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Mazo's Burgers - Milwaukee

Mazo's Burgers - Milwaukee
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  • Mazo's Burgers - Milwaukee

    Post #1 - October 18th, 2005, 8:00 pm
    Post #1 - October 18th, 2005, 8:00 pm Post #1 - October 18th, 2005, 8:00 pm
    Mazos Restaurant
    3146 S. 27th St.
    Milwaukee, WI
    414 671-2118

    Yes, the burgers are grilled on a flat top grill similar to Beinlich's and they do have more flavor. Mazo’s has been around since the 30’s.

    I knew I was in for a good burger when the waitress asked how I wanted it done.
    Medium Rare of course, I'm so happy not to get the gray hockey puck burger!!

    Got my burger on a sesame seeded kaiser which had been laid on the hot grill to crisp/toast the middle.

    Burger was done to a medium rare, nice!!!

    Fries were so-so, I liked the coleslaw quite a bit. Chocolate Malt was quite good and thick (but not much malt flavor)

    All the above positive press does not sway me from my belief that a flat top grilled burger like Mazo's, Hackney's, Beinlich's, WILL NEVER taste better to me that one that is grilled over coals like the burger at Paradise Pup in Des Plaines.

    Mazo's is closed on Sundays and is only open until 4pm (monday through friday) Mazo's opens at 8am. I got lucky and just skirted in at 3:45pm today.
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #2 - October 18th, 2005, 8:23 pm
    Post #2 - October 18th, 2005, 8:23 pm Post #2 - October 18th, 2005, 8:23 pm
    Sweet Willie wrote:Mazos Restaurant

    Willie,

    Funny, I just heard about Mazos last week and was (very) surprised I had never heard of them before. I grew up in Milwaukee, visit fairly often and Mazos certainly seems a great place for a burger.

    Next time in Milwaukee, which will probably be this week, I'll stop for a burger. Thanks for the heads up .

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #3 - November 2nd, 2005, 11:24 pm
    Post #3 - November 2nd, 2005, 11:24 pm Post #3 - November 2nd, 2005, 11:24 pm
    G Wiv wrote:
    Sweet Willie wrote:Mazos Restaurant

    Willie,

    Funny, I just heard about Mazos last week and was (very) surprised I had never heard of them before. I grew up in Milwaukee, visit fairly often and Mazos certainly seems a great place for a burger.

    Next time in Milwaukee, which will probably be this week, I'll stop for a burger. Thanks for the heads up .

    Enjoy,
    Gary


    Another vote for Mazos burger here.

    Was in Milwaukee a little while ago, and so did a comparison day. Ate at
    Solly's for lunch, and at Mazo's for dinner.

    Maybe its just me, I dont know, but Iam not overly taken with Solly's
    burger. The portions are not *that* big to start with (especially for the
    price). There is a lot of butter on the bun, and when youre about a
    quarter way thru it the entire plate is swimming in butter, and the burger
    loses most of its structural integrity. Ive been to Solly's before - this was
    the third time IIRC - and Ive never been hugely impressed any of the
    times. Its a decent burger, the atmosphere is very nice (and their
    "real banana shake" was absolutely terrific)... but just the burger itself,
    Iam not sure Id go that far out of my way for.

    This was my first time at Mazos - packed on a Saturday evening, had to wait
    10-15 minutes or so for a table. The demographic is old :-) There was, I
    think, one 20 year old guy (there with his father it looked like). A couple
    of kids under 10 (possibly there with their grandparents I think). And
    nobody else under 50. In fact, most of the people there seemed to be
    well over 60. Many regulars (the couple in their 60s at the table next to
    me declined the menu, and the guy went "I'll have a #2 with fries and
    soup, she'll have the #3 with cottage cheese" etc :-)

    The burger was terrific - IMHO far superior to Solly's, by a long way. Different
    types of burgers though - no stick of butter etc. They ask you how you
    want it done, and its cooked pretty much to that specification. With cooked
    onions as a topping, very flavourful and an allround excellent burger - nice
    char outside and juicy inside. Fries were ok, soup was pretty good (but not
    as amazing as the one earlier in this thread seems to be). A 1/3rd-pounder
    with cheese and cooked onions, plus fries and soup, I think was something
    like 4.95 - far cheaper than Solly's, far better IMHO, and with far bigger
    portions (dont know the official size of the Solly's cheeseburger, but it
    is definitely not 1/3 lbs).

