LTH Home

Hand-sliced Corned Beef on North Ave in Milwaukee: McBob's

Hand-sliced Corned Beef on North Ave in Milwaukee: McBob's
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
     Page 1 of 2
  • Hand-sliced Corned Beef on North Ave in Milwaukee: McBob's

    Post #1 - June 28th, 2007, 7:31 pm
    Post #1 - June 28th, 2007, 7:31 pm Post #1 - June 28th, 2007, 7:31 pm
    Everyone agrees Jake's Deli has the best corned beef in Milwaukee, right? Well, not everyone. But the best on North Avenue, yes? Not necessarily. Surely the best hand-sliced corned beef on North, then. There are those who would disagree. Those would be the regulars at McBob's Pub and I have to admit they have a case. Who knew Milwaukee's North Avenue has two places outclassing most of Chicago's offerings? I love Jake's and would have to award them the Milwaukee corned beef crown but I'm surprised the contest is as close as it is.

    Image

    McBob's is a crowded, loud, smoky tavern that's been on Milwaukee's west side for twenty years. It attracts a mostly neighborhood crowd of drinkers at the bar and a steady stream of those getting food to go. About 8 beers on tap, nothing too exotic but the Guinness is carefully poured (though too cold), and a full bar, no overly fancy whiskeys but a bottle of Power's stands ready.

    The menu is moderately extensive but corned beef is the way to go. I also tried a burger; good but I'd give Sobelman's the nod for that. The fish fry (Wed and Fri) is also good but again there are better to be had. I have yet to try their popular Celtic tacos (Tue, Thu, Sat, Sun).

    Image

    Corned beef is sliced into thick pieces that fall apart into chunks with the slightest provocation. It's very tender but not overtly fatty, quite salty but with good flavor. The horseradish mustard is excellent but bread is a major problem at McBob's. They call it rye but it's closer to white Wonder bread, really an abomination. The bread alone keeps Jake's in the lead as far as I'm concerned. You can also get a nontraditional Reuben, with mustard replacing Russian dressing. The toasting helps, but doesn't completely overcome, the bread problem. But the Reuben introduces a new problem—the cheese sucks too but not as much as the bread. It's really a shame because such nice corned beef deserves a better supporting cast.

    I like McBob's a lot (and would visit often if I lived nearby) but don't consider it a replacement for Jake's. It's a useful adjunct though if you miss Jake's absurdly early closing, want a drink with your meal, or want something in addition to corned beef.

    McBob's is far from a secret in Milwaukee, as a wall of mostly local magazine and newspaper articles attests. It's also been written up by the Sterns in Gourmet and at Roadfood. McBob's is due to expand so I'd suggest getting there soon before it's spoiled by more people like me.

    McBob's
    4919 W North Av
    Milwaukee WI
    414-871-5050
    Must be 21
  • Post #2 - June 29th, 2007, 9:13 am
    Post #2 - June 29th, 2007, 9:13 am Post #2 - June 29th, 2007, 9:13 am
    Your photo of the corned beef looks wonderful, but the sight of it on that "white bread" is so repugnant to me that I don't think I could order it in good conscience. :wink:

    Suzy
    " There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life."
    - Frank Zappa
  • Post #3 - June 30th, 2007, 3:05 am
    Post #3 - June 30th, 2007, 3:05 am Post #3 - June 30th, 2007, 3:05 am
    Rene G wrote:McBob's is due to expand so I'd suggest getting there soon before it's spoiled by more people like me.

    Rene,

    Next trip to Milwaukee McBob's for me, corned beef looks quite good and I can, hopefully, get past the white bread. There's no mayo, milk or lime jello involved, is there? :)

    I had mentioned the Fourth Base in conversation, the straight-up Milwaukee tavern with terrific quality steaks, chops and seafood, it is at 51st and National. The Fourth Base is a Milwaukee institution, across the street from the VA hospital, and not far from Miller Park, it's clientele as oddly juxtaposed as the menu.

