Stack’d Burger Bar

Bison burger on Texas toast with bbq sauce and onion rings

Burger bars with locally sourced ingredients (along with taquerias, noodle bars and breakfast/brunch spots) seem to be all that’s opening these days. Not that I’m complaining. Along with the new DMK Burger Bar (watch for a post this week), I also recently checked out Stack’d, a new burger bar in Milwaukee. Kopp’s pretty much reigns when it comes to Milwaukee’s best burger, but this place is a promising contender. What I noticed first about the menu, (and something more restaurants should adopt), was a build-your-own burger option, with some pretty tasty rolls like Miller Bakery pretzel rolls, gluten-free Texas toast and regular bun for the bread offerings, patties like lean-bison, Wisconsin grass-fed beef and handmade black bean veggie, and fixins’ like jalapeño peppers, Nueske’s bacon and fried onions. But even if you don’t opt to stack your own, the specialty burgers on tap are all ridiculous-the hangover stack is beef burger with fried onions, bacon, Cheddar, lettuce, tomato, fried egg and Tabasco, while the German stack is a jalapeño blue cheese beer brat patty with raw onions, sauerkraut and stone-ground mustard. They also offer a salmon patty with fresh dill, a pulled pork stack and a veal, lamb and bison patty burger. I had been hearing a lot about bison meat, and felt compelled to go for the Don’t Mess with Texas; lean bison burger with pepperjack, jalapeños, fried onions and bbq sauce. The meat was juicy and flavorful, slightly gamier and heartier than regular beef, but not too bold to be on a burger. I loved that a traditional bun was replaced by buttered Texas toast which I could just eat on its own, and the crisp onion rings added more texture to each bite. The homemade barbecue sauce also added some tang, but only after an extra dousing. Fried pickles and skin-on potato wedges on the side more than rounded out our meal.

Tyranena 3 Beaches Honey Blonde from Lake Mills, WI

Like any good burger joint (and one in Brew City, no less), the beer selection is plentiful. I loved all the local offerings like Sprecher Abbey Ale, Lakefront East Side Dark, and New Glarus Spotted Cow, and even made a new discovery; Tyranena from Lake Mills, WI, located just outside of Madison. With names like Bitter Woman IPA, Headless Man amber, I had to try a few, including 3 Beaches Honey Blonde, perfectly light and crisp for summer, but definitely not strong enough to pair properly with the bison. Luckily, there are plenty of heartier ales that do stack up, from Three Floyd’s Gumball Head to Rogue Imperial Stout. 170 S. First Street, Milwaukee, WI

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