Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Milwaukee Burger Company Grill and Bar - Eau Clair, Wisconsin

         So how long has it been? Well over a year and half I believe. It's not that I haven't had any burgers, I just haven't been inspired lately... or maybe I'm just lazy. Probably lazy.
So here I am now fully inspired, all gung ho and ready to tell you about not just one burger, but two!
.... and maybe an appetizer.
         That's right this is a 2 for 1 blog with an appetizer!
         So here's the story.
         The time in most parents lives had finally come for us and we needed to bring our oldest son to college. Not just any college, but a university. North Central University in Minneapolis. It's a small Bible school about 4 block away from the metro dome. So as any good parent would do when taking their kid away to school... we checked out Yelp for the best restaurants in the area.
         Minneapolis is an interesting town. They have 7 billion stoplights in a 3 block area, and all the streets are one way, going the same direction. However there's no one on those streets because they're all on the highway at 11 at night causing 6 hour traffic jams. I'll leave it up to you to determine if I'm exaggerating.
         On Friday we did some exploring and found a small, I mean absolutely tiny, hot dog joint that was featured on Diners Drive ins and Dives. This place fell very comfortably into the dive category.
It is called the Weinery (in case you want to look it up) and they serve... I think like 15 different kinds of hot dogs. Oh, by the way, this isn't the place I'm blogging about. but it was awesome and I just want to talk about it. They've got the Chicago just like we like it. They've got a Manhattan with chili, cheese and onions. They've got dogs with cole slaw, dogs with baked beans, dogs with bacon and on and on and on... Oversized plates of cheese fries and onion rings. Thick milkshakes and we only paid $20 for the three of us. And the staff was super friendly. They really made you feel like you were their best friend. Check it out if you ever go up.
       Moving on...
       We spent Saturday moving Ben in to his dorm. The 5th floor of a brick building with no air conditioning. Oh it was in the upper 90's all week. YAY! His room has a nice southern exposure so as to get plenty of sunlight to help bring the temperature of the wood furniture near is combustion point. It's OK though. We bought him a fan.
        It really is all good though. It's a beautiful campus and he is very excited about his future there.
        So now we're at Sunday... burger day.
        We started at the Mall of America. Pretty much to work up an appetite. And go to the Lego store, and the chocolate shops, and the Minnesot-eh! store. And the Packers/cheese store, just to tell them I'm a Bears fan. I did buy a nice hat though.
         So from there it was the hour and a half drive to Eau Claire. (this is where the burgers are) As I said before, being responsible adults we quickly tuned in to Yelp to find a place for dinner. It was gonna be Red Lobster. We were sure of it. I mean... Endless shrimp! Come on now! Then I saw it. 4 out of 5 stars. 21 reviews. That's a pretty good ratio. So that's where we ended up.
         The first thing we noticed was the parking lot was full. Good sign. The hostess was smiley and friendly and sat us right away. Big tables with comfy booth seats. They had TV's everywhere, most with the Vikings on.
The Juicy Milly
         Their signature burger is the Juicy Milly. This was what Melissa got. (but we actually split them) It's a take off on the Juicy Lucy from nearby Minneapolis. I never got the size of the burgers but they seemed to be about a half pound. This one they stuff with cheese. It had a Velveeta constancy. We cut it open and the cheese oozed out. Oh man! She ordered it with sauteed mushrooms. The burger's are cooked on a flat top. You can tell this by the crunchy layer of flavor all around the burger. The buns were super soft, but held up to the burger, topping and the juices.
The Juicy Milly - See all that cheese!
          I ordered the Brown Sugar and Smoked Cheddar Burger. This had brown sugar cured, thick cut bacon, smoked cheddar cheese, Pabst soaked grilled onions and a honey BBQ sauce. The quality of the ingredients really took me by surprise. The burgers are all homemade handpacked patties. the buns were that day fresh and everything else was just top notch. This may sound funny, but, it had flavor!
          I chose not to order fries, so I got the soup instead, bacon cheeseburger soup. This was cheeseburger in soup form. A drinkable cheeseburger! It was basically cheddar cheese soup with hamburger in it. It also had diced bacon, onions and maybe diced tomato, but it could have been diced red bell pepper. I couldn't tell, what I could tell is that it was awesome!
The Brown Sugar, Smoked Cheddar
          So oh yeah, the appetizer. We got the Eau Claire Style, Classic Cheese Curds. These are like 2 inch by 2 inch blocks of cheddar cheese that are battered and deep fried. The batter wasn't' spicy, but it was seasoned well with salt, pepper and I'm thinking cayenne, maybe, not sure. They weren't greasy at all and came 9 in an order. They were served with ranch and chipotle ranch sauces. My cholesterol's going up just thinking about it.
The Brown Sugar, Smoked Cheddar
         It's a bit of a hike for just a burger, it's about 5 to 6 hours from Chicago, but if you're ever going up that way, I-94 west, you've gotta stop here. 
         Anyway, that's along story just to tell you about a couple of burgers, but it's the story of how I ended up at Milwaukee Burger Company Grill and Bar.