    Please note, I have not been for a few years and the total cost can jump up and bite you in the a** if you are not paying attention.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Fourth Base
    5117 W National Ave
    Milwaukee, WI 53214
    414-647-8509
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #4 - July 10th, 2007, 3:09 pm
    Post #4 - July 10th, 2007, 3:09 pm Post #4 - July 10th, 2007, 3:09 pm
    sdritz wrote:Your photo of the corned beef looks wonderful, but the sight of it on that "white bread" is so repugnant to me that I don't think I could order it in good conscience. :wink:

    I can't justify that bread but I'd still take a McBob's corned beef sandwich over most in Chicago. Perhaps you'd prefer your corned beef for breakfast? Corned beef hash, a couple eggs, plus a scone is only $4.25 at McBob's. Wash it down with a pint of Guinness or maybe a cup of coffee sweetened with a shot of Power's. I haven't tried their breakfast but I have a Megabus reservation ($1 each way*) next month with that in mind. Breakfast is served only on Saturday (8-11) and Sunday (8-2).

    G Wiv wrote:I had mentioned the Fourth Base in conversation, the straight-up Milwaukee tavern with terrific quality steaks, chops and seafood, it is at 51st and National.

    I've unknowingly passed Fourth Base several times on my way to Kegel's Inn, about a mile west on National. I was able to pull up a picture and it does indeed look familiar, though I never thought to stop in. Thanks for the recommendation, it sounds like an interesting place and I'll be sure to try it some day. And thanks for the warning about prices (there are a couple similar cautions on different websites together with the comment that they don't freely offer menus).


    * Plus a $0.50 reservation fee.
  • Post #5 - July 12th, 2007, 4:44 am
    Post #5 - July 12th, 2007, 4:44 am Post #5 - July 12th, 2007, 4:44 am
    If McBob's used Miller's rye, like Jake's and Benji's, their sandwich would probably take a higher ranking. Part of the Milwaukee corned beef experience is the traditional, old fashioned rye, that's still lacking in Chicago. Miller's rye is by far the best for corned beef and can only be found in Milwaukee.
    Born and raised in Chicago, escaped to Wisconsin.
  • Post #6 - July 12th, 2007, 8:27 am
    Post #6 - July 12th, 2007, 8:27 am Post #6 - July 12th, 2007, 8:27 am
    Hi,

    Maybe Miller's rye should be brought along to improve the sandwich. Don't justt bring your own condiments, when you can bring your own bread! It might influence them to change.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #7 - July 13th, 2007, 5:44 pm
    Post #7 - July 13th, 2007, 5:44 pm Post #7 - July 13th, 2007, 5:44 pm
    Jake's!-Dick
  • Post #8 - July 13th, 2007, 5:55 pm
    Post #8 - July 13th, 2007, 5:55 pm Post #8 - July 13th, 2007, 5:55 pm
    budrichard wrote:Jake's!-Dick


    Yes, Rene G mentions it in the first line of his post. What about it?
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #9 - August 16th, 2007, 8:33 pm
    Post #9 - August 16th, 2007, 8:33 pm Post #9 - August 16th, 2007, 8:33 pm
    Rene G,

    Good call on McBob's, another in a long string of Rene G needle in a haystack culinary gems. I liked the Milwaukee bar, with a hint of Metal/Kuma's, vibe, found the corned beef surprisingly good, bold flavor, hand cut, tender, slightly salty edge, McBob's rates a berth in the top Midwest corned beef spots.

    Menu is, as Rene G mentioned, moderately extensive with a few gourmet touches. For example we, I had lunch with my niece Amanda, started with salads, house made Italian for her, a tasty, if somewhat mild, cucumber/wasabi for me. Next up was Beer and Cheese soup, hey, it's Milwaukee you expect watercress, richness offset with a subtle note of jalapeno bite and hint of clove.

