A local restaurant has thrown their hat in the ring for the Fifth Annual Iowa's Best Burger Contest.
Grid Iron Grill and Sports Lounge is asking customers to vote for their favorite burger from now through March 17. While there can be only one burger selected as the best in the state, Burke Risetter, owner of Grid Iron Grill and Sports Lounge, said the restaurant has had great reviews for all of their burgers since voting began.
"The Black N' Bleu, the Patty Melt, Mushroom N' Swiss, the MVP Burger, we've seen all of them listed," Risetter said. "I don't know if we'll be able to focus on one burger. I think that's the rules of the contest and the direction we have to go, but everybody's given us nice feedback on everything and we're really excited about it."
The MVP burger, also known as the Rampage burger, is one of several burgers that have been nominated by Grid Iron Grill and Sports Lounge customers for the Fifth Annual Iowa’s Best Burger Contest. The burger is two 1/3 pound angus patties with ham in the middle, barbecue sauce, sauteed onions, bacon and swiss cheese. Customers can vote for their favorite burger through March 17.
This is the first year that Grid Iron has participated in the contest. Risetter said he was encouraged to participate by Deb Brown, director of the Webster City Area Chamber of Commerce. There are several qualifications burgers must meet to be eligible for the contest. Risetter is confident that his burgers meet and exceed those standards. He said Grid Iron purchases certified angus beef and patties their own burgers.
"Some places just buy a frozen puck or ground beef that you'd buy at a grocery store," Risetter said. "There are standards that have to be met for beef to be certified angus."
So far, Grid Iron has received a lot of support from the community. On the first day of voting, Risetter said he received a half-inch stack of nominations from customers. He said reviewers wrote the burgers were grilled to perfection, had great seasoning, great flavor and more. The early reviews were an encouraging start for Risetter, and he said he hopes more burger-lovers will come out to cast their votes. Grid Iron has a $6 burger night every Tuesday, which Risetter said is a great chance for customers to try one of their many burgers. Customers can ask for voting forms while at the restaurant.
It will be a while before Risetter finds out if any of his burgers are selected among the 10 finalists for the contest which is sponsored by the Iowa Beef Industry Council and the Iowa Cattlemen's Association.Whether or not Grid Iron is nominated this year, Risetter said he is thankful for the community's support that the grill and sports lounge has received from local customers for six years.
"I don't know where this is going to go or where it's going to end up but hopefully we can get nominated," Risetter said.
In addition to voting at the restaurant, community members can cast their votes digitally. Voters can text "BEEF" to 313131 and receive more information on how to vote via cell phone, or through the internet by clicking on the "Nominate Online" link at iabeef.org/bestburgercontest.aspx.