A Hamburger Today is probably the most widely read hamburger site on the Internet. I have been reading it for years and was very excited when I heard they were adding a Milwaukee correspondent. However what I thought was a great means to showcase the excellent burgers in Milwaukee has turned into a one-woman wrecking crew, trashing the City’s burgers on a national level and angering a lot of local burger lovers and restaurant owners in the process. It seems to many people that Lacey Muszynski just gets off on slamming the most beloved burgers in the City. While I am not sure that is the case, I did want to offer my take on her reviews.
I originally commented when she seemed to go into A.J. Bombers with a chip on her shoulder. The review started with her bitching about Joe Sorge’s use of Social Media to publicize the bar. Her trashing of A.J. Bombers caused quite an uproar among the legions of fans. However, I was sympathetic to her since I too have experienced a mediocre burger at A.J. Bombers. Her latest posting raving about the burgers at Major Goolsby’s just set me off.
Major Goolsby’s is my favorite sports bar in the City. They serve some of my favorite wings in the City. They will forever be etched in my memory as the place where I watched the UWM Panthers defeat Boston College to advance to the Sweet 16 in 2005. Heck even their chili is great. However (and I hate to criticize one of my favorite hang outs) they are one of the last places in the City I would consider sending someone for a great burger. Don’t get me wrong their burgers are fine. They aren’t horrible and I have eaten a great deal of them over the years, but they aren’t better then Bunkers, AJ Bombers, or Solly’s. They are standard fare, no frills, frozen patties. They do a decent job with them but its more of a burger you happen to eat because you are at Summerfest or to soak up some booze before a basketball game, not something you seek out as a culinary treasure. Reading Lacey’s review you would be led to believe that so far they, along with Mazos, are the best burgers in the area and while it might be her opinion, it is pure insanity.
So I’d like to provide some balance. I am not questioning Lacey’s tastes. I wasn’t there and didn’t taste these burgers with her. I don’t know what she likes and dislikes in a burger. Actually I am not sure she even likes burgers at all. I just want people to see that she is not the taste maker for the burger scene and for every burger she trashes, several others lavish praise. Lets take the Brad’s Barnbuster Burger at Bunker’s in West Allis. Lacey hated it . She said it was over cooked (didn’t bother to send it back to make them do it right) and the bun sat in a bag for too long. However this exact same burger has been the subject of adulation by a lot of burger lovers:
- The Travel Channel’s Camille Ford (of Food Wars fame) was featuring it on her “The Best Places I Have Ever Been” Yes, a person who has travelled the country eating at places while filming Food Wars picked this burger as one of her favorites.
- Locally it is featured on Best Burgers In Milwaukee website and that guy has eaten almost 90 burgers in his quest for the best. He states “This on my personal lists as one (of) my favorites of the best burgers in Milwaukee.”
- Carol Depotella, the Milwaukee Journal Food Critic also loved it, saying “It seemed an entire farm contributed to this burger on a ciabatta roll – a half-pound of Angus beef, meaty crisped bacon, cheddar, glazed onion, a house-made tomato jam that’s just a touch sweet and, finally, an egg over easy that enrobed the whole thing with rich yolk. Man, what a burger.”
- I too am a fan
So maybe Lacey hit Bunker’s on a bad night or maybe she doesn’t like thick, pub style burgers. Maybe she just likes playing the contrarian role. Just realize that she is far from the authority on Milwaukee Burgers (the fact that she is just now visiting places like Mazo’s, Solly’s, and A.J. Bombers for the first time proves that). So I’d recommend that go ahead and read Lacey’s reviews on A Hamburger Today but if you see a place you are interested in, so some more digging because you’ll find that in many cases her tastes are the opposite of what everyone else is saying.
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I have absolutely no idea wether you’re correct, or Lacey is right in her reviews, but as slanted as her views might seem to you, your comments on the AHT site come off as fanboy-esque in their quality, so the bias you’re accusing her of seems to be just as present in your writing, but with quite the opposite slant.
Dude, what is your beef with Lacey? You should chill out a little. Being a first time visitor makes her no less of an authority than a weekly regular. In fact, her reaction is even more insightful because they are not tainted by sentimentality.
I don’t have a beef with Lacey, I just happen to think some of the burgers she is trashing on a national website happen to be pretty good so I am trying to provide balance. I tried to make the point that in many cases she is in the minority (Bunkers) and that many locals loved the Barnbuser.
What also troubles me is these people commenting on AHT who have never eaten at a place joining in bashing the burgers. If you tried a place and hated it, go ahead and join in but if you haven’t, please shut up.
As for the fanboy comment Peter, you can believe what you want, but if I don’t like something I am going to say it. I like all of the places that I have commented on. I made refrence to a bad experience at AJ Bombers too and I supported Lacey in a posting on EatWisconsin and took issue with the very fanboys (for AJB’s) that you are accusing me of being one of. Also, I don’t review burgers, per se. I write about burgers that I happen to discover. My goal is to shine a light on the great places as opposed to going around the City trying every burger and reviewing them good or bad.
It seems to me that Lacey is somewhat of a food snob (she even had admited to being one in a profile on JSOnline) and probably holds burgers to a very high standard…probably too high in my mind. These are burger joints, afterall, not high end restaurants.