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Solly’s Grille – butter burgers – Milwaukee


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#1 Sweet Willie

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Posted 08 August 2003 - 10:50 AM

Had read about Solly’s butter burgers and was up in Milwaukee yesterday.
Took my nephew, a Marquette student, to Solly’s, he is pretty happy because anytime Uncle Bill comes in town, he is going to eat.

The new Solly’s (the old one was moved a block or so due to a Medical complex going up) is located at 4629 N. Port Washington Road. As one walks inside you see two U shaped counters (the same ones as in the old Sollys?).

We sat down and both ordered the regular butter burger, fries and a raspberry lemonade.

Fries came a few minutes before the burgers which was fine w/us as we were starving. They were good crinkle cut fries.

Now the burger comes, I had ordered mine w/sautéed onions. Before I state my opinion, I need to state that our house is a dairy free house, I will still bring in my cheese now and then but that is it, I do all the cooking and just have never used much dairy in my cooking so it was easy to give up.

First, I can barely pick up the burger because of the soppy butter filled lower bun, immediately make mental note to order raw onions next time. I take a bite, my mouth is filled w/warm butter and beef taste, Almost a patty melt texture/taste. A good burger, unique.

Next time I go back I will order the raw onions, there was no need for the sautéed onions (think MORE butter) IMO.

Solly's Grille
4629 N. Port Washington Rd.
Milwaukee
414-332-8808

http://www.foodspot.com/sollys/
"I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be"

#2 Fresser

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Posted 18 October 2004 - 05:34 AM

Solly's Burgers in Milwaukee serves up grilled burgers with a "(G)ood heaping tablespoon of good Wisconsin butter" dolloped on top. Frankly, the idea of putting butter on beef makes me shiver (as it's a no-no in kosher cooking), but some people seem to enjoy it.

Has anyone been there?
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#3 Carrot Top

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Posted 18 October 2004 - 05:57 AM

Quite often the flavor of a grilled steak is enhanced by topping at service time with a small piece of softened butter that has been blended with minced herbs and lemon....
And of course Bearnaise Sauce, which is traditionally served with beef, is major-time butter madness. (Of a wonderful sort, to my mind :smile: )

But a burger...there is something about the texture that says 'no' to butter in my mind. Though there might be a way....mustard butter, maybe...

#4 kuan

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Posted 18 October 2004 - 06:18 AM

Some places rest their steaks in butter. Butter makes everything better :)

#5 Carrot Top

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Posted 18 October 2004 - 06:38 AM

Frankly, the idea of putting butter on beef makes me shiver (as it's a no-no in kosher cooking), but some people seem to enjoy it.

Has anyone been there?

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Yes, Fresser. It is most definitely traif.
With all that infers...( :shock: :biggrin: )

#6 Varmint

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Posted 18 October 2004 - 06:54 AM

Seeing how common cheeseburgers are, the burger-butter combination isn't all that extraordinary. I have been to Solly's and the butter just adds some more richness to the burger -- not that it's needed. Butter burgers are common in Wisconsin, as is a large pat of butter on a steak -- visit Coerper's Five O'Clock Club for a good example of that!

One other thought, religious issues aside, would you mind if your burger were fried in melted butter? If not, then the butter pat shouldn't be that big of a leap, either.

But to make the burger extraordinarily rich, you just form the burger around a central chunk of butter and cook away. That way, you ensure butter becomes an integral part of the sandwich. :wink:
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#7 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 18 October 2004 - 07:52 AM

As others have mentioned, this is fairly common in WI and at least a few steak houses (e.g. Ruth's Chris) put butter on steaks as well. I've never really thought that it makes much of a discernable difference on the burgers but herb butter on a steak definitely does. But the Kosher issue isn't in play for me. In fact, IMO, the only thing wrong with cheeseburger is that doesn't come, by default, with bacon as well. :wink: :biggrin:

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#8 Fresser

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Posted 18 October 2004 - 08:02 AM

Seeing how common cheeseburgers are, the burger-butter combination isn't all that extraordinary.  I have been to Solly's and the butter just adds some more richness to the burger -- not that it's needed.  Butter burgers are common in Wisconsin, as is a large pat of butter on a steak -- visit Coerper's Five O'Clock Club for a good example of that!

