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For me, a visit to Camino always brings with it a bit of nostalgia. I still remember the days when the venue was home to Chef Kevin Sloan’s The Social, a restaurant that I’d credit with helping to pave the way for the current food scene in Walker’s Point. And while Camino maintains its very own character as a great craft beer bar with better-than-average food, it’s hard not to look at the tiny open kitchen and feel a twang of sentimentality.
It might be part of the reason I love the space so much. It’s casual and comfortable and always seems to be filled with a crowd of friendly faces. They have a great rotating selection of craft beers and ciders, so it seems there’s always something new to try.
As it turns out, it’s also a great spot to grab a burger.
On my latest visit, it was "Burger Time," a Wednesday promotion during which you can get unlimited toppings on your burger, along with a mound of fries, for $10. I didn’t take full advantage, opting instead to put the standard Camino burger (with its fried onions and American cheese to the test. I did add bacon, because who doesn’t like a little bit of crispy pig candy with their burger?
While a burger and fries presented in an aluminum plate isn’t likely to make you swoon, Camino’s burger is a fine looking specimen. The bun is shiny and fluffy, and the whole kaboodle is prettily presented with a pickle that’s skewered to the top of the burger to hold everything together.
Brioche buns are just plain delicious. And Camino’s is nicely grilled giving it a rich, caramelized flavor. The bun is also a smidge smaller than the burger, which some might consider a deficit. But I love the meaty bites you get around the edge as you eat through the burger.
Burgers at Camino are made to order, and mine came out perfectly cooked (medium-rare). The half-pound patty was juicy and loosely packed with good flavor. The seasoning was subtle, but it was enough to reinforce the meatiness and not so much that the burger ended up feeling like a salt bomb.
The onions were tasty and well grilled – just enough to be slightly caramelized and sweet, but not so much that they were mushy. The American cheese was slightly melted, and there was enough of it that you get a bit of its flavor in every bite. The bacon, which was a nice addition, was just crisp enough and had a subtly sweet flavor that made a great foil for the salty cheese and savory burger.
A burger and fries for $10 isn’t a bad deal any day. And when the burger is good (and hefty), as Camino’s is, I’d consider it a pretty darn good deal. Of course, if you insist, you can also head there on Meat Sweat Mondays when burgers are just $5. A total steal.
If you haven’t been to Camino, consider this your invitation to try it out.
Camino is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club.
When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.