Oscar’s Pub & Grill

Oscar’s The Grouch

Ok, ok, I know that I haven’t added any reviews to BBIM for a while but I wanted to get some reader feedback and make sure there weren’t any places that I missed.  Well I did here feedback from some people about Oscar’s burgers.  At first I thought they were talking about Oscar’s Custard & Burgers but then I found out about Oscar’s Bar & Grill.  Oscar’s Burgers & Custard is good, any time you can get a decent burger and real Milwaukee custard is a good thing but Oscar’s Pub burgers are on a whole different level.

First of all, Oscar’s is located in an unlikely spot on 17 & Pierce on the near south side of Milwaukee.  It is primarily an area that used to be industrial but could be the next up & coming area of urban renewal (for any of you budding Donald Trump tycoons). The neighborhood is pretty quite and like many other areas in Milwaukee is in transition as many post industrial cities are.  That is why Oscar’s seems out of place at first since it has a very warm and welcoming vibe to it once you are inside.

The overall feel of the relatively small bar is warm and relaxed.   There is a patio which is always nice in the warmer months that overlooks the Menomonee Valley and a nice spot to enjoy a burger and a beer.  There is even a ping pong table in the back of the bar which is always fun after having several beers with friends.  The staff is friendly and welcoming many times with Oscar himself behind the bar. No, Oscar is not a Grouch but very friendly & welcoming,  I just couldn’t think of another  famous Oscar to use in the headline other than Oscar The Grouch.

Oscar’s heritage is Mexican but he managed to take something as American as the hamburger and do it right.  There are 4 burgers on the menu: the Big O, Big Gringo, Big Foot and the Big Aloha and are all made from premium Black Angus ground beef..  The Big O ($7.25) has chipotle jack cheese, smoked Gouda cheese, thick hickory smoked bacon, fried onions, jalapenos and chorizo Mexican sausage.  The Big Gringo ($6.75) has white cheddar cheese, American cheese and thick sliced Hickory smoked bacon.  The Big Foot ($6.75) has crumbled bleu and Boursin cheese, lettuce & tomato.  The Aloha burger ($6.75) has Havarti cheese, pineapple, avocado and ham.  These prices are very reasonable for ANY burger these days but are a real bargain for an AWESOME burger!

I had the Big O which properly starts off with a nice sturdy roll which is slightly grilled.  Once you cut into the burger you can’t help notice one of the stars of the burger and that is the chorizo sausage.  Chorizo is the Mexican pork sausage that is made with Spanish paprika which gives the sausage its characteristic red color which is apparent immediately once you cut the burger or bite into it as the bun and plate turn bright red with the juice from the beef and the color from the chorizo.  I love new flavors on burgers BUT they must work well and not be different to be different.  The chorizo works because the spices and flavor from the pork sausage complement the excellent beef flavor of the ground Black Angus beef.

The smoked Hickory bacon is also front and center in taste as you first bite in.  In addition to the flavor from the meats, the flavored cheeses, fried onions and jalapenos work together to make the Big O a very enjoyable burger.  Don’t be afraid of the jalapenos since they are full of the jalapenos unique pepper flavor but not it’s characteristic heat.  In fact for those of you that are looking for more heat on your burger will be a little disappointed and may want to ask for peppers with a lot more kick.

I’ve had many orders of fries with the burgers I’ve reviewed (way too many) and most of them are the go-through-the-motions type fries where they are like any other standard bar fries.  These are not your average bar fries hanging around the bar (like bar flies, get it?).  These fries are freshly cut with the skin on which makes them brown up because the starch hasn’t been washed out of them which lets them get the deeper flavor after browning.  They are then sprinkled with a parmesan cheese and served with side of Oscar’s home made guacamole.  The guac is good enough to come down to Oscar’s to  have by itself.  It is chunky and full of flavor and finally someone adds enough cilantro to guacamole. Spot on!  Try dipping the fries in the guac and screw the ketchup!

I have yet to try any of the other Oscar’s burgers, butI will update this as I try the others which I will for sure be doing as Oscar’s may be a new bar, only opening in March of 2011 but they have already made their mark as one of the best burgers in Milwaukee.

Category: North

Oscar's Pub & Grill
1712 W. Pierce St. Milwaukee WI 414-810-1820