Photos by Kamal Moon

Co-owners of Burger Hub, Ahmad Smadi (left) and Majed Malak (right) adding another halal restaurant option for quality conscious consumers.

The bright green LED lights on the door of Burger Hub spells it out in Arabic and English: HALAL. And the English-language sign below, WELCOME, extends an invitation to everyone.

Halal meats served as hamburgers, chicken wings or other foods traditionally thought of as American cuisine is a growing trend across the U.S. as the Muslim population has grown. Burger Hub, opened last August at 6231 S. 27th Street in Greenfield, is the latest example in Southeast Wisconsin.

Owners of Burger Hub take pride in that their burgers are always fresh, never frozen for the best flavor.

“Most Middle Eastern places serve Middle Eastern food,” said Burger Hub’s co-owner, Ahmad Smadi. “I make good burgers at home but when I go out for a hamburger, I want a halal burger.” Religious devotion is one factor. Taste is another. “The burgers in most restaurants are not as good, not as fresh,” he added.

His partner, Majed Malak, agreed. “A lot of people want American food when they go out, but they can’t because they look for Halal food. We want a restaurant where everyone can enjoy the burgers.”

No skimping on servings or quality meat at Burger Hub.

Located on one of the busiest avenues on suburban Milwaukee’s south side, Burger Hub is tucked inconspicuously into a strip mall that also houses a Dollar Tree, an XPerience Fitness and a Chinese restaurant. Burger Hub’s space was once occupied by an outlet of the locally popular George Webb chain. The new owners gutted the interior, removing George Webb’s familiar double clocks. The sole reminder of the previous occupant might be the quartet of swivel stools at the counter, which partially wraps around the half-exposed, stainless-steel kitchen.

Family friendly, homestyle cooking restaurant offering halal meat and secret recipes sets them apart from local burger places.

The clean, well-lighted interior features a pair of tables and a half dozen booths under pendant lights. The room’s dominant feature is a mural of a giant five-decked burger surrounded by fries with bold captions: YUMMY! TASTY, FRESH FOOD. All assertions are true. But what about HOME MADE? 

Well, you can hear the burgers sizzling on the kitchen grill; they’re made on site but Malak alluded to the “secret recipes” that they developed. They profess a love for home cooking and their kitchen ideas found their way to Burger Hub. “Most of the items on the menu we used to make at home,” Smadi said.

Great, fresh quality food takes time to prepare but worth the wait!

Burger Hub serves fast food, but not that fast! Orders are taken at the counter, freshly prepared while you wait and delivered to your table. Service is friendly. Burger Hub does brisk carryout business and orders can be delivered by Doordash, Grubhub, Uber Eats and Seamless.

True to its name, Burger Hub’s menu is focused on burgers in a variety of configurations. Dairy State traditions take center stage with the Cheese Curd Burger, a juicy one-third pound Halal beef patty stacked with pickles, mayo, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, American cheese and that Wisconsin favorite, cheese curds. Yes, there are also bacon strips, but Turkey bacon, which adds a slightly smoky flavor. The Cheese Curd Burger can be defined as a handheld meal, but you’ll need big hands, and plenty of paper napkins, to conquer this delicious mountain of flavors. 

The Hub Deluxe has the same toppings as the Cheese Curd Burger but with avocado replacing the curds. The Classic Burger has no cheese and dollops the patty with ketchup instead of avocado or curds. Burger Hub also offers a Mushroom Swiss Burger, a Jalapeno Burger and an Egg Burger. The burgers range in price from $7.99 to $11.99 and can be ordered a la cart or as a combo ($3.99 extra) with a generous portion of French fries and choice of beverage.

The Burger Hub team

Not in the mood for ground beef? Burger Hub’s menu includes sandwiches such as Buffalo chicken and Philly Cheese as well as a vegetarian burger patty made from black beans topped with fried onions, avocado, lettuce, tomato and onions. Chicken wings and tenders and a variety of sides are also available. The menu’s sole link to the Middle East is the large bowl of peppery yellow lentil soup, served hot with a lemon wedge and a big piece of French bread.

More than burgers, chicken options like crispy buffalo chicken sandwich are also on the menu.

Both Smadi and Malak traveled a long way in search of the opportunities in America that led to the establishment of their own restaurant. Smadi grew up in Jordan and studied accounting in his homeland before moving to Milwaukee 20 years ago. “I had family and friends here and I wanted to live closer to my family,” he explained. His early jobs were in restaurants, including as a manager. Smadi put his accounting background to work at his own company, Horizon Tax and Accounting Service, but something about restaurants continued to appeal to him. “I’m into food. I like food!” Smadi insisted.

He believes that many non-Muslims, searching for alternatives to the processed food industry, will appreciate Burger Hub. “Halal meat is fresh,” Smadi said. “The way the animal is slaughtered makes the meat taste better. Most restaurants in Milwaukee serve frozen hamburger meat. Our customers tell us, ‘There is something different about your burgers!’ We want to offer something different.”

An entrepreneur with an accounting background and tax business, Ahmad Smadi is a self described “foodie.” 

Malak grew up in Bagdad, Iraq, and moved to Milwaukee in 2010. “I worked in restaurants for six years before going into different fields,” he said, “but I felt like being back in the restaurant industry.” He explained why they chose the spot where they opened Burger Hub. “It’s a good location with a big parking lot, close to a lot of businesses and to the Muslim community.” 

Smadi agreed. “It borders Milwaukee, Greenfield and Franklin. It’s close to the community, convenient for everyone, and the community is growing very fast,” he continued. “When I first came to Milwaukee, it wasn’t like this. Now, if you go to any big store, you’ll see a huge number of Muslims.”

Burger Hub at 6231 S. 27th Street in Greenfield open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

But make no mistake: while Burger Hub fully complies with Islamic dietary rules, it isn’t exclusively catering to any single group of people. “We’re making good, fresh burgers for everyone, every religion, so that anyone can enjoy them,” Malak said. Smadi added, “I like to see people of different religions and backgrounds getting together.” In America, that might mean sharing a hamburger and fries.

Burger Hub is open daily, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. They can be reached at (414) 574-0099 or