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.
Miller Time Pub & Grill
509 West Wisconsin Ave.
There’s plenty of Milwaukee spirit wrapped in the decor at the Miller Time Pub & Grill. Just take a look around and you’ll see vintage photos, Miller paraphernalia and plenty of reminders that you’re dining in the Cream City. You’ll also witness a casual atmosphere where '90s rock music echoes in the background and men in suits sit side-by-side with locals and tourists in jeans and T-shirts.
The pub also makes an effort to capture the spirit of Milwaukee’s brewing history, not only in their decor, but also in a multitude of beer-friendly dishes and impressive beer list. Have questions on pairing your meal with an ice cold beer? Just ask and they’ll send a cicerone (certified beer server) to your table to give you all the information you need.
Among other offerings, there are nine burgers on the menu at Miller Time Pub. And they're categorized as "Iconic Burgers," a moniker that really raises the bar for one's expectations, even before ordering.
I ordered The Classic, because with a name like that, it should be the most solid on the menu. Right? Right. It features two freshly ground beef patties, American cheese, signature beer onions, crisp lettuce and tomato ($11).
It’s not fancy or fussy. What you see is what you get: a fine looking double-patty burger with a glossy bun, served up on a rectangular white plate with a generous portion of French fries.
Your burger will arrive on a relatively average white bakery bun with just enough heft to cradle the burgers and toppings. Mine was buttered and gently toasted, giving it a bit more resilience against the moisture in the beer onions and tomato.
The burgers themselves are thin smash-style burgers with a slight char. They’re well seasoned, so they pack a fair amount of flavor. And despite the fact that they’re too thin to be cooked to order, the blend holds enough moisture to escape being dry.
The lettuce was notably crisp, providing a pleasant textural crunch. The tomato was thinly sliced, so it didn’t have a tendency to slide off the burger as some do. And there was plenty of cheese, enough to offer a bit of salty umami flavor in each bite. In fact, the one disappointment for me was in the signature beer onions. I expected to encounter fried onions which were full-flavored, slightly caramelized and toothy. Instead, they were very soft and pale, with just a hint of beer flavor.
I won’t scoff at paying $11 for a burger. It was a solid classic burger that satiated my craving. But, was it the best value I’ve seen? I can’t say it was.
Miller Time Pub makes a decent burger. The Classic wasn’t a burger I’d go too far out of my way for, but it’s one I’d eat again if I happened to be in the neighborhood and was looking for a dependable lunch. I’d also be inclined to stop by and order one of the other burgers on the menu, many of which are thicker patties (and cooked to order).
Miller Time Pub & Grill is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to midnight and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.; the bar is open later.
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.