    I will definitely return when in Milwaukee - and if it was nearby Id be a
    *very* regular customer. I dont know how the rest of their stuff is, but
    the burger stands up to anyone's IMHO. Ive been to Top Notch in Beverly
    not so long ago for instance - I think Mazos burger that day might have
    been better (and Iam a big fan of Top Notch... however Top Notch has
    awesome shakes, I didnt try Mazos; and Top Notch has maybe the best
    fries in the business, Mazos fries are nothign special at all).

    Oh, and there is a Leon's Custard across the street, which is an added
    bonus. Not as good as Kopp's, but not bad (however, one of the branches
    of Kopp's is only about a couple miles away anyway I think). For anyone
    in Milwaukee, definitely a recommended burger - on Saturdays they close
    at about 8pm I think.

    c8w
  • Post #4 - November 3rd, 2005, 8:19 am
    Post #4 - November 3rd, 2005, 8:19 am Post #4 - November 3rd, 2005, 8:19 am
    c8w wrote:Another vote for Mazos burger here.

    c8w,

    Add my vote to the Mazos mix. Stopped for lunch yesterday and, while they were fairly busy, the wait was only a couple of minutes as the politely efficient waitresses moved things along quickly. The room itself has a rec room feel, wood paneling, movie posters, signed publicity shots of Dino, Garbo and Frank, to name a few, and a model train display, but the wooden tables and chairs are quite comfortable, well spaced, and the place is spotless.

    I ordered a plain burger ($4.45), which comes with two sides out of a 7-side line-up, including soup, I opted for fries crisp and slaw. The creamy style slaw, made in-house, was fresh tasting and quite good.

    In the time it took to read two NYT's Wednesday Dining Guide articles my burger arrived and I immediately thought "what's the big whoop?" The 6-oz patty looked like any of a million griddled burgers I've had in my life, undistinguished at best. Undaunted, and hungry, I applied a little mustard, from the squeeze bottle, I think it was Koops coarse ground, one of my favorite mustards, and took a bite.

    My immediate thought was, "ahh, I get it", the burger was juicy, so much so I immediately checked my shirt for burger run-off, and the flavor of the freshly ground, in-house, meat was full and rich with a very slight seasoning blend present.

    Mazos Burger (Milwaukee)
    Image
    Image

    c8w wrote:The burger was terrific - IMHO far superior to Solly's

    Far as better or worse than Solly's, I'm well on record as a fan of Solly's butter burger w/fried and raw on a pillow. As an ex Milwaukeean I've been eating them since I was knee high to a grasshopper, and it's my opinion that Mazos and Solly's burgers are different enough, size, presentation etc., to preclude a direct comparison.

    Solly's Butter Burger (Milwaukee)
    Image

    As c8w mentioned, Leon's, which has very good Wisconsin style custard, is directly across the street from Mazos, but, then again, Kopp's, which is my favorite custard by a good margin, is but a few blocks North of Solly's.

    Thanks for the Mazos heads up SweetWilly.

    As an aside, Ronnie_Suburban has a Mazos thread on eGullet along with pictures that's well worth a look.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Mazos
    3146 S 27th St.
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin 414-671-2118
    Tuesday - Saturday 8am -7pm
    Closed Sunday and Monday

    Solly's
    4629 N Port Washington Rd
    Glendale, WI 53212
    414-332-8808
    6:30am - 8pm Tues-Saturday
    Closed Sunday and Monday.

    http://www.kopps.com/
    5373 N Port Washington Rd
    Milwaukee, WI
    414-961-2006
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #5 - November 3rd, 2005, 9:24 am
    Post #5 - November 3rd, 2005, 9:24 am Post #5 - November 3rd, 2005, 9:24 am
    All the above positive press does not sway me from my belief that a flat top grilled burger like Mazo's, Hackney's, Beinlich's, WILL NEVER taste better to me that one that is grilled over coals like the burger at Paradise Pup in Des Plaines.


