Home » Posts tagged 'Milwaukee'
Tag Archives: Milwaukee
***Note: If you like this post and want to receive parts of my list, click here to donate to my fund and help me leave No Kid Hungry***
On the way back to Chicago from a wedding my friends Renee, Gavin, and I stopped by Kopp’s to grap some burgers and frozen custard. Kopp’s is mostly a fast food place with upscale custard. When we arrived I was super excited to see that one of the specials was grasshopper fudge custard! We ordered our food and, once we received it, took up residence on a bench around the corner of the restaurant. I first ate the burger which was pretty good. It was a relatively standard with a thin patty with thick cut vegetables and a chewy bun. It tasted good but it was not the reason I came to Kopp’s.
After finishing the burger I dove into the custard. Grasshopper Fudge is everything I like in ice cream. Mint and chocolate custard with fudge swirled into the mix. This was the first time I ever had frozen custard and it will not be the last. The custard was an interesting combination thick and creamy. I could take the cup, turn it upside down, and the custard did not move at all. Yet when I took a bite it was probably the smoothest dessert I had aside from pudding. The mint sang through and balanced extremely well with the chocolate. Each spoonful also brought a little fudge to the table which added to the richness of the entire cup. I polished off my cup of custard without any hesitation and could have gone back for more.
I am glad that I finally made it to Kopp’s, the custard was everything it was made out to be. The burger was good but definitely not the star of the show. I imagine that is why it is not called Kopp’s Burgers and Custard. Next time you are in Wisconsin you should swing by and hope they have grasshopper fudge on the menu. You will not be disappointed!
Overall Review: 7/10
Check out all of Kopp’s custard options here
|Just take a first look at this!|
Last week I talked about the first burger I ate in Milwaukee, the “Food War” champ. Well later that night I ate my second burger in Milwaukee and one of the best burgers I’ve eaten in a long long time. Take a quick look to the left and you will see the ridiculous and amazing Hangover Stack.
We came here for a rehearsal dinner prior to my friend’s wedding so I cannot talk much about service and ambiance as we were in a back room and somewhat distracted. I also arrived after the appetizers were mostly consumed so you will get my unadulterated discussion about this one dish.
As you can see by the picture this is one tall burger. It starts with a 1/2 pound burger made up of Tallgrass beef cooked to order which is my first area of discussion. Remember last time when I went off on AJ Bombers about the up charge for good meat and the lack of temperature discussions? Also, when I reamed Slaw Dogs for their crappy hot dogs? Well, Stack’d was the exact opposite of both places and it was glorious! Start with a great foundation cooked well and the topping are just that, toppings. No matter how great the bacon, you can never hide crappy beef and Stack’d appears to understand.
Top it with some aged Wisconsin cheddar and thick cut bacon and you’ve got yourself a burger! But wait that is just the beginning. Next they add fried onions, lettuce, and tomato and an egg supposedly fried to your liking. Lastly they let you pick from your choice of bun and with server consultation I settled on the pretzel bun. She really twisted my arm. They top it all off with two fried pickles and then I took Virginia’s and added them to the middle of my burger, why not! Inconspicuously laid next to the burger were some of the most wonderfully fried onion rings. Hot and crispy and not greasy in the least.
|Juicy and delicious!|
I excitedly cut my burger in half so I could 1. get a picture and 2. figure out how to eat it and was both pleased and disappointed at the same time. The burger looked gorgeous, perfectly cooked to my mid-rare expectations, juicy and inviting. The toppings were well done, the lettuce crisp, and the tomatoes fresh. The one issue was the egg. This was the first time I ever ordered and egg on a burger and asked for it over medium. Over medium means creamy, not runny and not solid. Creamy, so it gets all over the rest of the burger but not the plate. Sadly my egg was overcooked and you can see it plainly in the picture where it is solidly stuck right in the middle of the burger. Sad times, maybe next time I will ask for over easy to make sure I get some savory egg flavor soaked into the meat and the bun.
On first bite you could tell that this was a serious burger at a serious burger restaurant. The meat was so juicy and perfectly cooked. It was without a doubt top shelf meat because regardless of the six different toppings the beef sang through. On the other hand, the toppings were awesome. The cheese was gooey and had a bite to it; the bacon was crispy and full of flavor. The fried onions strings and added fried pickles brought that greasy note to the party and the fresh vegetables cut through all the savory notes to make it all manageable. Without the lettuce and tomato there would be no way I could have finished the burger but I did! The egg was good and added some of the creamy element to the burger but I really wished it was cooked less. It just did not make the impact I thought it would. Now the pretzel bun…awesome! Nice and chewy and a little sweet it pulled the whole burger together.
