My first Milwaukee burger review comes as a bit of an accident. Well, I visited Milwaukee this weekend with the intent of reviewing my first burger but the restaurant was a total surprise. Nonetheless, I was able to stop at the Bay View Sports Bar and Grill and try a delicious burger.
In August of this year (2011) I will be a student at Marquette’s Law School. Now, however, I live in Evanston, IL (graduate of Northwester…GO CATS!) and work at a church in nearby Glencoe. As August draws near, I decided that it might be a good idea to take a day trip to Milwaukee and make my first burger review while also scoping out prospective places to live (please make suggestions in the comments!). The purpose of this blog is to 1: give me an excuse to eat burgers at least once a week, and 2: give me incentive to explore my new home city.
Besides burgers, my other great love is soccer. Saturday was the UEFA Champions League final, so I decided that I’d make the trip up to Milwaukee to both scope out future soccer bars and get a chance to do my first burger review.
The first stop was the Nomad World Pub on Brady. The match started at 1:45, so I arrived at the pub at 1:30 hoping to grab a table and get my order in before my focus turned to the match (Manchester United and Barcelona were the competitors…I cheered on the victor, Barcelona, to…um…victor). After finally finding a parking spot I walked over to the Nomad only to discover that it was completely full. A line outside stretched and piled up making it difficult to see any tvs. Luckily, I had a backup plan.
During a previous trip to Milwaukee I had the pleasure of stopping at The Highbury to watch the FA Cup final between Chelsea and Everton (sadly my Everton Toffees lost). I loved the Highbury but wanted to try another bar hence my trip to the Nomad. After discovering the long line at the Nomad I jumped in my car and headed toward the Highbury, determined to make it in time for the 1:45 kickoff.
I arrived at the Kinnickinnic location at 1:45, quickly filled up the meter (I’m definitely not a fan of the 2 hour limits in all of the MIlwaukee meters!), and headed over toward the Highbury. Before I reached the door I noticed yet another massive line. Quickly, a man came out and announced that the Highbury was at capacity. I was seemingly out of options (anyone know of any other soccer bars in Milwaukee besides the Nomad or the Highbury? Does there even need to be another?). Conveniently, the Bay View Sports Bar and Grill happened to be right across the street from the Highbury.
I dashed over to the Bay View Sports Bar and Grill (BSBG from now on) and grabbed a table. All of the TVs were turned on to the match. After grabbing a menu I had a chance to take in my surroundings. There were probably 20 other people in the small but more than adequate bar. All were dressed in soccer gear cheering on either Man U or my preferred Barça, presumedly all spillover from the Highbury. There were more than enough TVs on the green walls painted with white football lines and adorned with various sports memorabilia (including a few Braun jerseys and a US Mens soccer jersey). It was a great place to watch the game and became quite raucous as the game progressed. I highly recommend the BSBG for any sports watching you may need to do.
After a few minutes of searching I found the burger on the menu. The burger was described as “freshly ground” and came with your choice of TWO cheeses! I’ve never had a burger that came standard with two different cheeses. You Wisconsinites sure do love your cheese. I should have taken notes on both the cheeses (I remember American, Cheddar, Swiss, Pepper Jack) and the bun (I think it was a Kaiser Roll?) but it’s my first post…so cut me some slack!
When the bartender came over I ordered a cheese burger with Cheddar and Swiss cheese. The bartender, a lovely woman dressed in an American flag adorned shirt with white skinny jeans and black high-tops, asked if I would prefer steak fries or regular fries and I chose the steak fries.
About 10 minutes later my burger was delivered in a great little red basket sided with lettuce, tomato and a pickle spear…none of which I enjoy on my burgers. Thankfully, these sides were all…on the side…so I didn’t have to worry with taking them off. The bun was immediately the most noticeable element to BSBG’s 8 oz burger. The fluffy, dusty brown Kaiser Roll adequately covered but did not overwhelm the beef. My eyes were then drawn to the to cheeses, Cheddar and Swiss, mixing together to form a beautifully delicious white and yellow mixture. Finally, I noticed the beef. It looked like your typical 8 oz pub burger.
Onward to the taste. First, the bun. The bun was large but delicious. It was soft and fresh (making it surprisingly easy to eat) and brought a good, subtly sweet flavor to the burger. Both cheeses thankfully missed together to create a delicious addition to the flavorful beef. The beef was between 1/2 and 3/4 of an inch thick and completely filled the bun. I was not given a choice of burger temperature (I prefer Medium-Rare to Medium), and the burger seemed to be cooked to Medium-Well. It was a very good Medium-Well. While not excessively juicy the burger was full of flavor and had just enough juice to get the job done. All in all, the burger was very tasty but not a spectacular burger. It was definitely above average in terms of typical pub burger fare, but just barely.
The steak fries are the real winner at BSBG. The fries looked closer to potato wedges, and tasted that way also. They were perfectly fried to a light golden brown and were deliciously soft and fluffy on the inside. The surprising addition to the steak fries was a subtle hint of a buttery flavor. It was DELICIOUS. I’m sure this is a bit hyperbolic (again, it’s my first post…give me a break!) but the steak fries alone are worth the trip to the BSBG.
With my burger and fries finished, I watched the rest of the game with the rowdy crowd. The amiable bartender was always on hand to refill my Diet Coke, and was incredibly friendly and boisterous. Great ambiance, great service, really good burger.
Before I get into a solid ranking system I’ll give this one a shot:
Bun (1-5): 4
– Incredibly fresh, soft, fluffy and sweet. Added to but did not dominate the burger.
Cheese (1-5): 3.5
– I worried that I might have made a mistake in my cheese selection but thankfully I did not. I’m not sure how well all of the other cheese will go together, but this mixture of Cheddar and Swiss was a definitely winner.
Beef (1-5): 3
– Really solid beef. Good flavor, nice amount of juice, and not too done for a Medium-Well burger.
Fries (1-5): 6
– I can’t rave enough about the steak fries. Do yourself a favor and make a trip to the BSBG and grab these delicious, fluffily, buttery steak fries.
– If you’ve got a sporting event to watch (or are a fry fanatic), I would highly suggest giving the Bay View Sports Bar and Grill a shot. Good burger, great fries, great ambiance, great staff, great place.
– I’ve give the Bay View Sports Bar and Grill a solid 3 out of 5