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.
Atmosphere-wise, Stack’d is the sort of place that falls halfway in between a fast casual spot and a sit-down restaurant. The interior is warm, decked out with wooden paneling and a variety of seats from bar-side stools to high tops, booths and low tables. Televisions give folks a chance to catch the game while enjoying a beer, craft cocktail or a bite to eat.
On my most recent visit, I decided to tackle Stack'd's most popular burger: The Hangover Stack featuring grass-fed beef smothered with fried onions, bacon, Wisconsin cheddar, lettuce, tomato and a fried egg ($14). I'm a fan of a great burger with an egg on top, so I was excited to see how it would fare.
The substantial burger was delivered to my table open-faced in an aluminum tin, surrounded by a huge mound of french fries. It was pretty enough, cloaked in over-easy egg and mounded with sweet fried onions. I'm a fan of the fried pickle (frickle), so it was a pleasantry to see one atop my burger, secured forcefully with the much-needed steak knife.
At Stack’d, you get your choice of bun (classic roll, pretzel bun, Texas toast or Angelic Bakehouse sprouted grain roll), and I opted for a pretzel bun. Not only do I think they add a nice flavor to burgers of almost any stripe, but they also tend to hold up well against juicy burgers (and in this case, runny egg). The bun was a nice choice, flavor-wise. It augmented the sweetness of the onions and the saltiness of the burger and bacon. But I don’t think any bun could really have held up to this burger, which was juicy and loaded with toppings that just longed to ooze and drip everywhere.
Burgers at Stack’d come cooked to order, so I ordered mine medium-rare. By the time it reached my table, it was cooked ever so slightly closer to medium than I would have liked, but it still maintained a nice juiciness and slightly pink interior. The patty was also well seasoned, with a nice meaty flavor. Overall a solid piece of ground meat.
Toppings-wise, there were plenty. "Smothered" (which is what the menu says) is the perfect way to describe the onions, which were very sweet, tender and plentiful. My egg – which I ordered over-easy – was just that, and they get big points for that. The yolk oozed delightfully when cut, adding plenty of moisture to the already messy burger. The cheese was well melted and flavorful. The bacon could’ve been slightly more crisp, but it still added a nice texture. It’s still winter, so the tomato wasn’t amazing; but it was better than average. There was also gorgeous leaf lettuce, which I found added more to the beauty of the burger than its flavor.
At $14, this isn’t the cheapest burger in the west. However, the ingredients are of good quality (grass-fed beef, Wisconsin cheese, a quality bun) and the egg was properly cooked, which definitely makes a difference in terms of value. Even more importantly, the flavor was good. The plate also came piled high with French fries (more than I could eat), adding a decent value to the plate.
If you’re looking for a place to hang where you can grab a nice, juicy burger with plenty of choices for toppings, Stack’d is a great bet.
Stack’d Burger Bar is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 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.