One of Ben's new favorite foods is hamburgers, another phase that I remember going through as a teenager. We grilled out one time and as we were eating, Ben said "Ya know, this burger is really good. I really like hamburgers." I knew we had hit a turning point right then.
Now I know red meat is evil and carnivores are evil, and I know beef is bad for you and I know hamburger is the bottom of the beef food chain. I know. And Ben knows too. I told him it's not something you want to eat a lot of. It should be like a luxury item, or a treat. If you don't know this and keep it in check, it will eventually kill you with artery clogging swiftness.
At the same time, I know that a good burger is just a teeny taste of heaven on earth. I know the PETA folks will hate me for saying it, but it's true.
Lately, Ben and I have been on a "burger tour." Our area of Southeastern Wisconsin has its share of frozen custard restaurants and most of them serve burgers too. Here's a rundown/restaurant review and ranking based on what we've found so far.
- Kopps. So far, this is his favorite. These burgers are huge and greasy and delicious. I like them best with fried onions, but Ben's a purist; cheese and ketchup only. The ambiance of this place is like stepping back in time. Lots of stainless steel, humming custard machines and the cooks and cashiers all wear the white hats from the 50's. It's a must-see destination for all visitors to our house.
- White Castle. We went here yesterday while visiting family in Minnesota. I miss not having these down in Milwaukee. They're horrible for you, probably a low quality meat, yada, yada, yada, but they are amzingly good. Best enjoyed way after dark, preferably while you're sitting in the car. They were as good as I remember, but there were just more selections, including a Jalapeno Cheese slider and a bacon cheeseburger slider. I said this restaurant almost should be classified in a different class than the rest, because sliders are different. (And so are their after effects.) ;-0
- Murfs. Another custard stand favorite. These are also grilled and their stand is local only to Waukesha. They are not quite as big as Kopps, but they come hot off the grill and can be chased by a scoop of the flavor of the day.
- Oscars. This burger is actually my "fast food" favorite, not Ben's. I like them best because they're flame broiled and not as greasy as Kopps or Murfs. It has a decent ambiance to as well. Not as big as Kopps, but the white hats and custard machines churning away. It's still on Ben's as a place to try.
- Harry's. These are the best ever. They are not fast-food burgers, but are simply the best in Milwaukee, in my opinion. Top quality beef, done to perfection.
- Flameburger. I forgot about this place until we passed it yesterday after lunch at White Castle. It was a favorite of mine through college. Greasy spoon goodness that I've added to our list for when we return to Minnesota.
If you noticed I don't include any of the corporate heavyweights like McDonalds or Burger King. I can't eat those any more. They would be a last resort.
There are likely a ton more that are "must have's" as it's tough to make a bad burger.Like I said though, I have to keep it to a minimum or my doctor will hate me. I'm sure the PETA people already do, and I'm okay with that.