My burger is BUTTER than yours. When in must try at Real old school Nice juicy patty, fluffy warm buns, grilled onions, melted cheese and the most butter I've eaten in 10 minutes. Oozing out of my bun and dripping all over. My hands smell like pure butter. Paula Deen would be proud y'all Milwaukee burger #Wisconsincheese
Sollys Grille Review, Milwaukee, WI
If you tool around the Upper Midwest, you’ll undoubtedly run into a regional burger and custard chain named “Culvers.” Their motto is roughly “home of the butter burger.”
Believing that depends on who you ask. Culver’s version is to fry the burgers on a flattop and nestle it on a toasted, buttered, bun.
But on the East Coast of the state, in Milwaukee, one will come across Solly’s Grille, which opened in 1936 and purports to be the inventor of the actual “Butter Burger.” Or “Butterburger.”
What the term means at Solly’s is completely different than Culvers. At Solly’s, their patty also starts out on a flattop, and the buns are also toasted, but…wait for it……when the burger gets placed on bun, atop it comes an ice cream scoop size dollop of pure Wisconsin butter, which quickly melts, flavoring the patty, soaking the bun and pooling on the plate.
They say they use 150 pounds + of butter weekly, and I’ve no reason to doubt them.
There are different toppings on tap for burgers, various cheese, bacon, and such, but according to the server, there’s never been a pickle or mayo in house and there never will be.
The full menu includes breakfast. (Yes, you can get a burger during breakfast hours). Sides can be crinkle cut fries, rings, or potato pancakes. (After all, Wisconsin at its heart is very German).
The standard Butterburger is also topped with Solly’s own stewed onions.
There’s a guy in America named George Motz, who is considered by many, far and near, to be America’s Hamburger Expert. Here’s a little video about Solly’s from one of his programs, and introducing the main man at Solly’s these days. (George has a book and a documentary that share the title “Hamburger America.”
You’ll see a million “WOW” reviews of Solly’s online. And I always try to find something cool about every place, every experience, but you know what? This place was a lot better in my imagination that in reality. To me.
The factory produced, frozen patty is nothing special, and the onions were rather overpowering for me. Of course I loved the butter and how it flavored both the bun and meat, but the downside is as it pools on the plate, it soaks the bottom half of the bun and your sandwich can quickly become unmanageable.
Seating is limited to a long counter, and a very few tables, if that influences your decision. Service is hit and miss. And you can expect your multi-layered meal (burger, fries, shake) to not come out in any particular order or proximity to each other. You may have consumed your fries prior to even catching a glimpse of your burger.
The rings I liked. Crispy, a little beer in the batter I suspect, and the waitress “upsold me” on the dipping sauce, which was more than the usual restaurant fare. I’m gonna take a guess it is mayo and Tabasco. Not unpleasant. But I didn’t expect to be charged for it. Oh well. Fries are top-notch as well.
This is a great place to hit for a nostalgic thing if you’re going to Milwaukee. Kind of like hitting the Billy Goat in Chicago. In either case, you’re not going because the food is gonna make you say “WOW OH MAN.”
But it’s fun nevertheless. Two burgers, fries, rings, dipping sauce, one soda, $21.
Butterburger with cheese
Perfect crinkle cut fries
Crispy flavorful rings
What can I say, I am a sucker for wisconsin butterburgers and this place does them right. When you are in the mood for a butterburger, you aren't in the mood to be healthy, so the massive dollop of butter they slather on their homemade burgers and house toasted buns is a heart clogging necessity to create the delicious contraption that is a solly's burger. The service is subpar, with the old lady's behind the counter being both slow and unfriendly, however this does not take away from the food. The old fashioned diner atmosphere is nice but makes for difficult seating arrangements, however it is nice to see your burgers being made in front of your eyes. All in all I would definitely recommend, Solly's is a delicious taste of 'true wisconsin cuisine' if there ever was one!
Overall: Solly's Grille is located in Milwaukee, WI. This restaurant received three and a half out of five stars rated by 129 reviewers. Solly's Grille does not offer delivery and does offer take out. They do not have outdoor seating and do not accept reservations. They offer private lot parking and are wheelchair accessible.They do accept credit cards.
Food: Solly's Grille offers a variety of American cuisine. Many reviewers enjoyed the butter burger hamburgers and hash browns with cheese and chili that are offered here, these were highly recommended by many diners. Some diners found the food to be mediocre in comparison to similar dishes they had consumed elsewhere. Most diners found the prices to be reasonable. This restaurant does not offer alcohol.
Atmosphere: The atmosphere at Solly's Grille was noted to be romantic and comfortable. It is not good for groups and is good for children. It has an average noise level and casual attire. Diners did note that the establishment is small with a classic diner feel.
Service: The service at Solly's Grille was rated by many patrons as friendly and efficient. With a few exceptions, most diners found that the servers were very attentive and helpful. |