One other thought, religious issues aside, would you mind if your burger were fried in melted butter?  If not, then the butter pat shouldn't be that big of a leap, either.

But to make the burger extraordinarily rich, you just form the burger around a central chunk of butter and cook away.  That way, you ensure butter becomes an integral part of the sandwich.  :wink:

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Voracious Varmint,

Actually, the meat-vs-dairy conflict is so bred into me that I couldn't stomach beef sauteed in butter. As I understand, before milk was pasteurized, it was dangerous to mix meat with milk, so that apprehension may still be with me.
There are two sides to every story and one side to a Möbius band.

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#9 Huevos del Toro

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Posted 19 October 2004 - 05:56 AM

Culvers has their signature ButterBurger® but it's buttered buns, not buttered meat. Still a rather tasty burger. Not award winning but freshly made with fresh ingredients.

If I'm going to add anything to the meat I'll sometimes bury a little blue cheese in the middle.

I have been known to add a knob of butter to a steak but good beef doesn't really need anything more that salt, pepper, and an extremely hot cast iron skillet, finished off under the broiler.





edited to add last paragraph.

Edited by Huevos del Toro, 19 October 2004 - 06:03 AM.

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#10 Louisa Chu

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Posted 19 October 2004 - 07:15 AM

Click here for the Hamburger America site - a documentary about American burgers and the people behind them - which in my opinion deserved some kind of special award at the Cannes film festival - had they submitted it. Scroll down for some heart-pounding pix of Solly's butter burgers. AND download the trailer - food porn at its finest. As Glenn - the owner of Solly's says - "Good food should be made with a lot of love and a lot of butter."

#11 razer

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 04:55 PM

"The Wheel" drive in in Sedalia MO makes a Guberburger - peanut butter on a hamburger. Worth driving a few miles out of the way for!

DD

#12 yellow truffle

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 05:52 PM

"The Wheel" drive in in Sedalia MO makes a Guberburger - peanut butter on a hamburger. Worth driving a few miles out of the way for!

That sounds interesting. :wacko:

From the American Profile:

“Oh, my goodness, you’ve just got to try one,” Roy Alexander, 74, says about the Guberburger, the hometown favorite brushed with melted peanut butter at the Wheel Inn Drive-in in Sedalia, Mo., (pop. 20,339). It’s been served since the 1950s when an out-of-towner swapped the idea for an order of Susie-Q’s (curly fries).



#13 wordwiseguy

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Posted 08 November 2004 - 09:09 AM

I haven't been to Solly's, but I grew up in Milwaukee and remember getting butter burgers in lots of places. As a kid we got them at a place called "The Pig n' Whistle" on Milwaukee's east side. There was also a place, I forget the name, where we got burgers called "sliders" and they were pretty rich too.

Now I live in Birmingham, Alabama and I still put butter on the burgers I make at home. Yum.

#14 yellow truffle

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 09:27 PM

I first came across Solly's Grille at a showing of Hamburger America. After viewing the piece about Solly's, I had wanted to go and try out one of their burgers. I have never had a butter burger before and I figured that my first butter burger should be from a non-chain establishment, especially since Culver's has surrounded Chicago, but none have hit the city limits (as of summer 2005).

The new Solly’s (the old one was moved a block or so due to a Medical complex going up) is located at 4629 N. Port Washington Road. As one walks inside you see two U shaped counters (the same ones as in the old Sollys?).

Solly's is a free standing house located at the corner of the block with its parking around it. According to Hamburger America, the interior is the same as the previous layout. You can seat about 20 to 25 people in the front room. There is also a back room for more seating.

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Behind the double-U-shaped counters is the fry, grill and finishing station. From the counter you can see sticks of butter sit on the finishing station awaiting their spot on the just-toasted burger buns.

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The menu has many burger selections. They range from the number of patties, kinds of cheese, additional toppings, etc. As a FISH, in Wisconsin, I had no choice but to order, "The Cheese Head," with a chocolate milk shake. The Cheese Head is two patties, mushroom, onions, two kinds of cheese and one HEAPING tablespoon of the state's best butter.

