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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Sobelman’s Best Burgers

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The lights went out this spring on Patty Burger, a short-lived fast food place on a busy corner of Milwaukee's East Side. But the sluggish economy didn't stop all wheels from turning. The storefront was filled June 3 with Sobelman's Tall Grass Grill (1952 N. Farwell Ave.).

The name will already be familiar to anyone who loves a good hamburger. Dave Sobelman transformed his namesake bar at the rim of the Menomonee River Valley (1900 W. St. Paul) into a destination point on strength of his burgers. The ones served at the Tall Grass Grill are even better.

The difference? Sobelman's original hamburger comes from corn fed beef. Problem? Cows weren't made to eat corn. Grass is their natural food. "And the cows are humanely treated," Sobelman adds, speaking of the healthy food chain leading to the Tall Grass Grill. "They walk on a 10,000 acre ranch until it's their time. They aren't injected with hormones or steroids."

Grass fed beef is a bit more expensive, but customers get more for their money, literally. Although the corn fed burgers at the original Sobelman's and their more organic cousins at the new grill are both one-third of a pound, the latter are actually meatier and bigger because they contain less fat and shrink less. They sit on a perfect country butter roll, with an egg wash glaze, from Breadsmith.

Aside from the veggie burger and seven specialty burgers listed on the board above the counter, you can customize a standard cheeseburger ($6.50) with a choice of horseradish cheddar, Colby Swiss, blue cheese or chipotle jack, and for a quarter more per item add avocado, tomato, lettuce, jalapenos and raw or fried onions.

Customers can eat in at one of the chrome-edged tables or place an order to go. Sobelman 's Tall Grass Grill is a fine addition to a neighborhood brimming with good restaurants.