Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Holy Grail... The Butter Burger

This event happen on May 4th 08'

Solly's Grille (pg. 296-297 Hamburger America, Motz) Well I am a very lucky Guy. One of the places mentioned in the Documentary Film Hamburger America is just a hour + drive for me. Solly's Grille is in Glendale WI, a burb' of Milwaukee. A chance to use my new GPS Garmin. I am glad George but addresses in his book!! My Garmin got me to Solly's with no problems, even the arrival time was right on the money.

The first thing you will notice is the yellow horseshoe counter. I take my seat at the counter. Now I try to get to places after their lunch rush, so I get there at 1 pm. There are about 6-8 customers counting myself. Once again I go on what my Hamburger Bible (Hamburger America) says.... I order a Butter Burger "without." That is no stewed onions. I also get a Coke and a side of fries. A couple is to my right a few stools down. She is eating a Butter Burger. He is eating a Cheesehead. The Cheesehead burger has grilled mushrooms, stewed and raw onions, swiss, american cheese. I got full just looking at it!! There is a good picture on Solly's website in the gallery section. Speaking of pictures.... The Butter Burger is a tough model to take pictures of. So sorry no pics of the Butter Buger, yet.

Well within a few minutes my order arrives. Just like the picture in the book. Cut in half on a small white plate. I take a bite.....................

Have you ever ate food that takes you back to a time when you were younger. Well this bite did!! I thought of my grandmother's cooking, real butter with everything she made. By the time I come out of my hypnotic trance, I have one of the halves gone already. Let me tell you something. BURGER LOVERS MUST EAT THIS BURGER!!! It is soooooo good you will want another one, which I did. "Another Butter Burger please." "This time with stewed onions." Again the first bite is heaven. You wonder if you have to eat fast because the butter is melting, which is a good thing. Lets just say you don't have to scarf it down to avoid a mess. Oh you will clean your plate. Save some of the burger to wipe the plate clean!

I have my book to for the owner Glenn Fieber to sign. Bad luck again for me, Glenn is not there. The waitress says he will be in on Tuesday. Well I have her sign my book anyway. I tell her I will drive the hour + to catch Glenn.
The waitress tells me about a guy that takes a train up from Chicago once a month to get a sack full of Butter Burgers. Well having the book makes customers around me ask questions about the book and the film. I sit and talk with them for awhile.

Fast forward to Tuesday May 6th. I get there about the same time as I did on Sunday. Glenn is already gone!!!! Oh well " A Butter Burger without and a Coke please." As I wait customers again ask me about my book I have with me. One of the customers is a 80 year old woman. She has been eating at Solly's since she was 15 yrs old. The customers and I talk burgers. They tell me about other places to try around the area. What a fun time and a great burger. I can't wait to have another one. Like I said any burger lover or fan on Hamburger America should visit Solly's Grille!

On the drive home I took a side trip to Jefferson WI to go to Peterson's (pg. 294-296 Hamburger America, Motz) I get there and the name is now Wendl's. The Peterson's sold it to the Wendl's in 07'. Two young men are inside, one is Robert Wendl. He is the one in pictured in the shack on pg. 295. I order a single to go. While I wait I have Robert sign my book. I get my burger and walk with my brown paper bag back to my car. I take a seat in my car and take a bite. George hit it on the head when describing the taste... Peppery. I like pepper and this was not too much for me. I finish the burger in no time, which means I love it.

What a great day!! I missed Glenn at Solly's but I had a Butter Burger plus a Single from Wendl's. Life is Good!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Dotty's Dumplings Dowry

This event happen April 15th 08'

On the hunt for Burgers..... On my list Dotty's Dumpling Dowry in Madison WI. (pg. 291-292, Hamburger America, Motz) I have lived in the Madison area for most of my life. Never have I had a burger from Dotty's. Heck I probably have driven by it 100 times. Well it is April here in WI. Cool, windy and I am wishing it was June. First thing you will notice about Dotty's is the interior design of this place. From stained glass windows, to model aircraft. If you look above the Bar you feel like you are at a flea market. I take a seat at the bar and order a beer first. Yeah the big guys of beer are on tap, Bud and Miller. Take a closer look, Dotty's has 20+ taps.... so man up and try a different beer here. I went with Hoppalicious (from Ale Asylum
a local Brew House.) I then ordered my burger. The "Build Your Own." I just added mustard, pickles with a side of Fries. Just a heads up.... The serving of Cheese Curds are a meal by itself at Dotty's, like most places in Wisconsin. Now the Burger is grilled on an open flame. I order my medium (which is the standard practice here.)

I get my burger. Now I work at a Bar that serves "Flamed Grilled" burgers, so I like the taste a "Flame" gives a burger. The burger was good, you could tell it was fresh down to the bun. I have had bad burgers and I left happy from Dotty's.

Once again I have my Hamburger America book with me. Jeff Stanely the owner is not there to sign my book bummer right. Well I do get someone to sign it though...... Jeff's daughter Rachael. This opens up a conversation about burgers and the bar business. Rachael is one reason I would go back to Dotty's. She knows her stuff and is a people person. This place has been voted "Best in Madison" over 20 times by readers of Madison Magazine and Isthmus-Daily Page. I can see why...not just the good burger but the place makes you feel like you are visiting a good friend.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

My first Subject.... The Plaza Burger!

This event happen on Tuesday April 4th 2008.

Subject: The Plaza Burger @ The Plaza Tavern, Madison WI

Just about a little after 1 pm I entered The Plaza Tavern. The Bar was full with about 4-5 booths full also. The reason...well the Burger and the Brewers were on. It is opening day and Bill Hall just hit a 2 run HR. I have my Hamburger America book, which I just purchase a a few days ago. Going on what George Motz order in the book, I did the same. The Plaza Burger and Deep Fried Cheese Curds. Within minutes I have it. It is cut in half. The first bite you are thinking hamburger then the sauce hits your taste buds! Tangy is a good word. It is strong but not overbearing. I am wondering where my burger has gone. I finished it that fast. It is that good. I should have not ordered the the Curds, I could have saved room for another Plaza Burger.

The Staff notices I have the Hamburger America book on the bar. "Cool." one of the waitress goes. Dean Hetue the owner is working. He comes over... "I thought it came out later in the month!?!?" He is grinning ear to ear. I ask if he would sign my book.... and he does. I let him read about his place (pg. 292-294 Hamburger America, Motz) His first words are "Good they gave Mary credit for the sauce." He is still smiling. I ask when George was in. "He was in about a year ago." Dean says. We chat a bit about Doug Moe's article in the Wisconsin State Journal. Which I missed... but with the internet you can find everything... You will find the article under the Burger Links section.

I will be back for a Plaza Burger, no curds next time I want to save room!

Side note- You will use your burger to clean the sauce off the plate.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

My first Blog Post!

Well I did it. I started a blog. What am I thinking. I have to put time into this thing!!! I have to learn my way around the system. So that means I have to learn how to add, delete, copy/cut/paste, links, hyper text..... So be patient with me as I point and click to learn how to make this blog. The layout (colors) are suppose to remind you of a hamburger. Bun, lettuce and burger. The text makes the grill marks and the color red and yellow.... Well of course ketcup and mustard. Ok maybe I point and clicked too much on how to use this. Now the subject matter for this blog will be Hamburgers or Burgers for short. You will see why I picked that subject and who, what influences my love for Burgers. Buckle up it should be a fun ride.....once I figure out things!!! Stay Tuned