(Sorry I don’t have photos for this burger, something happened to them…pirates.)
Once again, it takes me about 100 years to write a follow-up blog post. I’d still like to do one a week, but who knows at this point?
This also may be the post where the 3 readers that I have from Milwaukee might start to hate me. I’m sorry! At least you can take solace in the fact that we’re in the midst of a heatwave here in Milwaukee. Sadly, if living in the Chicago area for the last 5 years has taught me anything it’s that the weather in this are is a cruel mistress. She’ll lure you in with her warmth and then, just when you get comfortable, slam the door with a -10˚ day. Typical woman…shameful (this is a joke).
If you’re a long-time Milwauker (don’t question it) you’re going to be unhappy because I’m about to criticize one of the bastions of Milwaukee burgers. Yes, friends, this is where I liken the bland burgers at Kopp’s Custard to Iron Man 2.
First off, and to Kopp’s credit, Kopp’s is not primarily known for it’s burgers. Kopp’s is a custard…joint. Sadly, this isn’t a custard blog. To do my burgerly duty, I bit the bullet and grabbed a Kopp’s burger.
I went into this burger with very high expectations. All of us in the Midwest grew up with some form of Dairy Bar burger in the summertime, and per Kopp’s reputation, I was hoping to find a sort of heroic take on that summertime classic. Similarly, all of us saw the great Iron Man. Iron Man was a great take on the superhero genre. A few years earlier Christopher Nolan gave us the surprisingly great Batman Begins, but there had yet to be another superhero movie to capture that real aspect of life that Batman and Robin lacked (BE COOL!). Iron Man seemed like an unlikely hero to have such a movie made about him, but the combination of Jon Favreau and Robert Downey Jr. provided us with a fantastic take on a hero that is very far from reality.
I’m not trying to say that the summertime Dairy Bar burgers were ever really good (in reality they were dry slabs of over-cooked, freezer-burned beef) but they meant something to us (that it was summer) and they still mean something to us today. Those burgers are Iron Man 1.
When I received my cheeseburger at Kopp’s I was immediately taken back to that place (the summertime Dairy Bar). The bag was familiar, the smell was familiar, and the wrapped up burger looked like a familiar, if much larger version of the original. Like the Kopp’s burger, Iron Man 2 begins as a much larger version of the original. The second Iron Man is a huge film with a beautifully rendered World’s Fair-esque Stark Expo that dominates a good part of the movie. Add all of that CGI to an overly tanned (and probably juiced) Mickey Rourke wielding laser-whips and Sam Rockwell being Sam Rockwell, and we’ve got a mess on our hands. Iron Man 2 launched from where Iron Man 1 ended and expanded on EVERYTHING. It was like Ryan Braun having a great season and then deciding he needed to take steroids to have an even better season the next year, and then disappointing everyone (OK, it’s not at all like that but I’m a Reds fan and wanted to bother you Brewers people).
The Kopp’s burger is a 1/4 lb burger that is STREEEEETTTTTCHED onto an oversize bun. Because of this stretching, the burger looks MASSIVE and, sadly, is incredibly dry. I realize that Kopp’s doesn’t freeze their beef, but these burgers are so thin that it gets much too cold in the refrigerator and doesn’t taste well after being cooked. A further complication from the 1/4 lb Stretch Armstrong burger is the lack of the juiciness one would expect from a top quality 1/4 lb burger (see AJ Bombers for a great example of how to do a really good 1/4 lb burger). This stretched out beef patty is the death blow to the Kopp’s burger.
Iron Man 2 and the Kopp’s burgers try to be so much more than what we’re used to and fail at that. Sometimes bigger isn’t always better. That’s not what she said. I’m a child.
On to the ratings:
Beef (1-5): 1
– The beef on this 1/4 lb patty might have tasted good had it not been stretched out over the length of the MASSIVE bun. It was over-cooked and dry, not appetizing. It was tough for me to eat the entire burger. Please don’t hate me.
Bun (1-5): 4
– The bun was the only good part of this burger. While the bun was much to large (and the root of all of the evil of this burger) it was delicious. It has a really sweet flavor almost reminiscent of a Hawaiian roll. If Kopp’s took this bun and made it smaller then they might have a much better burger on their hands
Cheese (1-5): 3
– The cheese was pretty good. It was a little bit too runny, but it helped add to the burger (if that is even possible here)
Fries (1-5): 3
– There really isn’t anything special about the Kopp’s fries. I should have gotten custard.
– Kopp’s is a Milwaukee legend. Please go there and get custard, but don’t grab a burger. If you’re looking for a good butter burger then go to Culver’s. If you’re looking for a 1/4 lb burger then go to AJ Bombers.
– The Kopp’s burger gets a 1 out of 5. Sorry, Milwaukee; I can’t make you love me.