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On the Burger Trail: The house burger at Easy Tyger

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.

Easy Tyger
1230 E. Brady St.
(414) 226-6640
easytygermke.net

I've always been a fan of the vibe at Easy Tyger. It's sleek and casual with its combination of warm wood, brick walls and varied seating. There are plenty of spots to cozy up for a nice (potentially shareable) dinner. The seating is comfortable. The art is whimsical, local and most is for sale. And there's just a good energy in the space.

I loved the menu when it focused on globally-inspired small plates, and admit to being a bit disappointed as it moved away from its street-food inspired fare. But I'm warming up to its evolution into an Asian fusion restaurant.

The menu showcases flavors of Southeast Asia through the medium of familiar comforting dishes like steamed buns filled with brisket, fried chicken and jerk tofu; tuna poke and steamed dumplings; and main dishes like okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake), salmon teriyaki and steaming bowls of miso ramen with pork. It also includes an ever-so-slightly Asian-inspired house burger, which I tried on my latest visit.

Picture a classic Miller pretzel roll filled with a teriyaki beef patty, thick cut bacon, a sunny-side up egg, pickled jalapenos, Japanese mayonnaise and American cheese served up with a side of sesame-forward Asian slaw ($11).

Presentation: 9

It's a lovely burger. Served on a slate board, the burger is well composed. Just glancing from the side, you can see the thick grilled patty, a swath of egg drooping over the side, a piece of crisp bacon and an ooze of melted American cheese. And it's all against the backdrop of colorful Asian slaw.

Bread/bun: 8

At first I wondered, why a pretzel bun? Sure, they're a popular choice these days, but is it a fit? It is. The bun is soft (but not too soft) and slightly sweet, giving a boost to the balanced flavor profile of the burger on the whole. It held up well, even when I cut the burger in half, allowing the yolk of the egg to run out onto the slate board. And it kept its composure from first bite to last.

Burger: 8

I never thought about it before, but teriyaki is a perfect match for a rich, beefy burger. I ordered mine medium rare, and it came on the medium side. But it was rich, tasty and slightly caramelized on the exterior, giving it nice crisp edges (something I love). The flavor was good, and the burger was juicy enough to stand on its own.

Toppings: 9

This is the first burger I've tried on the Burger Trail where texture truly played a starring role. That's due largely to thick, crisp bacon and the pickles, which added not only a pleasantly briney flavor, but also a fantastic crunch. Among the toppings, there was a bit of sweetness, a bit of salt and smoke, plenty of umami and richness from both the burger and the egg yolk. Really a nice combination of flavors and textures.

Value: 8

This is a good, well-thought-out burger at a very fair price. Definitely among my top picks so far.

Total: 42/50

I ordered it once, and I'd order it again. If you love burgers, this is a nice one. And if you love slightly more unusual burgers, it's even better.

Easy Tyger is open Monday through Friday from 3 to 10 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m.


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