full menu, it seems that many of us found the epicurean pull of the Big Boy hamburger ultimately irresistible. For those lamenting those bygone days, look inside Downtown Milwaukee’s InterContinental Hotel to find Kil@wat and, yes, its Classic Big Boy! Indeed, it is the very same double-deck cheeseburger with two seasoned beef patties, American cheese, shredded lettuce and that famous Big Boy special sauce on a sesame seed bun. Add fries for the full trip down gastronomical memory lane. (John Jahn) 

The Loaded Slate

1137 N. Old World Third St.

414-273-5700

theloadedslate.com

A favorite for watching sports in the midst of the bustling Old World Third Street, The Loaded Slate has the menu you would expect to go along with the big game. The Wisco Burger has a direct nod to Wisconsin’s favorite sports franchise with beer-battered onions, country-fried applewood bacon, a sunny side up egg and Lambeau’s cheese curds. When it comes to their menu, this sports bar is just as competitive as the athletes that populate their television screens. (Rob Hullum)

Mason Street Grill

425 E. Mason St.

masonstreetgrill.com

414-298-3131 

Ensconced in the elegant Pfister Hotel, the Mason Street Grill is a welcoming, wood-bedecked space for full-course dining or a burger and fries. Their lunch menu boasts 10 different sandwiches and burgers—from tuna to shrimp and from grilled Monte Cristo to black bean—all with side choices of fries, sweet potato chips, fruit, coleslaw or vegetable antipasti salad. The Mason Street Grill Burger (available for both lunch and dinner), is a juicy and generous 10-ounce Black Angus chuck and sirloin patty, grilled to order, topped with honey-glazed onions, muenster cheese and house burger relish. (John Jahn) 

Miller Time Pub

509 W. Wisconsin Ave.

414-271-2337

millertimepub.com 

Located in the middle of Downtown, Miller Time Pub embraces one of Milwaukee’s most ubiquitous namesakes: Miller beer. And few things better pair with the blue-collar beverage of choice than a juicy, cheesy burger. Miller Time Pub excels at both the basics and the creative. Their “Classic” is no more than two patties, cheese, onions, lettuce and tomato; the creative option is the seared “Ginger Time Turkey Burger,” which features a spicy cabbage slaw, cilantro and ginger soy mayo. (Rob Hullum)

Motor Bar & Restaurant

401 W. Canal St.

414-287-2778

harley-davidson.com

The Harley-Davidson Museum’s restaurant concept, Motor, has a sleek interior inspired by its parent company’s storied motorcycle history. The menu consists of elevated bar food and, of course, a handful of tasty burgers. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the rotating burger of the month, which they describe as an “over the top concoction.” If you want a safer option, go with the Motor Burger, an eight-ounce patty with the normal lettuce, tomato, pickle and onion. (Rob Hullum)

Mulligans Irish Pub

8933 S. 27th St.

414-304-0300

mulliganson27th.com

Really, really famished? Take Mulligans’ Big Burger Challenge: Three pounds of Black Angus beef topped with a half-pound of cheese, a pound of corned beef, various burger toppings and a side of a pound of beer-battered French fries. (Eat it all in less than an hour and it’s free; plus you get a $50 Mulligans gift card.) For the more typical palate, however, Mulligans offers nine burgers and sandwiches that will more than sate your appetite. The McGinty is worthy of special note here: a pub burger topped with their tasty, house-made corned beef. All come with choice of fresh fries, house-made potato chips, cup of soup or house slaw. (John Jahn) 

O’Lydia’s Bar and Grill

338 S. First St.

414-271-7546

olydias.com

It should come as no surprise that the Irish pub mainstay O’Lydia’s Bar and Grill offers up an absolutely fantastic Reuben Burger ($11). It’s a sloppy delight, taking a half-pound Angus beef patty and adding house-made corned beef, house-made Thousand Island dressing, and Swiss cheese to it in order to, well, give you the flavors of a Reuben adding onto the heft of the patty itself. The corned beef, especially, has an excellent peppery flavor that really pops. You can get a bevy of sides with your burger—fries cut in-house, soups du jour, garlic mashed potatoes—but I recommend the chips, which are crunchy and delightful. It’s nice to have something crisp for a textural juxtaposition alongside the gloopy mess of the burger. Make sure you ask for extra napkins! (Franklin K.R. Cline)

Red Lion Pub

1850 N. Water St.

414-431-9009

redlionpubmke.com

Red Lion Pub on Tannery Row is well known for its extensive menu of traditional British dishes, but the bar and grill is equally skilled at the classically American art of cooking a delicious hamburger. The Pub Burger is a no-frills stack of a steak patty, lettuce, tomato and onion on a brioche bun. The simplicity allows you to fully enjoy the high quality ingredients, proving that less sometimes really is more. (Rob Hullum)

Riverwest Filling Station

701 E. Keefe Ave.

414-906-9000

the-filling-station.com

Industrial, avant-garde and full of beer, Riverwest Filling Station fits its neighborhood like a glove. Lunch, dinner and brunch menus are an eclectic mix of Middle Eastern flavors, vegetarian dishes and sandwiches. Five specialty burgers are offered, including the namesake Filling Station Burger ($13). It’s packed full of dark stout beer: the half-pound beef patty is marinated in it, grilled mushrooms and onions are glazed with it, and it’s topped with a garlic stout aioli. The Meatwad ($14)—someone here is a fan of Adult Swim cartoons—piles shaved smoked brisket on top of a burger patty, along with mushrooms, onions, fontina and tiger sauce. Wash those big burgers down with one of their 30 tap beers. (Lacey Muszynski)

SafeHouse

779 N. Front St.

414-271-2007

safe-house.com 

The spy-themed bar and restaurant was bought by Marcus Corp. in June of 2015 and almost immediately received a facelift from the hospitality giant. Six different burgers are now on the menu, with the MOAB, or Mother Of All Burgers, being the biggest and baddest of them all. American cheese, bacon, an over-easy egg and secret sauce combine with the SafeHouse’s locally-sourced beef patties for a dining experience that lives up to its name. (Rob Hullum)

Steny’s Tavern & Grill

800 Second St.

414-672-7139

stenystavern.com

There is an option for all shades of burger lovers at Steny’s. This is because their burger menu features a completely customizable build-you-own mix-and-match that lets you choose between eight different types of cheese, countless toppings and extras like horsey aioli and barbecue sauce. There are also nine signature burgers that run the gamut from a vegetarian-friendly black bean option to the Steny Mac, topped with cheddar cheese, red onions and Steny sauce. (Rob Hullum)

Three Lions Pub

4515 N. Oakland Ave.

414-763-6992

threelionspub.com 

Shorewood’s Three Lions Pub is authentically British and has become a destination for local soccer fans to watch the beautiful game among their peers. Along with the action on the screens, the pub is well known for serving some of the best bar food in the city. Their cheddar apple burger offers a unique mix of Wisconsin cheddar, apple slaw, arugula and horseradish cream. Perfect for watching your favorite club take to the pitch. (Rob Hullum)

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