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.
Good City Brewing Co.
2108 N. Farwell Ave.
Good City Brewing is among an increasing number of breweries across the nation that have upped the ante in their tasting rooms by adding chef-driven menus filled with elevated pub grub. It’s an asset for the brewery, which can attract a more broad audience, while also showcasing its beer in an entirely different light.
At Good City, you’ll find a menu styled with creations by Guy Davies, an Aussie-born chef whose internationally inspired creations make the perfect accompaniment to the impressive slate of Good City brews. And you can enjoy both in a warm, comfortable tap room that’s simultaneously lively and relaxing.
On my latest trip, I ordered the Brew Burger, a half pound of beef cooked to your liking, lettuce, tomato, caramelized onion, pickles, and your choice of cheese (I chose American) with Sriracha Russian sauce ($13). It comes with a choice of curry fries, kettle chips or slaw (I highly recommend the fries). I also added hardwood smoked, honey-cured bacon for an additional $3; but, as I will share, the burger really didn’t need it.
What can I say? This was a good looking burger from the start. It’s got a great shapely bun, visible layers of ingredients, and it comes neatly served in a paper-lined aluminum plate that (in my case) came to the table bearing the delectable aroma of Indian spices, thanks to a generous portion of the brewery’s curry fries. It’s a hunger-inducing combination.
All in all, the Good City Burger is well orchestrated, right down to the oft-overlooked bun. Sciortino’s brioche has a bit more heft than other brioche buns, making it a good match for this juicy burger. It was both soft and chewy with a nice crust and it lent a good sturdy backbone to the half-pound burger.
The burger itself, which comes made to order, was delicious. It was well-seasoned and beautifully juicy with a nice char on the exterior that resulted in slightly crisp edges and a fair amount of flavor. The meat was loosely packed with the perfect amount of pink on the interior (I ordered mine medium-rare).
The toppings were also well-appointed. The chopped lettuce was crisp and fresh, as was the tomato, albeit its status as a "winter" tomato. The (lightly) caramelized onions offered a subtle sweetness, and the nicely melted American cheese carried a bit of umami into every bite. The Sriracha Russian sauce was sweet and lively, but not too spicy. And there were plenty of pickles, which added a necessary acidic punch along with a bit of crunch. The bacon was also delicious; interestingly it was fully cooked, but not completely crisp; it was an aspect I didn't mind since it was tender enough to be folded beneath the burger, giving a bit of sweet smoky flavor to every bite. The bacon's flavor was exceptional, but not necessary; in fact, at $3 extra, I determined it was likely just gilding the lily.
The base price on this burger ($13) is more than fair when you consider both the overall flavor and quality of the burger. I made mine a bit more pricey with the addition of bacon, which was delicious; but the burger itself didn’t need the addition of porky goodness to shine.
In the end: Good City makes a really great burger.
Good City is open Tuesday and Wednesday from 4 p.m. to midnight, Thursday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to midnight and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.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.