Sobelman’s/Tallgrass

Milwaukee’s Best Burger?

That is the question that was to be settled on The Travel Channel’s Food Wars in 2010 when Sobelman’s went head to head with AJ Bombers in a Cheeseburger Challenge.  It pitted Dave Sobelman against Joe Sorge of AJ Bombers.  Unfortunately the way the contest was structured, they each had to come up with their own version of a cheeseburger for the contest but not the ones featured at their bars.  This still left it up to debate “Who has the best burger in Milwaukee”?

There really is only one way to find out-try them out for yourself.  Now, unfortunately for Dave, the 3 judges found in favor of Joe’s version of a cheeseburger but Dave didn’t miss a beat-he was out the next day with The Loser Burger in honor of the cheeseburger that lost as well came out with a free Loser t-shirt to the first 1000 people who came in the next day.  There is still a raging debate with rabid fans on both sides but the only way to settle it is trying both.  I’d give the edge to Sobelman’s.

In August of 2011, Dave opened a third location on 16th & Wells which is in addition to Tallgrass  at 1952 N. Farwell which features natural grass fed beef (see below) .  This is a great location and open later at night to satisfy the munchies of students after bar time much like Suburpia was back in the day.  But now instaed of subs, it will be a Sobelman’s burger everyone craves at bartime.

The Sobelman burger starts with a great country butter roll which a is key start to a great burger.  It then has a 1/3 pound fresh Black Angus patty topped with tree kinds of cheese, American, Swiss and Cheddar. It then gets topped with grilled onions and sliced jalapenos.  Don’t worry, these are pretty tame for jalapenos and aren’t very hot.  You can always get a few more added and some hot sauce on the side if you do like more heat.  This is definitely a CHEESEburger as you will see as you bite into it and the three cheeses are all melting over the patty(s).

I say patty(s) because at Sobelman’s, you can add as many patties as you want to create an ever increasing big burger until you have one that Adam Richman from Man Versus Food on the Travel Channel may have second thoughts about.  When Dave first started out on the edge of Miller Valley, there were a lot of construction workers that would come in to Sobelman’s for lunch and after work.   Dave had to have a way of satisfying some very large appetites and that is how the Big SOB was born.

Sobelman’s is also known for their Bloody Mary’s which come topped with their own salad bar and a good sized beer chaser.

You can even watch your burger being made on the Burger Cam.  There is a live feed to a monitor in the main dining area that shows the burgers on the grill upstairs.  On Saturdays the grill is pretty much covered in burgers all day long.

Sobelman's Burger Cam

With Sobelman’s being on 19th and St.Paul Ave, it is easy to get to from the freeway but if you are on the East Side and want to have a Sobelman’s burger, you are in luck because there is Tallgrass, Dave’s other burger shop on Farwell Ave on Milwaukee’s East Side. They have the same burger at Tallgrass, but it is made of grass fed beef which gives the meat a slightly different but good flavor.  The ingredients are all fresh and made to be healthier than your average cheeseburger.

Tallgrass Fresco Burger

You can get a Fresco Burger that has chipotle Jack cheese, avocado, tomato and raw onion and if you ask the they can make the same burger with a black bean patty on top of the grass fed beef patty and topped with jalapenos for a more Mexican accented healthy burger.

If you live on the East Side, you can even have your burgers delivered right to your door by Tallgrass’ delivery service!  That is convenient especially when parking on the East Side can be tricky at peak times.

If you live on the East Side, you can even have your burgers delivered right to your door by Tallgrass’ delivery service!  That is convenient especially when parking on the East Side can be tricky at peak times.

Sobelman’s

Reviewed By: Tom Graber

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Category: Downtown