    Corned beef sandwich is slathered with a healthy dose of horseradish mustard nicely accenting moist tender corned beef. Good as the straight-up corned beef sandwich is, with points off for the poofy ersatz rye, I preferred the Ruben. Grilling the rye lent structure and the, I'm guessing 3-4 pounds of good ol' Wisconsin butter used on the grill, imparted a silky smoothness to the overall composition.

    McBob's Ruben
    Image
    Image

    For the beer aficionados in the crowd the "Beer of the Moment" is Moose Drool. No idea if bottle or tap, I was driving back to Chicago, with a stop at Leon's, so I did not inquire. Sam the bartender did mention they had a herb garden in back, I meant to ask to take a picture, but was 20-miles South when I realized I forgot.

    Would have tried the Celtic tacos, which Rene G mentioned, if they had been available, and I'm betting McBob's puts out a damn good fish fry. I most assuredly will be back, thanks Rene G.

    Brian, Kim, Sam
    Image

    A few additional pictures may be found here

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    McBob's
    4919 W North Av
    Milwaukee WI
    414-871-5050
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #10 - August 16th, 2007, 11:20 pm
    Post #10 - August 16th, 2007, 11:20 pm Post #10 - August 16th, 2007, 11:20 pm
    We just returned from opening night at Irish Fest in Milwaukee. Our first food stop was at the McBob's concession for a corned beef sandwich. It was served on a soft, light rye with mustard and a dill pickle. Texture and cut were absolutely spot on. The spicing was not to our tastes and the beef was excessively salty. My wife and I consumed 4 bottles of water within 2 hours after sharing one sandwich. However, this was the best corned beef I've had at Irish Fest over the past 20 years. Jake's and Benji's are still my favs.
    Last edited by chicagostyledog on January 26th, 2009, 3:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
    Born and raised in Chicago, escaped to Wisconsin.
  • Post #11 - August 16th, 2007, 11:59 pm
    Post #11 - August 16th, 2007, 11:59 pm Post #11 - August 16th, 2007, 11:59 pm
    chicagostyledog wrote:However, this was the best corned beef I've had at Irish Fest over the past 20 years. Jakes's and Benji's are still my favs.

    I don't know if a booth at a fair is giving McBob's a fair shake. I am salt sensitive and, while the in-house corned beef at McBob's has a slightly salty edge, it was not excessive, in my experience, for corned beef.

    My grandmother lives 5-minutes from Benji's on Port Washington Road and I've had their corned beef more times than I can count, I prefer Jake's and McBob's to Benji's.

    I suggest another go for McBob's, this time on North Ave.

    Irish Fest sounds a good time, Milwaukee has great festivals.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #12 - August 17th, 2007, 7:47 am
    Post #12 - August 17th, 2007, 7:47 am Post #12 - August 17th, 2007, 7:47 am
    When it comes to corned beef, particularly in Milwaukee, it comes down to: cooked vs raw and factory seasoned vs non-seasoned. Jakes uses a raw corned beef that's seasoned and cooked on site. Benji's uses a cooked, seasoned corned beef that's heated and kept at temp on site. I prefer Jakes. I'll give McBob's on North Avenue a try, next time I'm in the area for a fair comparison.

    Take care.

    Mark
    Born and raised in Chicago, escaped to Wisconsin.
  • Post #13 - August 17th, 2007, 7:04 pm
    Post #13 - August 17th, 2007, 7:04 pm Post #13 - August 17th, 2007, 7:04 pm
    chicagostyledog wrote:When it comes to corned beef

    Mark,

    McBob's cooks on site, in fact the bar man said they get the raw corned beef from the same purveyor as Jake's.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #14 - August 17th, 2007, 8:26 pm
    Post #14 - August 17th, 2007, 8:26 pm Post #14 - August 17th, 2007, 8:26 pm
    Now I definitely want to go to McBob's on North. I'll just have to bring along a Miller's rye with some Dusseldorf mustard.
    Born and raised in Chicago, escaped to Wisconsin.
  • Post #15 - September 7th, 2007, 2:47 pm
    Post #15 - September 7th, 2007, 2:47 pm Post #15 - September 7th, 2007, 2:47 pm
    G Wiv wrote:I liked the Milwaukee bar, with a hint of Metal/Kuma's, vibe, found the corned beef surprisingly good, bold flavor, hand cut, tender, slightly salty edge, McBob's rates a berth in the top Midwest corned beef spots.

