In 1999, Dave Sobelman was serving burgers and pitchers of beer to blue collar workers in the rough and rugged Menomonee Valley. With the checks he cashed on weekends from the humble factory workers he began ordering some of the finest ingredients for this burgers - locally baked country-butter rolls and the best beef available.
Then one day, Dave walked out of his burger bar and saw a newspaper stand for the Shepherd Express. The cover story highlighted the Top 5 "Pub Grub" locations in Milwaukee and Dave's did not make the list. This omission was a turning point in Sobelman's history.
After seeing the article, Dave called the author of the story and invited him over for a burger. The local writer came into Sobelman's the next day and sat at the bar, ordered a PLAIN burger, and a beer. That very next week, Dave Sobelman had his own feature article on the front page of the Shepherd Express praising the burgers at Sobelman's Pub and Grill as the absolute best in Milwaukee.
Dave became wild with the possibility of fame after seeing his name and acclaimed burger in print. So with the help of this wife - Melanie - Dave began placing his energies into continuously providing the most quality ingredients and best tasting menu he could create for the public - and of course this menu included drinks. Dave's location is after all, a storied Schlitz tavern.
It's really not what's inside the glass that makes Sobelman's Pub and Grill's signature bloody mary stand out. The drink, or "Bloody Masterpiece" as it's affectionally called (not to be confused with the "Baconado" or "Crown Mary"), arrives with 13 garnishes. Brussels sprouts, celery, sausage, cheese, and even a cheeseburger slider stick out of the drink like an edible bouquet. The creative drink has garnered many fans, not to mention a feature on Good Morning America.
That slider garnish serves as an introduction to Sobelman's menu. The husband-and-wife team will proudly tell you that they have always had the best burgers in Milwaukee, and they back up the claim with a 2013 Readers’ Choice Award from Milwaukee Magazine and three other local Best Burger Awards in the last 3 plus years. Each Certified Prime Black Angus patty is sandwiched between a fresh baked country-butter roll and rests beneath toppings such as homemade chili, diced jalapeño, or The Piggyback's pork belly, which comes drizzled in bourbon sauce. These burgers have often been imitated around the city, but never duplicated. Aside from burgers, the cooks craft chicken cordon bleu sandwiches and host a Friday fish fry with beer-battered cod.
Despite the creativity shown on the menu, Sobelman's Pub and Grill's original location on St. Paul Avenue has a timeless element. The Sobelmans make great use of their building and they've kept original Schlitz tavern elements such as beer-barrel tables and strict adherence to the law of gravity in the revived Menomonee Valley neighborhood. Simply put, Sobelman's Pub and Grill is Classic Milwaukee.
The bartenders at Nostalgia I and II work in concert with a laid-back, welcoming service staff and a cavalcade of guest performers to create an intimate environment for groups to relax and enjoy a night out. Guests can unwind over a round of drinks or puff from a hookah stocked with one of five flavors of tobacco as DJs and musical artists lay down a high-energy soundtrack.
Eight plasma TVs and two jumbo projectors display MMA and UFC pay-per-view fights while patrons sip brews from the full bar. Inside the kitchen, cooks deep-fry beer-battered Wisconsin cheese curds and grill 1-pound Angus beef burgers with bacon until 1 a.m.
A University of Wisconsin institution, freshly renovated Wando’s tantalizes taste buds with a menu of meaty burgers and savory sandwiches. In between bites, draft beers, cocktails, and the watering hole's signature fishbowls wet whistles, and PBR table-toppers make refilling glasses as convenient as hiding behind the keg. The sports-centric bar solidifies its allegiance to the University of Wisconsin with red-and-white décor and by showering UW students with free bacon and unlimited oxygen on Tuesday nights.
Pub 22, a Kenosha watering hole that opened in early 2012, serves up classic pub snacks paired with cold drinks. The spot's cooks toss chicken wings with piquant sauces, fry fresh potato chips for pub nachos, and grill burgers to serve with helpings of fries or tater tots. Local bands frequently take the stage for live shows.
Cindy, the head of Hermana's Cafe, Cantina, and Catering, learned the art of Oaxacan-style cooking from her family in Mexico. Her training abroad shows in her authentic dishes, which range from sizzling steak fajitas to hearty chimichanga dinners. But Cindy's expertise isn't restricted to the kitchen?it also extends to the bar. A self-proclaimed margarita connoisseur, she whips up more than 30 versions of the tequila-spiked cocktail. And if that's not enough to satisfy your sweet tooth, the restaurant also doubles as a coffee house, complete with a menu of made-from-scratch dessert bars, pies, and cupcakes.