There’s no point in re-discussing how long it has been since I previously posted. I don’t think the five of you (hi mom!) who will read this actually care that much. So, onward, upward, and…um…forward?
Horrible way to start a pretend restaurant review, but any start is better than the starting speech that Chipper Jones gave at this year’s all-star game. Ouch, just dreadful.
Faithful reader (hi, again, mom!) you may ask yourself, “where does he find such delicious (and sometimes not so delicious) burger joints in the greater Milwaukee area?” I wish I could produce some great list of insider blogs and conversations that elicit the names of these restaurants, but that isn’t how things work. Most of my suggestions come from the Serious Eats blog’s A Hamburger Today section. The rest of the suggestions come from friends who have a much greater knowledge of Milwaukee than I do. I realize how…sketchy…it sounds to get restaurant review suggestions from a blog that, well, mostly does restaurant reviews, but, I promise I don’t read the articles! Seriously, I don’t. I usually sneak a peak at the headline, put a star beside the milwaukee posts in my trusty Google Reader, and forget about the articles until the time comes for a new burger. So, that means that the 8 of you who read this should probably post suggestions in the comments…or on twitter.
Also, some congratulations is in order for me not mentioning the weather yet. I think most of my previous posts began in some weather-related way, but not this one. I am pretty tired about talking about the weather. Seriously. Sometime’s it is hot, other times it is cold. It’s frustrating. But, we all experience the weather. Weather is one of the few things that we all do…well, experience. We all eat, we all sleep, we all go to the bathroom, and we all have weather. Weather is sort of like a poop joke. Poop is funny in any language like the weather is experienced in any language.
I’m not sure how I got on the subject of poop. Uh…moving on.
Henry’s Pub and Grille is a small pub on Belleview Place, just west of the Downer Theatre. Henry’s is literally just around the corner from the Downer. Luckily, Henry’s is a delicious place to grab a bite right before seeing a flick (that’s right, I said flick) at The Downer.
The interior of Henry’s is pretty nondescript. The main bar area is relatively small, so you might have to sit at the bar. There are some cool old signs hanging on the wall, but honestly none of them stood out. What did stand out was the Nader Burger.
That’s right, Nader burger. I’m not sure how this burger got it’s name, but I’m going to assume that it has nothing to do with famous Green Party Presidential Candidate (and 2002 Democratic presidential saboteur) (and seatbelt aficionado) Ralph Nader. Though, if it is named after Ralph Nader then I applaud Henry’s commitment to either irony or…um…all things green.
To be honest, I really don’t remember much about the bun. That’s not a bad thing. Unless a bun is so fantastic that it implants itself into my brain like a Yeerk, it’s a good thing to be unmemorable. This bun is exactly that. As my single, blurry, Zapruder-esque photo shows, the bun was very well grilled. My burger was pretty juicy and I didn’t have to make excessive use of my napkin, so the bun did a great job of both containing my ample burger and protecting my hands from being grease-machines.
The burger came out looking a big like a swollen hockey puck. It was very dense, and bizarrely fat. I ordered my burger cooked to medium, and, while a little too grey in the middle, it was appropriately juicy. My biggest complaint about this beef was that it was a little cold. It seemed like our server may have accidentally left my burger waiting to be served too long or maybe it was cooked before the others. It wasn’t cold to the point of being bad, it was just…cold. The seasoning of the Nader burger is undisclosed (the menu says that it is a “secret”) but it added a wonderful smokiness to the meat. The delicious seasoning worked in random with the wonderfully charred exterior to provide a nice, grilled, summery flavor.
I particularly liked the cheese on the Nader burger. It oozed (good ooze, not bad ooze) off the side of the burger and onto the top of the bottom bun (apparently called the heel of the bun…the more you know). The flavor was the delicious Wisconsin Cheddar that we all love, not too sharp with just the smallest hit of sweetness. Lovely cheese here.
Nueske’s bacon. Do I need to say anything else? You just can’t do Nueske’s bacon poorly. It’s always great. This bacon was wonderfully cooked and all around spectacular. I like bacon. It’s neat.
