AHT: Milwaukee

Burger reviews in the Milwaukee area.

Big Brew Pub Burgers at Sprecher's Restaurant and Pub in Milwaukee

[Photographs: Lacey Muszynski]

Sprecher's Restaurant and Pub

5689 N Bayshore Drive, Glendale, WI 53217 (map); 414-292-0600; sprecherspub.com/glendale
Cooking Method: Grilled
Short Order: A brewery pub that serves up juicy burgers in a German-inspired atmosphere
Want Fries With That? Fries aren't bad, but there are plenty of other side choices to pick from
Price: Brew House burger, $10 w/2 toppings, +25¢ for each extra topping; 911 burger, $12; Reuben bites, $9

Sprecher Brewery is located in Glendale, a northern suburb of Milwaukee. They're quite popular in the area for their amazing root beer and sodas as well as their beverages of the alcoholic variety. A few years ago, they opened a couple of pubs around the state but nothing in the Milwaukee area. I hadn't been able to try those locations, so I was pretty happy to hear they were opening a new location right in my neighborhood last fall.

On Tuesday nights, Sprecher's offers a burger deal were you can get a burger and any of their beers or sodas for just $8. There's an extra $2 charge for some of the more massive burgs, but that's hardly a sticking point when it comes to these big, bold beauties.

The standard, build-your-own Brew House burger (starting at $10) allowed me to indulge in my favorite cheese+grilled onions+pickles combo. I doubled down on the cheese with cheddar and American and added buttery sautéed onions. Thick pickle chips came on the side. The cheese wasn't melted on the edges that stuck out of the bun, but thankfully it was melty in the middle. The toppings covered a generous half-pound patty that was grilled perfectly to my requested medium, a rare feat around these parts. It was tender and juicy, even leaving some drips of juices—and a little grease—on the plate before I dug in. Grill marks were deep and crusty, just the way I like them.

The bun was light and fluffy but stood up to the juices and toppings without falling apart or getting soggy—optimal bun performance.

This burger's bigger cousin, the 911 Burger ($12), is a behemoth topped with pulled pork, pepperjack, bacon, and deep fried jalapeños. The pork was good—tender with a decidedly Southwest flair including lots of chili powder and cumin—but it overpowered the beef, which was also cooked perfectly medium. The fried jalapeños were perhaps the hottest I've ever had on a sandwich, a welcome surprise. Pepperjack got completely lost under that giant pile of pork, as expected. The two strips of thick-cut bacon were substantial enough to compete with the pulled pork. And if you're a fan of pretzel buns, this one's for you. I was pleased that it wasn't dry like so many pretzel buns I've had in the past.

Each burger comes with a side (even on $8 burger night). Sprecher beer cheese potatoes were extremely heavy, starchy, and filling. Imagine mac and cheese with chunks of half-mashed potatoes in place of the macaroni, with a slight beer bitterness. The thick, skin-on fries looked great but weren't anything special. The Rueben bites app was similarly nondescript. If I didn't know I was eating corned beef, I'm not sure I would have been able to guess it was in there.

Of course, the root beer was delicious as always. It's sharp with a nice foamy head from the tap. If you can get your hands on it in other parts of the country, you must try it.

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I had a snafu with terrible service at the hostess station and almost walked out, but I decided to take a seat at the bar and was glad I did. The bartenders were outgoing and friendly and food arrived quickly. If you're thinking of trying Sprecher's, I recommend giving burger night a try.

About the author: Lacey Muszynski is an editor, freelance writer and restaurant reviewer from Milwaukee, WI. When she's not burgerblogging on AHT, she might be updating her food blog, making fun of the Food Network, or wondering what her art degree has to do with all of this. Her idols growing up included Martin Yan, Chairman Kaga, and whoever was on Great Chefs, Great Cities that day.

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