    Happy to hear you tried and liked. McBob's is a fine establishment that I enjoy more with each visit. I was there a couple weekends ago and saw the new expanded McBob's for the first time. The new addition, opened in early August, essentially doubles their original space and gives the place the feel of an open, informal restaurant instead of a small, smoky barroom.

    As promised upthread, I ate breakfast at McBob's and was pretty impressed.

    Image

    Their corned beef hash is unlike any I've had before. It's basically a pile of corned beef chunks fried with some herbs and spices and a few large pieces of potato. It was preceded by a very nice house made oatmeal-cranberry scone. My only complaint was the poached eggs were a bit overcooked for my taste. Scone, eggs and a huge portion of hash will set you back $4.25, the best breakfast deal I can remember.

    The bloody Mary isn't too shabby either, served with a sausage swizzle stick and a beer on the side, the way God intended. And, by the way, hot means hot.

    I ate on their small back patio/herb garden. If it's a nice day and you can get one of the three tables, it's quite pleasant.

    Just a reminder: breakfast is served only on Saturday (8-11) and Sunday (8-2). [read on for new hours]

    McBob's has significantly expanded their breakfast hours. As of July 2011 breakfast is served four days a week: Fri 8-11, Sat 8-12, Sun 8-2, Mon 8-11.

    Edited to add new breakfast hours.
    Last edited by Rene G on July 14th, 2011, 5:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #16 - September 7th, 2007, 3:27 pm
    Post #16 - September 7th, 2007, 3:27 pm Post #16 - September 7th, 2007, 3:27 pm
    chicagostyledog wrote:When it comes to corned beef, particularly in Milwaukee, it comes down to: cooked vs raw and factory seasoned vs non-seasoned. Jakes uses a raw corned beef that's seasoned and cooked on site. Benji's uses a cooked, seasoned corned beef that's heated and kept at temp on site. I prefer Jakes. I'll give McBob's on North Avenue a try, next time I'm in the area for a fair comparison.

    Take care.

    Mark


    I cannot speak to the quality of the corned beef at Benji's, but I was there a few weeks ago and watched them hand slice some gorgeous stuff. I can vouch for the hoppel poppel melange of salami/potatoes/eggs/cheese.
  • Post #17 - September 7th, 2007, 9:21 pm
    Post #17 - September 7th, 2007, 9:21 pm Post #17 - September 7th, 2007, 9:21 pm
    Vital Information wrote:
    I cannot speak to the quality of the corned beef at Benji's, but I was there a few weeks ago and watched them hand slice some gorgeous stuff. I can vouch for the hoppel poppel melange of salami/potatoes/eggs/cheese.


    Benji's uses a precooked, factory seasoned Vienna corned beef. It's heated, hand cut, and served on Miller's Rye. We buy the stuff by the pound every few few weeks and usually finish it on the ride home, back to Racine. It's so good, we eat it plain and wash it down with a Dr. Brown's Black Cherry Soda.
    Born and raised in Chicago, escaped to Wisconsin.
  • Post #18 - September 10th, 2007, 12:23 pm
    Post #18 - September 10th, 2007, 12:23 pm Post #18 - September 10th, 2007, 12:23 pm
    G Wiv wrote:
    chicagostyledog wrote:When it comes to corned beef

    Mark,

    McBob's cooks on site, in fact the bar man said they get the raw corned beef from the same purveyor as Jake's.