    I agree, if you're just talking about the patty itself. No question a big hunk of cow-flesh is better cooked over coals than fried. But a great 30s style burger (not to beat a dead cow; by the way, in the 70s one of the original Ralph Baum locations in Wichita had become a place called Dead Cow Burgers) isn't just about how the meat tastes by itself but how it comes together with griddled onions, mustard, pickle and bun. The 10-to-the-pound or so patty is not terribly large as a proportion of the total, and perhaps more to the point, being so thin by the end it mainly consists of a fried crust which is admirable in itself, but which would be much less of the total mass of a 1/4 to 1/2-lb. bar burger patty and consequently contribute much less to its overall flavor.

    So: a large patty of meat is always better cooked over charcoal, but a great or even good 30s style burger is not diminished by the absence of that smoky note among its symphony of flavors.

    Which discussion will all be relevant to this.
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  • Post #6 - November 3rd, 2005, 9:51 am
    Post #6 - November 3rd, 2005, 9:51 am Post #6 - November 3rd, 2005, 9:51 am
    Mike G wrote:
    All the above positive press does not sway me from my belief that a flat top grilled burger like Mazo's, Hackney's, Beinlich's, WILL NEVER taste better to me that one that is grilled over coals like the burger at Paradise Pup in Des Plaines.


    I agree, if you're just talking about the patty itself. No question a big hunk of cow-flesh is better cooked over coals than fried.


    I agree that certain burgers need a form of cooking that is not a griddle, but I question the notion of "coals". We aint talking coals here, we're talking gas grill with coal flavored "coal". I generally do not find this is a method that brings out the best in a burger--even though I think highly of Wiener Circle. I think the great thick brugers are broiled, i.e., under a direct blue flame. Does anyone truly cook their burgers over coals? I s'pose if one asks for a burger at Santorini one can get their burger cooked over coals...
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #7 - November 3rd, 2005, 9:58 am
    Post #7 - November 3rd, 2005, 9:58 am Post #7 - November 3rd, 2005, 9:58 am
    I can think of two places that cook their burgers over real, live coals: Paradise Pup, as mentioned before, and Mickey Lu Bar-B-Q up in Marinette, WI.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #8 - November 3rd, 2005, 10:11 am
    Post #8 - November 3rd, 2005, 10:11 am Post #8 - November 3rd, 2005, 10:11 am
    Okay, good point. A truly charcoaled burger is a rare thing. But a gas-flame-grilled one can be very good, though not, I'm sure Bob in Ga. would say, barbecue.

    To a certain extent cooking over gas and lava rocks replicates some of the action of cooking over coals; as they explained it when I worked on the Weber account the idea is that if juices from the meat drop straight onto flame they're instantly incinerated and do nothing for the flavor, but if they hit something that is not direct flame, such as the somewhat cooler ash layer on the outside of a coal or a lava rock some distance from the flame, it will sizzle and smolder and produce that smoky flavor. It's not the same as cooking over charcoal, but commercially, it's as close as you'll get with very rare exceptions.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #9 - November 3rd, 2005, 2:58 pm
    Post #9 - November 3rd, 2005, 2:58 pm Post #9 - November 3rd, 2005, 2:58 pm
    gleam wrote:I can think of two places that cook their burgers over real, live coals: Paradise Pup, as mentioned before, and Mickey Lu Bar-B-Q up in Marinette, WI.


    I've mentioned before that Paradise Pup doesn't use live coals any longer. I had lunch there today and asked specifically. They told me that they stopped using mesquite in 1987 and now use a lava rock type gas powered grill and have for many years. That hasn't diminished the quality of the burgers, though.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #10 - November 3rd, 2005, 3:09 pm
    Post #10 - November 3rd, 2005, 3:09 pm Post #10 - November 3rd, 2005, 3:09 pm
    Well never mind me. I'm 100% sure Mickey Lu Bar-B-Q still uses live coals, though :) It's almost worth making the trek up to north-eastern Wisconsin.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #11 - November 4th, 2005, 5:18 pm
    Post #11 - November 4th, 2005, 5:18 pm Post #11 - November 4th, 2005, 5:18 pm
    I can think of two places that cook their burgers over real, live coals:

    South Loop Club (701 S State) and Charcoal Delights (3139 W Foster plus a couple in the suburbs).

    South Loop Club’s burgers have been mentioned here and here. There are worse burgers to be had in Chicago but I’d be surprised if SLC’s weren’t the worst char-broiled version anywhere in the region.

