Solly's Grille has a far-reaching fan base; the family owned and operated diner has been in business since 1936, and its butter burger has been recommended in USA TODAY and featured on Food Network and the documentary, Hamburger America. But to be honest, when faced with the prospect of having to try one of these butter-laden, artery clogging specials, I thought I’d rather be forced to down a whole bottle of cheap tequila. By myself. In one night.
But that’s just me. Other people willingly travel from miles around to belly up to a counter seat and sink their teeth into one of the acclaimed burgers.
As luck would have it, Scott and I were able to snag two seats right next to the grill, which was flanked by a row of silver toasters and a massive supply of butter. After ordering one regular hamburger ($3.99), one Solly’s burger ($3.39), and a large plate of fries ($3.59), I watched another lady stationed behind the grill expertly slip thin-cooked patties off the grill, slide them onto a toasted bun, top them with stewed onions, and smear them with what had to be at least two tablespoons of creamy, yellow butter.
Meanwhile someone else was busy whipping up rich, thick malts old-school style, in tall, silver cans for a couple of young boys seated near the door and the ever-increasing crowd of people waiting for a seat.
The fries arrived first. We dipped the hot, golden and thickly cut fries into a huge pool of ketchup and tried not to eat the whole plate before the burgers were ready. Soon though, there it was. The Solly Burger. Sitting right in front of us and glistening in all its dairy-packed glory.
Well actually, it was sitting in front of Scott. I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t commit to eating all the cheese, butter, meat and onions at once. So I tried one bite. (After scraping off a few spoonfuls of butter.) Just to say I’d done it. And then I picked up my own “regular” hamburger. To my surprise, tiny rivulets of butter ran out from it too. I guess I thought only the Solly’s Burger was made with butter. But apparently they incorporate this ingredient in all of their burgers, with varying degrees of application.
While I don’t think I’ll ever be a die-hard fan of the butter burger, I can say that it is only due to the excessive grease, and not the actual ingredients used to prepare said burger. Solly’s meat was quality, the bread fresh, and even the large, green leaf of lettuce on my burger was crisp and cold. At any rate, I’m glad I gave it a try. It’s sort of legendary around Milwaukee and if you’re visiting I urge you to at least try it.
Then go take a looooong walk around the lake.
4629 N. Port Washington Rd.
Glendale, WI 53212
Phone: (414) 332-8808