    Enjoy,
    Gary


    Gary,

    This purveyor a private company in Milwaukee that supplies Vienna Beef and other products. When I went into the business, the people from Benji's Deli referred them to me. There are at least three other distributors of Vienna Beef products in the Milwaukee area.
    Born and raised in Chicago, escaped to Wisconsin.
  • Post #19 - September 10th, 2007, 3:09 pm
    Post #19 - September 10th, 2007, 3:09 pm Post #19 - September 10th, 2007, 3:09 pm
    chicagostyledog wrote:This purveyor a private company in Milwaukee that supplies Vienna Beef and other products. When I went into the business, the people from Benji's Deli referred them to me. There are at least three other distributors of Vienna Beef products in the Milwaukee area.

    CSD,

    I'm not really clear on what you mean by the above?

    Regards,
    Gary
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #20 - September 10th, 2007, 6:45 pm
    Post #20 - September 10th, 2007, 6:45 pm Post #20 - September 10th, 2007, 6:45 pm
    Gary,

    McBob's, Jake's, and Benji's all buy their corned beef from the same private Milwaukee purveyor, who sells Vienna Beef and other brands. I know that Benji's sells Vienna Beef. I purchased a pound yesterday. When I first met Michael Kassof at Jake's, he told me his products were Vienna Beef. I've never been to McBob's and have no idea what they use.
    Born and raised in Chicago, escaped to Wisconsin.
  • Post #21 - September 23rd, 2007, 5:17 pm
    Post #21 - September 23rd, 2007, 5:17 pm Post #21 - September 23rd, 2007, 5:17 pm
    G Wiv wrote:. . . I'm betting McBob's puts out a damn good fish fry.

    They do. You get a nice portion of perch, walleye or grouper (or all three) encased in a thin herb-and-crumb coating served with (actually on) potato pancakes or hash browns. One nice thing about McBob's is they offer fish fry on Wednesday as well as Friday. I hope to have at least one more meal on McBob's patio while the weather still permits.

    Image
  • Post #22 - September 24th, 2007, 12:55 pm
    Post #22 - September 24th, 2007, 12:55 pm Post #22 - September 24th, 2007, 12:55 pm
    Rene G wrote:You get a nice portion of perch, walleye or grouper (or all three)


    The piscine trifecta, assuming the perch is from a lake and the grouper is from an Ocean, and that ocean is the Atlantic.
  • Post #23 - March 10th, 2009, 1:51 pm
    Post #23 - March 10th, 2009, 1:51 pm Post #23 - March 10th, 2009, 1:51 pm
    I became an avid fan of McBob's last fall when I took my first visit after watching a Carlos Zambrano no-hitter against the Astros in Milwaukee. History it was on both ends because I've been back a few times since and will continue to go for a long time. We were torn between where to go and ended up choosing McBob's after browsing the Wisconsin section on Roadfood.com on a cell phone in the parking lot. It was no surprise to me to find that ReneG had documented it over here when i searched for it later that week on the search board. I somehow missed that post and never saw or heard of the place until that day after the game. As much as I would prefer rye bread I can still stand whatever it is they use with the excellent mustard kind of setting off the average bread. I still have yet to make it to Jake's due to the early hours but if its as good as McBob's then I cant wait. Isn't it weird that they use a nice bread served with the fish fry but not the sandwich? the menu insists its served on rye.

    Image
    The most tender and rich in flavor corned beef I have had

    I love the potato pancake tradition of the Wisconsin style fish fry and thought McBob's thin onion laced pancakes with crispy edges were perfect. Overall McBob's fish fry (available yearly Wednesday & Saturday) was better than good and I've had quite a few over the years and this one was up there with the best. I enjoyed the light breading, its pan fried, and the combo of the perch, walleye, grouper with the thin variety of potato pancakes underneath. Great flavor combo with a beer and a sandwich and everything included in it was better than what you might expect.