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Once the burger has been sliced in half, it is immediately placed onto a perfectly sized plate and served to the customer. This is one great tasting burger. The beef is very lean. So lean in fact that if they did not add the butter, I would need to add lots of ketchup and other things. Remember to eat the burger fast or get ready to use up lots of napkins. Having toasted the bun makes it more difficult for the butter to seep into it, instead, the plate becomes the collector. After a while the lower bun becomes a sponge and soaks in the melted butter. I actually like this taste combination better. Mmmm, soggy buns.

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As you look the half eaten burger, you notice the thing that makes this place so great. The thing that keeps the locals coming back for more. You see black gold, yellow gold and liquid gold. The burger is from a local farm as is the cheese and butter. And the milk shake, I think it's safe to say that it too is from a local farm.

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The burger and shake was good, the fries and onion rings were okay. After you get over the horrific amount of butter that they slather onto the bun and focus on the flavors that they have to offer, you will not be disappointed with Solly's Grille.

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For dessert, you can head North a few blocks to Kopp's Frozen Custard. Also, if you have time, the Sprecher Brewery is close by and worth taking a tour. If you are gonna do the Wisconsin thing, do it right.

Now upon return to your home town, make sure you make an appointment to see your cardiologist.

#15 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 09:09 AM

I love Solly's (and Kopp's). Thanks for the mouth-watering reminders of just how much. :wink:

When you eat at Solly's you fully comprehend the beauty of the excessively wonderful buttered burger.

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#16 Sweet Willie

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Posted 17 August 2005 - 08:02 PM

great photos
"I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be"

#17 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 17 September 2005 - 01:21 PM

There's no reason to post my lousy photos (Anthony's are always superior) but I had another great meal at Solly's this past Thursday. For the record, I had a double with cheese and fried onions. Man, it was sensational!

The owner, Glenn Fieber, was there and we chatted for a bit. He told us that after Solly's closed briefly a few years back (for the building to be physically relocated to its current location), he was stunned to see folks lined-up out the door and all the way down the block waiting patiently for their burger fixes. Apparently, during the downtime, folks had been absolutely jonesing for Solly's. As popular as the place had been, the blocks-long, mid-December line in the midst of a heavy snowstorm even took Glenn and his crew by surprise. Solly's customers' loyalty knew no bounds.

I also learned from my friend Rick, who's been going to Solly's for many decades, that Solly's serves breakfast -- including tremendous, butter-laden hashbrowns -- every morning. Has anyone ever been there for breakfast? I'd love to try it out sometime.

=R=
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#18 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 17 September 2005 - 01:35 PM

Click here for the Hamburger America site - a documentary about American burgers and the people behind them - which in my opinion deserved some kind of special award at the Cannes film festival - had they submitted it. Scroll down for some heart-pounding pix of Solly's butter burgers. AND download the trailer - food porn at its finest. As Glenn - the owner of Solly's says - "Good food should be made with a lot of love and a lot of butter."

View Post

I also, highly recommend this documentary, although watching it will make you very hungry :biggrin:

One of the folks in our Hamburger-touring group this week was the filmmaker, George Motz. He's very passionate about the movie and he's got another, related project in the works, so stay tuned.

=R=
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#19 budrichard

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Posted 18 September 2005 - 06:41 AM

Growing up on the east coast, butter was not added to hamburgers. Moving to Wisconsin at 13 years of age, I encountered my first butter burgers in Menasha Wisconsin at Rudy's Steak Place. I call it a Place because it was just a little place with about 8 seats and an indoor charcoal grill. The hamburgers, steak sandwiches always came witha generous dollop of Wisconsin butter. The brats were cooked and then soaked in butter. GREAT! The place had a line out the door on Friday and Saturday nights. BTW if the fish were biting Rudy may have gone fishing, you just never knew.
Later, I found Krolls in GreenBay with hard crusty buns and butter on the burger. when coming back from Up North, we almost never fail to stop at Krolls.
If you haven't had a good Wisconsin butter burger, then you must come to Wisconsin and try one. It is not the same anywhere else in the country. -Dick

#20 yellow truffle

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Posted 20 September 2005 - 11:32 AM

great photos

There's no reason to post my lousy photos (Anthony's are always superior)...

thanx.

