It’s not too often to be wowed by a burger.  After having more than 100 burgers to find the best in Milwaukee, many are just another burger that fails to make any kind of impression.  See that is what I am looking for, something that is above and beyond all the other burgers out there.  There has to be something that sets the burger apart from all others.  That is why I after going back to some places and reviewing places that were suggested to me by readers, I found the burger at Distil.

As part of the SURG group, Distil like their other restaurants like Carnivor, Mi-Keys, Umami Moto, Graffito, Charro and others offers more upscale (and expensive) dining in the Downtown area of Milwaukee.  Their food tends to be done at a higher level and it should come as no surprise that when they offered a burger on the menu, it would be great although I did have the burger at Mi-Keys, it was good but that’s all.  This isn’t GoodBurgersInMilwaukee.com this is BESTBurgersInMilwaukee.com.

Distil is foremost a place for cocktails that also serves a very small menu but very refined menu.  In fact, everything Distil does is focused on the more refined from the ingredients used in their food to the many liquors, wines and cheeses.  Just in whiskey they have a selection of more than 100 varieties.  They have plates of cheese or charcuterie (variety of meats) and other food offerings that go well with fine wines or upscale cocktails.  As I sat at the bar, it was fascinating watching the bartenders as they crafted each cocktail with a lot of  care and skill.  These are far from whiskey sours and brandy old fashions, they are all made from craft liquors and top ingredients  and are on the pricier side but are part of the experience of an upscale night out.

There is only one burger offered at Distil, the Hidden Creek Farm Burger named for the SURG Group’s farm in New London WI where they raise their own vegetables & cows where they get their beef for their restaurants.  The meat is actually butchered right across the street at Charro by the chef at Distil so the meat is fresh and locally sourced and lately I’m on a high grade quality meat kick as in that is what helps make a great burger.

The Hidden Creek Burger is $11 and it’s description says: “Aged cheddar, boubon onion jam and roasted garlic mayo” which is simple enough but doesn’t even hint at what you are in store for.  The first thing you notice on your first bite into the burger is the incredible amount of flavor in the onions.  Onion jam just doesn’t sound like anything you want on a burger BUT these are the best ‘grilled’ onions you will ever have.  In fact it will kind of ruin it for any other grilled onions you will ever have on a burger again.  That is because most places don’t grill their onions for four days!  In fact, I’m pretty sure no one else does.  They typically start off with 75-100 pounds of onions and slowly let them simmer in butter and Jim Beam bourbon whiskey so they become a deep dark caramelized brown  elixir that is insanely sweet and flavorful.  The roasted garlic mayo just adds to the depth of flavor and make this one of my favorite burgers in Milwaukee.  Lagniappe is still my favorite but this has to be a close second.

The fact that that the meat is so full of juice and flavor too that it becomes a little difficult to eat but will be a burger you remember 9and even fantasize about if you are on a burger quest as I have been.  As awesome as the onions are, I don’t want to short change the beef.  As I’ve said, I’m paying more attention to the beef recently and looking for those burgers that you really can taste the higher quality in the choice of beef they use.  Here the simple four elements combine for a truly outstanding burger.  If you are in Milwaukee from out of town and don’t have much time to make it to some of the suburban locations to try a burger in Milwaukee, try the Hidden  Farms burger. You won’t be disappointed .

Category: North