Bacon aside. Ok, America, we get it. Bacon is good, it’s delicious, all that stuff. Can we please stop with all of the bacon hipster nonsense? It’s obnoxious. Seriously. If the bacon backlash hasn’t started yet then it will. Like (almost) everyone else in the country I love bacon. Let’s agree to stop shoving bacon imagery down everyone’s throats and stick to shoving slices of bacon down our throats (GROSS).
I ordered tater tots with my (not Ralph) Nader burger, but the burgers also come with fries. I visited with a group of people, so I luckily had the opportunity to try some fries. First, though, the tots. They were alright. Tots aren’t too hard to do correctly. Most tots are just frozen tots that are thawed and fried. That’s not a bad thing. Unless you have a spectacular sweet potato tot (I’m looking at you Palomino) or some amazing tot made in house, then you’re getting about the standard tot. These were definitely your standard tater tot, not special but not bad. The fries, however, were delicious. Get the fries when you go to Henry’s. They’re perfectly fried and deliciously seasoned with some lovely green spices. Not sure what they were seasoned with, but they were seasoned. The fries may very well have been pre-frozen but they tasted like they were fresh cut. Good on you, Henry.
One warning about Henry’s, the kitchen closes at 9:00 pm on weeknights (and maybe weekends too?) so get there at a reasonable dinner time. On to the ratings.
Beef (1-5): 4
– Despite it’s bursting hockey puck appearance, this beef is quite tasty. The seasoning added a delicious smoky flavor, and the char on the outside was near perfect. My only complaint is the coldness of the burger. I would also recommend getting the burger a little less cooked than you normally would
Bun (1-5): 3
– The bun did it’s job, was well toasted, and didn’t make me too full. Good on you, bun! Way to go!
Bacon (1-5): 5
– Uh, it’s bacon. Unless it’s turkey bacon, it’s probably a 5. Turkey bacon is garbage. Turkey bacon is blasphemous. Take your turkey bacon and get the rip out of here!
Cheese (1-5): 4
– I really liked this cheese. It was perfectly cooked and a nice mixture of stringy and solid. Henry’s gives you a choice between a number of cheeses, but I’d recommend going with the cheddar.
Tots (1-5): 3
– These tots were…tots. Nothing special about them, just tots.
Fries (1-5): 4
– The fries were really good. Get the fries. They were perfectly cooked and deliciously seasoned. I’m not sure how they were seasoned, but it was greenish in color and delicious in taste.
– Henry’s is the perfect place to grab some delicious pub food before a lovely night at The Downer. Go for it.
– The Nader Burger is a tasty piece of beef. I say 3 out of 5. Not bad.
– I understand that my individual number rankings don’t really average out to the final burger ranking. Sorry. The purpose of that individual burger ranking is to give an overall ranking and a recommendation for you.
Let me make this a little more clear. The following is an explanation of what the rankings actually mean.
0 out of 5: This is bad, don’t even try this because this place didn’t really try to make a decent burger.
– An example of this would be a disgusting fast food burger.
1 out of 5: A 1 burger attempts to be good, but just isn’t. There really isn’t any point in eating a 1 burger.
– Sorry, but Kopp’s burgers are a 1.
2 out of 5: These burgers aren’t really good, but it’s not their fault. A 2 burger tries really hard but just can’t quite make it into the realm of deliciousness. These burgers aren’t bad, and you might like them. But, eater beware.
– An example of this is the Comet Big Luck Burger that tries a little to hard to be something that it isn’t.
3 out of 5: A 3 burger is a good, solid burger that you can feel comfortable with eating. A 3 doesn’t blow you away, but a 3 satisfies your hunger and leaves you feeling happy. A 3 is perfectly fine.
– This burger, from Henry’s is a 3.
4 out of 5: A 4 is a great burger that you should seek out as soon as possible. 4s are delicious and leave you wanting more. That’s what she said.
– An example of this would be the Bunratty Burger at County Clare
5 out of 5: 5 is reserved for the best of the best. For a burger to be a 5 it has to be one of the best burgers in your life. A 5 burger has no burgers that are better than it and only a small number of equals.
– The best example of this burger is the Juicy Lucy from the 5-8 Club. In my 24 years of life, this is the best burger that I have ever eaten.