Click here for the Hamburger America site - a documentary about American burgers and the people behind them - which in my opinion deserved some kind of special award at the Cannes film festival - had they submitted it. Scroll down for some heart-pounding pix of Solly's butter burgers. AND download the trailer - food porn at its finest. As Glenn - the owner of Solly's says - "Good food should be made with a lot of love and a lot of butter."

I also, highly recommend this documentary, although watching it will make you very hungry :biggrin:

One of the folks in our Hamburger-touring group this week was the filmmaker, George Motz. He's very passionate about the movie and he's got another, related project in the works, so stay tuned.

=R=

A great documentary, indeed. I first went to Solly's just because of Hamburger America. In fact I have never heard of butter burgers in the Chicagoland area until Culver's started moving in and press about the documentary started to come out. Kopp's Custard would always satisfy my Milwaukee burger needs, although not a BB by name.

Slightly off topic, it's interesting how Billy Goat made it on the documentary. IMHO, it does not have enough savory flavors than the rest of the other establishments in the movie. It just has a great story.

#21 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 20 September 2005 - 12:22 PM

Slightly off topic, it's interesting how Billy Goat made it on the documentary. IMHO, it does not have enough savory flavors than the rest of the other establishments in the movie. It just has a great story.

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I agree. I think that's the essence of why it's in the movie. Mr. Motz is as intrigued by the history and culture behind the places featured in Hamburger America as he is by the fare they serve.

=R=
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#22 Daniel

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Posted 21 September 2005 - 02:17 AM

Great pictures yellow,

I was driving through there a few months ago and was upset to find the place closed on Sunday.. After seeing these photos, its a must that I return.. A little Kopps for dessert.. Oh baby..

#23 yellow truffle

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Posted 21 September 2005 - 05:17 AM

Great pictures yellow,

I was driving through there a few months ago and was upset to find the place closed on Sunday..  After seeing these photos, its a must that I return.. A little Kopps for dessert.. Oh baby..

Awh, thanx. And to you as well - great photo documentaries.

#24 budrichard

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Posted 03 December 2009 - 02:14 PM

Update!
After living in Wisconsin for many many years, I finally made it to Solly's yesterday.
I don't rate restaurants, they are either acceptable or not. I also don't eat at large Chain Restaurants.
We ordered two regular Solly's burgers with the fried onions and a large plate of fries. They have no diet beverage without caffeine. The burger bun was the same one you can purchase at Sam's Club in a package of 16 for about $2, in a word not outstanding at all. The patty was small($3.55 burger) and had no distinguishing quality, it could have been McDonalds. The reduced onions were interesting but were so sweet as to over power everything else. A great big dollop of salted butter completed the burger. I don't use salted butter in my cooking so maybe my palate needs to adjust but the butter was very salty. I am not at all adverse to butter on my burgers or steak sandwiches, long ago having learned at Rudi's in Menasha how to eat a proper Wisconsin burger. The fries were large crinkle cut institutional fries. So $15 for two burgers, fries and one soft drink.
My opinion, not acceptable.
Kopp's double cheeseburger ($5.45) is much better. Normally bring a friend and split one and then have some custard, Flavor of the Day. My buddy and I can each eat a whole Kopp's double cheeseburger after XC skiing at Lapham Peak.
I guess I don't understand the mystique about Solly's but Kroll's in Green Bay, Chile John's in Beaver Dam and a few places I used to go in Madison have better burgers.-Dick

#25 T Raveret

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 09:07 PM

I'm lucky enough to have grown up and still live less than a mile from Sollys. I also worked at Kopps while in highschool and love their burgers as well. Solly's will always be a special place for me that my dad took me as a kid on Saturdays when he would ake me to his work to get me out of Mom's way for a few hours.

The burgers are very good and very over buttered but thats their gimick. The meat really is very tasty and does make a difference. The malts are exceptional (I may be biased as I can't have a taste of one without feeling a bit of love from my old man whos been gone for 17 years). The fries are crisp and very tasty. Everything is served very fresh and hot.

Its not fancy, It's not trying to pretend to be something it isn't. It is what it is, a burger joint with very good quality (and lots of butter) but if your passing through it is a great experience to check out along your culinary adventures.... Just don't plan on a big dinner if your doing lunch their!! It can be pretty rich and greasy (in a good way)