(Her) When I read multiple online sources telling me that Sobelman’s was the best burger in Milwaukee, I guess I had to see for myself. Funny thing however, that when I talked to people in Milwaukee they had never heard of them. I think when you are dealing with things online, you can dub yourself the best at anything and there’s really no one to argue with you.
I had a list of potential stops on this trip to choose from but the hubby chose Sobelman’s based on the fact that it’s in an old Schlitz Outlet and he likes buildings with history. I really wish I had tried harder to talk him out of it.
Sobelman’s does have some real credentials, it’s jalapeno, bacon, and cheese burger is award winning and they have been featured on Food Network’s Food Wars where they went bun to bun with AJ Bombers and by the way….lost. They also pride themselves in their bloody mary’s topped with every condiment known to man. (it’s a Wisconsin thing) I don’t know about their bloody mary’s because I can’t stand the stuff and I don’t know who keeps voting them best burger in Milwaukee, but I’d like to slap them upside the head with their own taste buds.
I also wish that upon getting my burger I didn’t see that the patty was a precisely formed Angus beef patty that looked like it had seen my mother’s plastic Tupperware burger mold. No char, sear, or anything to make the gray meat look like it had seen a grill or flat top. While I’m on my soapbox, let me just say that I’m so over the Angus beef thing. No one out there reading this can tell the difference between Angus and otherwise once you slather something with as many cheeses and condiments your mind can dream up. Unfortunately, no amount of cheese could cover up the fact that the Sobelman’s burger is grossly under seasoned and lacking of flavor.
My favorite part of the meal was it’s price (the two of us ate for around $15.00 which is short of a miracle in Milwaukee) and the bun. The bun was picture perfect and tastes somewhat like a soft pretzel. Honestly, the burger completely took a backseat to the bun for me.
To be fair to Sobelman’s, I come from a different burger loving stock. I grew up in Green Bay–home of tailgating and grilling at the Packers games and the Kroll’s Diner butter burger. Like my beloved Late’s in Manitowoc, Kroll’s has been around longer than my own parents have and it is these burgers that define what a burger should be for me. In my area of Wisconsin, we take our grilling seriously. Let’s not forget that it is MY uncle that makes my darling hubby’s #4 burger and I feel like even I could grill up a better burger than Sobelman’s. So yeah, I’m a bit of a burger snob.
I’m going to give some scores now, because I honestly can’t believe I’ve wasted this much breath on this burger.
(him) The building was the best part. My review should probably end with that, but it won’t so let’s give it a go. Back in the day when Schlitz was king of beers in Milwaukee or at least duke, they would open satellite bars in Milwaukee that would sell the Schlitz product and only Schlitz. Sobelman’s is housed in an old Schlitz Bar and it is a very cool place. The public is only allowed on floor one even though 3 floors exist. The building is old but it is clean. Various chatzkis line every nook and cranny of the joint. The place is clean and the waitstaff plenty helpful enough. The waitresses were all about 20 years from their hottest peaks and still acted like hot chicks. I was ok with that as long as our waitress kept the ice teas flowing (which she did). The bar portion of the place was hot and that is where we ate however as I took a stroll through the building I soon realized the air condition side room was where should have been….oh well.
The Wife mentioned the various toppings offered on their burgers so I won’t dive into that territory. Our sentiments match though on the end result. I had a burger with 3 cheeses. I could not taste any flavor of the cheeses…how is that freaking possible? The burger lacked any taste and the only redeeming quality was the aforementioned bun. The fries were decent and the ice tea was borderline OK. I can’t see any other reason to talk about the grub.
The place doesn’t deserve a score but if i have to give it one I’ll go with a 4.987. If they move to another building then the score will be a 3.75.