HUXLEY, Iowa -- Iowa's best burger for 2023 is "The Foundation" burger at Flight Bar + Grille in Huxley--in Story County, about 12 miles south of Ames.
The business, opened by husband-and-wife team Matt and Marianne Pacha in 2022, got the designation Monday from the Iowa Beef Industry Council.
“Our Foundation is a double-smash burger with cheddar cheese. It includes mustard aioli, lettuce, tomato, caramelized onions and is topped with thick-cut bacon served between a beautiful and buttery brioche bun,” says Katie Boughey, executive chef and kitchen manager.
Being named "Iowa's Best Burger" is a recognition that's likely to mean a lot more business.
"This will change a restaurant's complete world--it'll put them on the map. Last year's winner--the Flying Elbow in Marshalltown--went from serving 200 burgers a week to 200 burgers a night," says the Iowa Beef Industry Council's Kylie Peterson.
That increase in business is not only good for Flight Bar + Grille, but also for the community.
“For every Foundation Burger that we sell, we donate $1 to the Ballard Education Foundation,” says Matt Pacha.
In the Pachas’ first year of business, they donated more than $3,000 to the Ballard Education Foundation, which funds its local schools, the Ballard Community School District. After being named a Top 10 Iowa’s Best Burger Finalist, they raised $700 for foundation in one month.
The Iowa Beef Industry Council says "The Foundation" burger at Flight Bar + Grille was picked from 6,500 votes representing more than 500 restaurants across the state.
The 10 restaurants with the most votes are declared the “Top 10.” From there, several anonymous judges visit each, scoring the burger patties based on taste, doneness and presentation.