Madison Burger Week

Burger Week was one of my favorite weeks of the year in Nashville so I was super stoked to find out that Madison has one too!

Here is the play by play of the burgers that I tried during Madison’s Burger week this year.

The first two were with my friend Kate!

  1. The Brass Ring – Bacon Gorgonzola Burger

A 1/3 pound Hereford Beef patty, fresh split top bun and toppings include avocado, lettuce, sautéed onions, haystack onions, bacon and creamy gorgonzola sauce. The creamy gorgonzola sauce was my first reason for being stoked about this burger. I always appreciate bacon and avocado on a burger. The last thing that set this burger apart was the mixture of fried and grilled onions.

The Brass Ring has a huge outdoor patio which was delightful to enjoy. The cocktail is The 701. It is the signature cocktail named after the address of the building featuring Ketel One Grapefruit Rose Vodka, Aperol, lemon juice, simple syrup, and orange peel. It’s a boozier version of an Aperol Spritz. Also recommend this cocktail!

2. Next Door Brewing Co. – Haystack Burger

Seared beef, was supposed to be served on Stella’s Hot & Spicy Cheese Bread but they ran out so it was a Styalzy’s bun instead, and toppings include haystack onions, sriracha aioli, cheddar and bacon. We go the yam crisps as our side. This burger was good. We were definitely disappointed that the Stella’s buns were sold out though. I liked the burger but it didn’t feel very special to me.

Next Door Brewing has expanded their patio space due to Covid which was a fun area. We were drinking London mules – gin and ginger beer.

The next three were delivered via Eat Street then night that my fiancé, Brian, came home from his work trip. I know that they all would have been quite a bit better in the restaurant instead of having to travel in a takeout container for twenty minutes but we still wanted to try them. Honestly, I would have ordered more but these three places were the only ones with delivery in my area and Brian was too sleepy to go out.

3. Takeout Estrellón – The Estrellón Burger

Fischer Family Farm beef, challah bun and toppings include Carr Valley sharp cheddar, secret sauce, bread and butter pickles, lettuce, and onion. The side was papas locas. At the restaurant the sauces would be served on top of the fries nacho style. My favorite part of this was the secret sauce which brings the burger to a higher level.

4. Takeout Sweet Home Wisconsin – Garlic “Guitar Lick” Burger

Knoche’s burger patty, Madison Sourdough brioche bun and toppings include housemade whiskey braised onions, muenster cheese and housemade garlic aioli. We ordered cheese curds as our side because we haven’t had many cheese curds since quarantine started. This was a good bar food burger.

5. Takeout DLUX – The OG

Double smash beef patties, regular bun, and toppings include two slices of American cheese, shredded lettuce, caramelized onion, pickles and Russian dressing. We got the hand cut parmesan and truffle cream fries as a side. This burger was like the fancy restaurant version of a Big Mac. It was good but nothing super special.

The next three burgers were shared with Brian as breakfast, lunch and dinner.

6. Home – Breakfast Burger

This was not an official Burger Week restaurant but I wanted to include it in the week’s burger list. Brian made this and it was incredible. Costco burger patty, toasted potato bun and toppings include fried egg, onions, Muenster cheese, ketchup and mustard.

7. The Great Dane – Double Dog Dare Ya Smash Burger

Two seared angus beef patties, toasted brioche bun and toppings include red wine bordelaise caramelized onions, morel mushroom, leek, Monterey jack cheese and aioli. This burger was fine. I had high hopes for the red wine bordelaise part of it but it wasn’t that exciting. It was a solid burger but not as original as I thought it would be.

There is plenty of patio seating at Great Dane which was super nice!

8. Vintage – The Beast Burger

The blended patty is made of of bison Wagyu beef, elk and wild boar! Definitely the most exotic burger. The burger has a sesame bun and toppings included aged cheddar, Vintage sauce, frickle and shredded lettuce. If you were wondering frickle is short for fried pickle. We got their giant sidewinder fries. For as exotic as this burger looked, it didn’t taste much different than other burgers. It was a good burger but it takes a lot for Brian and I to order anything except the nachos at Vintage. Next time, we will go back to our normal order of the giant delicious nachos.

Vintage has an awesome patio area! Even before COVID hit I would prefer sitting on their patio to the inside area. Their patio is also dog friendly so we brought little Naboo with us.

The last three burgers were split between us and our new fun neighbors, Katie and Bryce. It was kind of nice to only eat a fourth of a burger so it wasn’t as much red meat in our bellies! I could have kept going to more burger places but everyone else was done after three.

9. Jordan’s Big 10 Pub – Squealing Mango Burger

House ground bacon and pork burger, regular bun, and toppings include pepper jack cheese, peanut sauce, red chili aioli, smoked ham, mango relish and mixed greens. All those toppings were super intriguing so I was very excited to try this burger. It did not disappoint! I loved how the patty wasn’t beef like most of the other Burger Week options. I really enjoy interesting sauces and this burger had lots of them. This burger was awesome!

We sat inside here but they were only seating every other table for social distancing.

10. SCONNIEBAR – Fried Green Tomato Cheddar BLT Burger

Knoche’s beef patty, rustic white toast, and toppings include bacon, lettuce, fried green tomato, cheddar cheese and housemade tarragon Russian dressing. I’m a huge fan of burgers on toast. And fried green tomatoes! This was also the first place that offered onion rings as the side which we were stoked about.

SCONNIEBAR has great patio seating outside. There aren’t a ton of tables but it is a good space. The drink pictured was the Watermelon Margarita with Casamigos tequila.

11. City Bar – Hand-pattied Burger

Last burger stop of Burger Week! Beef patty, toasted brioche bun and toppings include grilled wild mushrooms and a white truffle teriyaki sauce. The nice kitchen staff cut the burger into four pieces which was so nice! We got tater tots as our side item. The sauce and mushrooms on this burger were delicious. The patty itself wasn’t my favorite. It was a good last burger to end the week though.

City Bar has a great patio area right on State Street.

My top three burgers, in order, were The Brass Ring, Jordan’s Big 10 Pub and SCONNIEBAR.

I was obsessed with the gorgonzola sauce on the Brass Ring’s burger! Then Jordan’s gets lots of points for originality and all the flavors mixing so well together. SCONNIEBAR gets the third spot for the bacon, fried green tomato and toast. Funny, all those burgers had bacon in or on them.

Shoutout to Isthmus for putting on Burger Week even in the midst of a pandemic. I’m super thankful for all the restaurants that participated. It was a fun way for me to find new restaurants to try in the city. Cheers to next year!

Right now I’m on a 10 day cleanse and only eating veggies to reset my body after all the red meat.

Let me know if there are any other burgers in Madison that I need to try. I can’t wait to see who won Burger Week!

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