EATING ESTABLISHMENT   Milwaukee Burger Company

DINING DATE   Saturday June 29     

 

MEAL TIME     Dinner

ATTENDEES IN PARTY   4 (2 adults, 2 kids)

TOTAL BILL  - $59 w/ $9 tip

Ordered   “Do Gooder Burger” with Curd Sampler

 

ENTREE  Once the “new” joint in town a decade ago, the Milwaukee Burger Company is firmly seasoned into the meat of the area’s food rotation. When the place first opened, it feasted on the time-honored culinary business playbook known as “slap a city in front of a food item, making it sound ‘authentic’ and play to it”.  Eau Clarians knew it was a rouge, right down to locals regularly making fun of the restaurant’s one-time “Milwaukee-Style” short-hand for particular topping combos.  No such thing exists in the lexicon of the state!  While no doubt there are some fine burgers in Milwaukee, the only reason someone would travel to Milwaukee merely to feast on a burger would be if they were coming from a foreign land and their Google Translate became sentient and decided it wanted to send them away from brats and beers in an effort to try humor for the first time.

They could’ve called it the “Decatur Burger Company” or the “Baltimore Burger Company” or the “Hartford Burger Company” and the same effect would’ve been achieved (though “Milwaukee” allowed for easier expansion across the state)

That aside, MBC is a safe place that achieves the “chameleon” status the Hungry Italian loves. The place works for a salesperson taking an individual lunch break while between calls.  Its great for dates. After-work drinks. Taking the family while they’re in town. Bringing the young ones. All of it works.  The simple one-room layout is filled with TVs and though the “sports bar” concept became played out a few years ago the flickering images of events (usually the staff punts this and has on stations running replays while live events are on other channels) add an ambiance.

On this trip in which the Hungry Italian was escorting the family for the wife’s birthday (her choice to go to MBC) the burger of choice was the “Do-Gooder” a concoction that features mac-n-cheese and bacon on top of the burger.  A VETERAN move for any eater…order something you wouldn’t make at home. So avoid ordering simple bacon cheeseburgers at a place like MBC because you can make them at home, or get them at any bar in town.  We also got the Curd Sampler, which features both large brick “Curds” and the traditional curds. I like both, though I’m aware the “traditional” are actual curds (curds can’t be “blocks by their definition I’ve been informed by Wisconsinites and I’ll defer to the experts).

Our waitress was outstanding, checking on us every few minutes and with a very pleasant demeanor.  In fact, from the hostess stand until our hour long stay was up there was an energetic vibe from the staff and I’ve always found that to be common.

The downside to MBC is its location. Though highly visible, it (and the Pizza Hut next door) are located at the end of the rapidly deteriorating K-Mart lot and near some low-end Industrial buildings.  The arrival of a new tenant to the K-Mart plot (cross our fingers it’s Hy-Vee) would immediately erase this one issue.

BTW, the “Milwaukee Challenge” still exists but it’s long ago been deemphasized.  While it hasn’t been retired or mothballed like other original promotional gimmicks, it’s not highlighted either. Then again, it’s also been a number of years since the original (and real) Man vs. Food show was airing and the concept of food challenges seems a relic of those days.

SECOND HELPING?  Absolutely yes. Typically sees the shadow of the Hungry Italian two or three times a year.

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