All in all this was a great burger, one of the best I’ve had. I would have given it a solid 10 if not for the egg issue. I also could complain about the fact that I didn’t get my mini Tabasco bottle but I could have just asked if I really wanted it so I will take the blame for that one. This is a great place and next time I am in Milwaukee I will come back to see the main part of the restaurant. I will add also that they have over 100 varieties of local beers and both a gluten free and vegan menu. No wonder Renee and Gavin love it so much!
Overall Review: 8/10
Check out Stack’d online
When Virginia and I went to Milwaukee a few weeks ago to celebrate the marriage of our friends Renee and Gavin, I decided to check out this Food Wars champion. We flew overnight and arrived at out hotel at around 10:30 and instead of nap or do my Insanity workout I decided to stroll the two blocks over to AJ Bombers to try their famous cheeseburger. I got there at 11am when they opened and was the first patron in the place. I sat at the bar to have a chat with the bartender and took a look around. This was a pretty interesting place with some fun features that I will go into in a bit. The bartender suggested the peanut butter burger and the fried cheese curds (which I should have ordered, they are like mozzarella sticks on overdrive), but I chose to be traditional and order the Milwaukee burger and the Poutine.
So AJ Bombers is not only known for their cheeseburgers, they are also known for their peanuts. You can come into this place, get a bowl of peanuts, and toss all the used shells on the floor. My problem was that I did not know about the shell disposal program and since I was the first person there the floors were still clean. I was so confused that I ended up putting the peanuts shells in my pocket. I know, you’re laughing at me but I didn’t know any better. Once I saw the servers tossing shells on the floor I realized my foolishness and tossed away. The fun thing about these peanuts is the way they serve them. If you don’t sit at the bar you literally get bombed. They have these tracks installed on the ceiling with mini bombs attached. The bartender fills up the bomb with peanuts and wings it down the track at your table. The bomb slams into a bullseye above your table and the peanuts fall down a shoot into a metal container on your table. What an inventive and fun way to be served your bar nuts! I really wish I had thought to take a picture because this was really cool and added something different.
My food came out and it definitely looked like bar food, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. The Milwaukee Burger is their famous cheeseburger with Wisconsin Colby, bacon, and a pile of raw white onions.
|I’m gonna need a breath mint after this!|
This was a flat burger, yes a little in taste, but actually flat like the Earth pre-Galileo. This made me nervous because flat burgers often equal dry and overcooked burgers and now that I think about it, the bartender definitely did not ask me how I wanted the burger cooked. I said to myself “This burger won the food war, let’s give it a chance”. I picked it up and dug in. Not bad, it had some flavor and the cheese was delicious but it was definitely too cooked for my liking. I’m a mid rare kind of guy so mid to well is not my cup of tea. It tastes too much like shoe leather to me and I usually save that for Bella. Yes, Bella is my dog. The onions were good and added a freshness to the heavy cheese and bacon. The one thing I really did not like was the bun. I’m not sure what it was or if it was intentional but the bun was chewy. By chewy I really mean stale but maybe that is just the type of bun they work with. I’m not sure but it was just odd and not my favorite thing in this meal. All in all the burger was OK but if it was the best burger in Milwaukee I was in for a rough ride (Spoiler alert: It wasn’t even the best burger of the day, tune in next week for that review)
My side order of fries was the Wisconsin specialty called poutine. Sounds delicious doesn’t it? Well just like the idea of eating cheese curds makes Virginia queasy, I think the poutine would bring the same reaction. This dish is fries topped with some melted cheese curds and gravy. Super healthy and light on the calories count I’m sure.
|Mmmm cheese curds|
I admit, this was pretty good and fun to eat. I nice take on cheese fries and gravy though poutine rolls off the tongue much easier. The fries were crispy and had some good seasoning to them that held up to the toppings. The cheese was creamy and delicious, making me sad that I did not just get the fried curds as the bartender suggested. That’ll teach me to ignore the restaurant employees! The only issue I had here was the gravy. It was passable but I couldn’t get past the feeling that it was not homemade. Sometimes you just taste something and swear you’ve had it before in the dining hall and if you feel that way it’s got to be from a box because you know they don’t make fresh gravy in the dining hall. Ever.
All in all this was a fun place but not really a place I would come to if I didn’t plan on getting hammered and full of peanuts. I think that I could spend some time there on a Saturday watching college football because, when you’re drunk, everything greasy and cheesy tastes wonderful and throwing peanut shells on the floor is tons of fun but if I got a call to go somewhere else I’d be gone. Check it out and see if the peanut butter burger is a good as they claim.
Note: One thing I noticed is that you can pay $3.50 to upgrade your beef to %100 grass fed organic. That annoys me, you as basically telling me that your basic meat is crap so I should give you more money to get good food. Just serve the good meat all the time and factor it into the price. This was I don’t have to upgrade to good food, I just get it all the time.
Overall Review: 5/10
Check out AJ Bombers Online