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.
6411 W. Mequon Rd., (262) 292-5700.
Foxtown Brewing opened its doors to the public in Fall of 2019. But the brewing history (and brewery, literally) upon which it was built goes back to the mid-1800s. Even a brief dive into the history behind Foxtown Brewing gives you a fascinating peek at one of the oldest surviving brewery buildings in southeastern Wisconsin [Read more here].
And yet, Foxtown stands today as a modern brewery with a distinctly modern menu, plus spacious, well-appointed digs to boot. Head to the brewery and restaurant and you’ll find a menu of well executed brews and beer-friendly foods comprised primarily of sandwiches, salads and burgers.
On the burger side, the menu includes six options. Most are made with Foxtown’s freshly ground brisket patty; but you’ll also find an elk burger and the option to sub in a meatless Wisconsin classic: the nut-based Trempealeau walnut patty.
On my latest trip, I went with the brewery’s namesake burger: the Foxtown 1857 burger. It features a one-third pound house-ground brisket patty, Jones Farm bacon, aged cheddar, tomato onion jam and bone marrow butter on a sesame bun ($15). It comes with house-seasoned French fries and a pickle, but you can sub out the fries for sweet potato fries (+$1), a side salad (+$2) or soup (+$3). It paired up nicely with their 160 Acre Landbier (amber lager).
The burger is no sluff when it comes to looks. In fact, the Foxtown 1857 beckons with its classic bun, glistening beef patty, visible slices of well-cooked, thick-cut bacon and a glimpse of cheese. In fact, it communicates a great deal with very few apparent frills.
As for the bun, the sesame seeded variety is as classic as they come. This one was fresh and soft, with a nice light brown crust on the cut sides from its proper toasting. The bun also bore a rich butteriness, no doubt boosted by the meaty bone marrow butter.
The one-third pound patty had a definitively irregular shape and a beautiful crust on the exterior (concentrated mostly on one side). It was also heavily seasoned, verging on being nearly too salty. That said, its edges were crisp, almost like what you’d find on a well-executed smash burger (though the menu made no such claims), giving it those beautifully salty, crispy edges that make for delightful eating. Unfortunately, that came at the expense of the remaining beef, which was cooked well-done. There was enough fat in the meat to keep it from being dry (the bone marrow butter probably contributed here as well); but it possessed a firmness in texture from the cook that kept it from exuding the tender perfection of which it was capable.
Fortunately, it possessed the big, beefy flavor that one would expect from a brisket burger. And that was this burger’s big win.
As for the toppings, I was pleased to find that the tomato onion jam, while slightly sweet, erred on the fresh and savory side. It wasn’t overly sweet or cloying, making it an elevated stand-in for the usual ketchup and giving the burger a subtle pop of freshness (it needed something to counter all the meaty richness).
On the meaty side, the bone marrow butter offered a subtle, but notable meat-laden fattiness and the bacon was beautifully cooked, slowly enough that its fat was melt-in-your mouth crisp.
While cheddar is often lost on a burger, the aged cheese was nice here, offering a pleasantly acidic tang that helped to offer balance. While it was nicely melted, its distribution was the one chink in its armor. Some bites were rich with cheese flavor (those were the best bites), while others were devoid of it altogether.
You'll pay a bit of a premium for this burger, but it's tough to ignore the value of house-ground meat, let alone the choice of brisket, which offers up the meatiest flavor of most cuts. The attention to detail in terms of the housemade tomato onion jam and bone marrow butter also win points here. And yes, this burger comes with a generous portion of fries as well.
Foxtown delivers on a beefy burger that pairs well with any number of their brews.
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.