    Image
    McBob's fish fry with their 30's style potato pancakes underneath

    I figured now was as good of a time as ever to post my experience since St. pat's day is around the corner and if you do the lent thing that started the Friday Fish Fry then now is the time. Although I would recommend going whenever, there's no excuse needed to eat this pub fare.

    Image
    Happy leprechaun day

    McBob's
    4919 W North Av
    Milwaukee WI
    414-871-5050
  • Post #24 - March 10th, 2009, 10:30 pm
    Post #24 - March 10th, 2009, 10:30 pm Post #24 - March 10th, 2009, 10:30 pm
    That little marbled rye is made by Miller Baking Company in Milwaukee. Miller supplies bread to Jake's, Benji's, Grasch Foods, and Sendik's.
    Born and raised in Chicago, escaped to Wisconsin.
  • Post #25 - March 22nd, 2009, 12:12 am
    Post #25 - March 22nd, 2009, 12:12 am Post #25 - March 22nd, 2009, 12:12 am
    Went to McBob's before tonight's Bucks game ($10 seats!) with a couple of buddies. Had the corned beef sandwich. This sandwich walked right up to the line of being brilliant, but the corned beef was so salty that I'm not sure I'd want to give it another shot. The texture and fat content were perfect, but I'm sorry, just way to salty. And to call that bread "rye" is more than a bit of a stretch.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #26 - November 14th, 2009, 1:56 pm
    Post #26 - November 14th, 2009, 1:56 pm Post #26 - November 14th, 2009, 1:56 pm
    I got a comment over on my site a while back that I forgot to mention on here.

    From Chris McBob: "Just thought I would let you know that it is a lite rye from Miller bakery which has some sour dough also in it. But we have listened and we are having our baker make us a rye that might make you a little happier. As for the free breakfast on St Pats that is correct and it is from 8:00 - 10:00 a.m. See you then."

    Looking forward to my next trip back which needs to be sooner than later.
  • Post #27 - December 13th, 2009, 8:54 pm
    Post #27 - December 13th, 2009, 8:54 pm Post #27 - December 13th, 2009, 8:54 pm
    The "Contingent," a group of 14 Roadfooder's from Chicago/Milwaukee enjoyed breakfast at McBob's this morning. The corned beef hash was absolutely outstanding. Also in attendance was a film crew from TMJ4 NBC Milwaukee. A full story with aired later this week. Show times and pictures will follow.
    Born and raised in Chicago, escaped to Wisconsin.
  • Post #28 - December 14th, 2009, 4:28 pm
    Post #28 - December 14th, 2009, 4:28 pm Post #28 - December 14th, 2009, 4:28 pm
    The McBob's Corned Beef Hash Special will air on the following dates on TMJ4 NBC Milwaukee:
    Friday, 12/18 10:00pm
    Saturday, 12/19 throughout the day
    Monday, 12/20 3:00pm & 4:00pm

    http://www.todaystmj4.com/features/spec ... 42852.html Go to Video

    Image
    Home made bacon balkava served by one of the Contingent members as a corned beef hash chaser.
    Last edited by chicagostyledog on December 30th, 2009, 2:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    Born and raised in Chicago, escaped to Wisconsin.
  • Post #29 - December 28th, 2009, 1:10 pm
    Post #29 - December 28th, 2009, 1:10 pm Post #29 - December 28th, 2009, 1:10 pm
    going through milwaukee this morn. stopped at McBOB'S had corned beef hash &eggs & bacon (thick ) & a draft all of it was outstanding :mrgreen: , thanks reneg for the post . i will be going back for more!at this ***** dive bar
    philw bbq cbj for kcbs &M.I.M. carolina pit masters
  • Post #30 - February 9th, 2010, 6:22 pm
    Post #30 - February 9th, 2010, 6:22 pm Post #30 - February 9th, 2010, 6:22 pm
    hit McBob's again today for the white bread sammy .


    outstanding :!: :mrgreen:
    philw bbq cbj for kcbs &M.I.M. carolina pit masters

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more