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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.
2491 S. Superior St.
In many ways, Palomino is the quintessential Milwaukee bar and grill. Located in a primarily residential area in Bay View, it’s got a corner bar feel. It’s just divey enough that there’s never pretense, folks are friendly and the scratch-made food is both comforting and delicious.
Southern fare is the emphasis at Palomino these days and you’ll find dishes like fried chicken, a veggie po’ boy, pulled pork and sides like pimento macaroni and cheese, spicy street corn and handmade tots. You’ll also find a great dessert menu with housemade pies and cake. The bar is a great place to hang, and you’ll find a stellar beer list, an amazing whiskey collection and great cocktails, including offerings like a beer-barrel aged old fashioned.
As it turns out, it’s also a great spot to get a burger. The double brisket burger features two quarter-pound patties, American cheese, chopped onions and pickles, and secret sauce on a brioche bun with a side of fries ($13).
Give this one a medal for looking great right out of the kitchen. Delivered on a classic diner-style plate, the burger features a beautifully shiny browned brioche bun stacked high with beef patties that are covered in beautifully melted cheese. You’ll also find house pickles (so good) and plenty of fries on the side.
Brioche is always a nice choice for a burger, but somehow this bun was particularly good. It was perfectly browned and shiny with a pillowy soft texture that gave in immediately to the pressure of my fingers as I picked it up to take a bite. The cut sides of the bun were grilled to crisp, offering up a bit of texture and defense against the juicy burger.
It makes a huge difference when spots take care with their burgers. In this case, brisket is freshly ground, hand patted (you can tell by the burgers thickness and irregular shape) and perfectly cooked. The burgers are thin, so you won’t find them cooked to order. But, what you will find are two juicy patties with a big beefy flavor.
The burger patties at Palomino shine. But, the toppings are what give the burger its ultra-classic flavor. American cheese offers up a dose of umami that’s balanced by a "secret sauce" that’s tangy and creamy (and delicious enough that I’d be tempted to order a cup of it to eat with my fries). The pickles keep things fresh and crisp. Meanwhile, raw onions give the burger that classic burger joint flavor.
For $13, you’re unlikely to walk away hungry. The double burger is substantial in and of itself, and it’s delicious. It’s got all the flavors of a solid, classic diner-style burger with upgrades including the burger mix, which makes great use of brisket, one of the meatiest, most delicious cuts on any cow.
The brisket burger at Palomino is a great example of a classic diner-style burger that’s been elevated with the use of exceptionally high quality ingredients. It’s a must try.
Palomino is open Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 12 a.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.