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Elm's Club nabs top 10 spot in Iowa's Best Burger contest

Published: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 11:11 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, March 26, 2014 2:27 p.m. CDT

Elm’s Club is back in the running to be named Iowa’s Best Burger after earning a spot in the top 10 again this year.

This is the fifth year for the contest and the second year Elm’s Club has made the finals. The contest is put on by the Iowa Beef Industry Council and the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association.

Donna King, co-owner of the Elm’s Club, said making the top 10 the past two years has had a positive impact for bring in new customers to try their food.

“Last year, a lot of people that stopped in from out of town said that they saw we were on the best burger list,” King said.

More than 9,600 nomination votes were cast for 456 restaurants between Feb. 12 through March 17. Elm’s Club, 108 N. Elm St., in Creston, is one of 10 restaurants to receive the most votes during the contest.

Elm’s Club is owned by Mike, Donna and Gus King. Mike and Donna purchased the business in 1976 and Gus joined as a partner in 1987.

Their signature burgers are fresh, never frozen patties that are hand-prepared each morning.

“We do pay a lot of attention to the quality of meat and fresh produce,” King said. “Our staff is efficient, and we enjoy seeing people come in and hope they enjoy seeing us.”

In addition to their burgers, Elm’s Club was recognized for their tenderloin sandwich by the Iowa Pork Association in 2003.

Judging process

A secret panel of judges will evaluate the hamburgers based on taste, appearance and proper serving temperature of 160 degrees.

“They come around anonymously, so we never know who they are or when they will be in,” King said.

The winner will be announced the first week in May.

“When you look at the top 10, you’ll see a restaurant from Grand Junction, which is a community of 824 people in Greene County, to three nominations from the Des Moines metropolitan area,” said Roger Brummett, chairman of the Iowa Beef Industry Council. “The nominations covered restaurants from more than 215 Iowa communities.”

To learn more about the contest, visit www.iabeef.org where you can find a map of the 10 finalist or “friend” the Iowa Beef Council Facebook page.

The winner in 2013 was the 61 Chop House Grille in Mediapolis. Other previous winners include Coon Bowl III in Coon Rapids (2012), Rusty Duck in Dexter (2011) and Sac County Cattle Company of Sac City (2010).


The 10 finalist for for Iowa's Best Burger contest in alphabetical order are (Corrected 3/26):

Ankeny Diner, Ankeny Big City Burgers and Greens, Des Moines Brick City Grill, Ames Elm’s Club, Creston First Street Grille, Keosauqua Ferg’s Lounge and My Tighe’s Restaurant, Grand Junction Rides Bar and Grill, Fort Dodge Sam’s Soda and Sandwiches, Carroll The Ritz, Arnolds Park Zombie Burger, Des Moines

Reader Poll

What new Iowa State Fair food are you most excited to try?
Apple pie on a stick
Donut sundae
Deep fried nacho balls
Pumpkin spice funnel cake
Cattleman's steak wrap