In this series, we’ll be hiking the burger trail to find the latest, greatest and most delicious burgers in Milwaukee. Click here for an explanation of the criteria used to rate each burger. Where have we been? Check out the complete catalog of burger reviews here.
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 Fredrich (Lo) is an eater, writer, wonderer, bon vivante, traveler, cook, gardener and girlwonder. Born and raised in the Milwaukee area, she has tried to leave many times, but seems to be drawn to this quirky city that smells of beer and alewives.
Some might say that she is a little obsessed with food. Lo would say she is A LOT obsessed with food. After all, she has been cooking, eating and enjoying food for decades and has no plans to retire anytime soon.
Lo's recipes and writing have been featured in a variety of publications including GO: Airtran Inflight Magazine, Cheese Connoisseur, Cooking Light, Edible Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, as well as on the blog Go Bold with Butter, the web site Wisconsin Cheese Talk, and in the quarterly online magazine Grate. Pair. Share.