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.
Glass + Griddle
1130 N 9th St.
My guess is that there are still a good number of people who haven’t made it out to Glass + Griddle, the beautiful new beer hall located adjacent to the new Milwaukee Brewing Co. facility on 9th Street.
The menu at the venue has evolved – and simplified – since opening. But the menu – which is replete with a nice variety of snacks, salads and sandwiches, is still dishing out fare that’s perfect with a pint or two of great beer. Among the options on the menu (yes, even the brunch menu) is a burger that’s worthy of note.
The G+G Simple burger features two patties with American cheese on a Kaiser roll ($10). A side of hand-cut fries, which easily feeds two, is $6 and comes with ranch dressing for dipping.
Pro tip: If you’d prefer a thicker, ½-pound pub-style burger, opt for the G+G Fancy which features a half-pound patty with beer cheese, b + b onions (bread & butter, pickled) and sun-dried tomato ketchup ($13)
There was a rich meaty smell wafting off of this burger from the moment it was placed in front of me; it was enough to make my stomach growl with anticipation. And a peek at the burger itself – with its beautifully domed Kaiser roll, messy, smashed patties and beautifully melted cheese – sealed the deal.
Last spring as Glass + Griddle was preparing to open, I recall a conversation with Chef Kyle Toner – who got his start working in restaurants on the East Coast – about the buns he’d be using for the burger on the menu. He was on the hunt for the perfect Kaiser roll, a necessity he said, for the burger he wanted to create. Gifted to the U.S. by European Jews, the bun (also known as a New York hard roll) is ubiquitous on the East Coast for burgers, breakfast sandwiches and everything in between. But (surprisingly) it had been a challenge to source one he loved. I was happy to see that he met with success.
The bun was substantial but soft, with a beautifully crisp exterior. It was perfectly sized for the patties, which ever-so-slightly overlapped the edges. And it contributed a nice yeasty flavor to the burger. As an added bonus, that same heady flavor is also a lovely complement to any beer you might be drinking.
This burger is, in my opinion, the epitome of the smashed burger genre. It’s a little bit greasy (just the right amount of greasy) and beautifully crisp on the edges, thanks to the magic of fat and heat. And it’s nicely seasoned. Just break off one of the straggly edges and taste it; you’ll see what I mean.
There’s really only one topping on this burger, and that’s the cheese. But it’s beautifully placed and it melts right into the cracks and craggles of the burger, ensuring you get a bit of flavor with every bite.
The burger was wanting in terms of a bit of acidic pop; but that’s easily remedied with the addition of the accompanying housemade pickles, which give a pop of vinegar and a bit of crunch to the burger. Not a fan of pickles? A bit of ketchup or mustard (from the condiment basket on the table) will do you nicely.
The G+G Simple doesn’t pull punches. It’s simple, straightforward and (most importantly) delicious. So, yes – if you like a good smash-style burger, and you don’t need a slew of toppings to make you happy – it’s worth your hard-earned $10.
If you’re craving a smash-style burger, it’s tough to go wrong with the G+G Simple.
The kitchen at Glass + Griddle is open Monday through Thursday from 4 to 10 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.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.