This article is the first in what I am calling “Wisconsin’s Great Burgers” where I blog about the burgers that people love in the state. If anyone has any “must try” burgers, please e-mail and I will check them out.
While out on a motorcycle ride on Sunday I made a planned stop at Wedl’s Hamburger Stand in Jefferson, WI. I had read about this place on the internet where some people included it in a debate about the best burgers in Wisconsin. I also discovered that it was even mentioned in the book “Hamburger America” by George Motz, a book which I need to pick up very soon (it even comes with a DVD of the documentary film of the same name). The book discussed it when it was called Peterson’s (apparently it had previously been called Armstrong’s, Becker’s, and a couple other names too) and while doing a book tour Motz stopped by just to make sure Wedl’s was still making the same burgers, he tried one and said that nothing had changed.
Wedl’s serves sliders, which I define as burgers cooked on a flat griddle with loads of fried or steamed onions. The White Castle is my measuring stick for what a slider should be; small, thin patty, loads of onions A small burger with fancy cheese or exotic toppings may be a mini-burger but according to Adam Kuban of the spectacular website A Hamburger Today (and I agree wholeheartedly), its not a slider.
Wedl’s offers single, double, or triple burgers (or cheeseburgers). They start at a mere $1.55 for a single hamburger and $1.75 for a single cheeseburgers. I ordered the double cheeseburger thinking that would be 2 sliders (the person at the counter didn’t explain it very well. I asked if it was 2 burgers and she seemed to indicate it was) Instead it was one slider with two patties, which was fine with me. When I think of a slider I think of White Castle size burgers, the Wedl slider single slider is larger, about the size of a McDonald’s cheeseburger. The burger patty is thin and cooks quickly. The sauteed onions are a must. The cheese is American, as most good cheeseburgers have and is completely melted so it sticks to the burger, bun, and onions. Each of the ingredients came together to make a spectacular burger. It was juicy, perfectly seasoned, and had just the right amount of fried onions. With the exception of a recent trip to Kopp’s, this was one of the best burgers I have had in a long time and would easily crack my top 5 list of my favorite burgers in the state. It was that good. Though the fries were pretty good (they are the krinkle cut variety), the onion rings, thin slices of onion battered and fried to the perfect level of crispiness, were better.
This hamburger stand has been here in some form since 1918 so they are obviously doing something right. They have expanded into a building adjacent to the stand. The building has a nice deck and an indoor area but all of the burgers are cooked outside in this little stand which is sandwiched between the sidewalk and the street. There seemed to be a continuous stream of people pulling up and ordering plates of these delicious burgers and now I can see why, they are some of the best in the area.
Wedl’s Hamburger Stand is located at 200 E. Racine Street in Jefferson, Wisconsin. Phone: 920-674-3637. They don’t have a website but their menu can be found here.