    It’s been a while since I visited Charcoal Delights but I assume they still use real coals for their burgers. I remember it being a respectable example but not one of the city’s elite burgers. Any recent visits?
  • Post #12 - November 4th, 2005, 5:41 pm
    Post #12 - November 4th, 2005, 5:41 pm Post #12 - November 4th, 2005, 5:41 pm
    thnx for the tip folks...

    Image

    this was a darn good burger, and decent slaw - ended up skipping the fries, the neighbors' didn't look too enticing.

    the supreme? + a 16 oz local root beer == no room left for head to head, Leon's vs. Kopp's, "frozen custard" sampling. tho i did buy a pint of Kopp's for a customer of mine and she was mighty happy!
  • Post #13 - November 4th, 2005, 5:53 pm
    Post #13 - November 4th, 2005, 5:53 pm Post #13 - November 4th, 2005, 5:53 pm
    TonyC wrote:this was a darn good burger...


    Your pic just put Milwaukee on my calendar. ;)

    E.M.
  • Post #14 - November 4th, 2005, 6:34 pm
    Post #14 - November 4th, 2005, 6:34 pm Post #14 - November 4th, 2005, 6:34 pm
    ^ sorry dude... i took 2 bites, then realized i had the digicam... and u know i don't believe in 'cutting' burgers (like some other local patrons)
  • Post #15 - February 17th, 2006, 3:18 pm
    Post #15 - February 17th, 2006, 3:18 pm Post #15 - February 17th, 2006, 3:18 pm
    one can remove Mazo's from the calendar now...

    yesterday was the first day of their "grand-reopening". Boy, dare I say the fast food restaurant inspired remodeling drained 90% of the restaurant's charm. Per one of the family members, they added a breakfast bar type counter space as well as 'self-order' register because they no longer have the manpower for a full service restaurant. this after 60 yrs as a full service sit-down restaurant. the shame.

    changes: no more ceramicware for soup/slaw, nor silverware utensils. 1/3 of the tables are gone, replaced by the faux breakfast bar, driven by possibly refocus on take out ala Leon's across the street. no more Sprecher's root beer by the bottle, and NO asking how you want your patty done. this burger joint is (half) dead to me...
  • Post #16 - August 7th, 2007, 5:39 pm
    Post #16 - August 7th, 2007, 5:39 pm Post #16 - August 7th, 2007, 5:39 pm
    TonyC wrote:one can remove Mazo's from the calendar now...

    yesterday was the first day of their "grand-reopening". Boy, dare I say the fast food restaurant inspired remodeling drained 90% of the restaurant's charm. Per one of the family members, they added a breakfast bar type counter space as well as 'self-order' register because they no longer have the manpower for a full service restaurant. this after 60 yrs as a full service sit-down restaurant. the shame.

    changes: no more ceramicware for soup/slaw, nor silverware utensils. 1/3 of the tables are gone, replaced by the faux breakfast bar, driven by possibly refocus on take out ala Leon's across the street. no more Sprecher's root beer by the bottle, and NO asking how you want your patty done. this burger joint is (half) dead to me...

    I went to Mazos today without having read this and I was so disappointed. And I can't say I'm sorry I didn't read this first because changes so fundamental and so brutal have to be witnessed in person to be fully absorbed. Mazos is dead. Period.

    Everything you said about the place is right on: no more ordering at the table, sides served in disposable containers -- and with plastic forks and spoons. Beverages served in paper cups. What a circus the place has (chosen to) become too with that schlocky vinyl "menu" sign hanging on the wall which thanks 3 generations of Mazos, by name and displays the following text:

    All burgers are cooked to medium-well

    Ugh.

    At least their new super-convenient numbering of the menu items has finally liberated me from my life-long confusion between the terms "hamburger" and "cheeseburger." Now, I can just order by number. Phew!

    As you said, the charm has been sucked right out of the place. My last visit was in October of 2005 and it was one of the greatest burger experiences I'd ever had. I could not believe the changes I experienced today. It's become a parody of itself. And even that -- the goofy "show" the place has become -- wouldn't, in and of itself, be a death knell if the food were still the same . . . but it isn't even close. I'd love to meet the 'genius' who engineered this.

    I'm sad because this is the death of a really great place and it's a harsh blow to real food.

    RIP, Mazos.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

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