A Little Something Extra
Lagniappe might be the most difficult to pronounce name on the best burger list, but it did have one of my personal favorite burgers on the list. Lagniappe (lan-YAP) is a Cajun-French-Louisiana term for merchants in southern Louisiana who add “a little something” to your purchase as a small gift for making your purchase in their store or shop. Or restaurant in this case.
Lagniappe is very much an upscale restaurant located on the border of New Berlin and Brookfield on Greenfield Ave in the small, intimate building that used to house Steven Wade’s café. It is still an upscale restaurant that serves Continental cuisine, that being cuisine from different countries from around the world and what better item to have on your menu representing American cuisine but the American Hamburger. And Lagniappe perfects this creation in their Kobe Burger with 9 year old Cheddar cheese. If you want to experience as close to a “perfect burger” as you’ll find, this is it.
This is food porn at its finest. If you want a picture of a perfect cheese burger, this is it. No tower of toppings, no wilted lettuce, no special sauce, no secret ingredients or gimmicks to make this burger better. It stands on its own by the taste of the beef and cheese. Burger perfection. The Kobe patty is actually the American version of Kobe beef, Wagyu.
Kobe beef has strict guidelines to be called Kobe beef. It is from Tajima cows raised, fed and slaughtered in the Prefecture (state) of Hyogo Japan. It is fed a diet of special grain feed, a beer a day, and a rubdown with warn sake every day. I’m sure PETA would still think it is somehow cruel but it is pretty much the ultimate lifestyle in the bovine world.
Wagyu is the American version of Kobe beef since true Kobe beef is from those cows in the small region of Japan. America being one of the beef capitals of the world has our own version of Kobe known as Wagyu by breeding The Japanese Kobe cow with the American Angus for an animal that can thrive in our climate but tastes close to it’s Japanese cousin. Wagyu comes from the Japanese wa (Japanese) gyu (cow), Japanese Cow. They too are fed a special diet of alfalfa, barley, corn and wheat straw and a beer a day and then massaged with sake.
The result is fantastic tasting beef.
Since this is the simplest form of the cheeseburger at it’s purist, it needs to rely on all three of it’s simple components, the patty, cheese and bun. The bun itself is homemade and is big and sturdy enough for the job of supporting the large patty yet soft and yielding like a good bun should be. The patty itself is a perfectly formed patty that looks dry when it arrives with just the melted cheese oozing down it’s sides. When you bite into it however, there seems to be an invisible crust that kept all of the juices in because you are immediately met with juices running freely from the meat down your hands and arms and then on your plate.
The patty has wonderful beef flavor an the meat is almost granular in its consistency and it is so moist and juicy that it needs nothing else for flavor except the cheese. In this case the cheese is 9 year old cheddar which adds a great tang you can clearly taste which adds depth to the cheese flavor that ordinary cheddar just can’t touch. Nine year old cheddar is hard to find in a dairy case much less a restaurant but here it helps make one of the best cheeseburgers in Milwaukee. The cheese on my burger was made while Bill Clinton was still in office!
Served along with the burger are home made gaufrette potato chips which is a fancy way of saying waffle cut chips. I was tryinhg to remember what they taste like and couldn’t figure it out until it hit me, Muncho’s potato chips. They taste like a fancy looking Muncho potato chip. You also have your choice of caponata salad, cole slaw or cottage cheese.
This is a small, intimate restaurant (great romantic choice for Valentine’s day or other romantic occasion) that you want to wear something appropriate for and isn’t the typical sports bar type place to go for a cheeseburger but is worth the trip and definitely the $11 price tag for this perfect cheeseburger.
I’m ready for my beer and the sake massage now.
Reviewed By: Tom Graber