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23rd Annual Golden Fork Awards

Best Burger

107-GF-HOME-burger

Crab Good Burger at Home Burger Bar

Home Burger Bar is a family restaurant in more ways than one. For Mandy Ferg, owner and operator with her own family, running the College Avenue business isn’t too tough; it’s just like having people over for dinner.

There is one small twist, however: Home Burger Bar is known for its monthly specialty items (from the peanut butter, banana, barbeque PB Nana-Q to the ham and mango pineapple salsa Hawaii 920) and creative sandwiches. “You’ve just got to try it, at least once,” Ferg says. “And then we have customers that are going right down the list. They want to try one of everything.”

On one side of the patty, the Signature Home Burgers span a wide variety. On the other, the meat of the bar and grill is in its hamburgers alone. “If you’re going to do something, you want to be good at it,” Ferg says. “That’s why we scaled down our menu to have just burgers.”

It was just those burgers that propelled Home Burger Bar from its local roots to Internet fame. An April Fool’s prank began with the family re-creating “Bob’s Burgers” and ended with 95 thousand Reddit upvotes, showcasing the staff’s personality. “We always get that it’s just so welcoming and comforting in here, and I’m like, ‘We’re just being ourselves,’” Ferg says. “I think it’s awesome that we don’t have to try, and that they feel that.”

The small, tight knit staff lends itself to this authenticity, as do the light fixtures built from Wisconsin license plates. “When I named this ‘Home,’ it doesn’t mean like this is your home,” Ferg says. “It’s meant in the way that Wisconsin is our home… Everything that we love in Wisconsin is in here.” —LZ

Best Worth the (25-minute) Drive

“I voted for Black Otter Supper Club because they have an incredible salad bar, lots of fresh options, as well as an amazing steak and fish menu on Fridays. Definitely worth the trip to Hortonville for a steak that is not only huge, but always cooked to perfection.” — Bailey Rusch, Appleton

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