HUXLEY, IOWA — The search for the best burger in the state of Iowa in 2023 has led to the town of Huxley. On Monday, Flight Bar + Grille was named the winner of the Best Burger Contest by the Iowa Beef Industry Council.

The winning entry is called the Foundation. It is a double-smash burger served with cheddar cheese. It is topped with thick-cut bacon, mustard aioli, caramelized onions, lettuce and tomato on a brioche bun. The secret seasoning: just salt and pepper, with some mustard aioli sauce.

Owners Matt and Marianne Pacha moved to Huxley and found they did not have a good place to go out for a burger, or to have dinner. That’s what prompted the launch of Flight. It’s named with the theme of the nearby Ballard High School Bombers, which has an aircraft for a logo.

“We have about five burgers on our menu at all times they rotate with the seasons,” said Matt Pacha. “Right now we’ve got a good lineup going in the summer but we still have our core burger which is our Foundation Burger that’s on that has always been on our menu.”

Kylie Peterson, the Marketing Director of the Iowa Beef Industry Council said they had over 64 hundred entries, and narrowed that down to just 10 finalists. Then a secret panel of judges visited all of the finalists, and Flight scored the highest points from the judging team.

“It’s a double smash burger patty, and has tomato lettuce and some onions that have been caramelized and a mustard aïoli sauce as well as thick cut bacon served on a brioche bun,” said Peterson.

The owner of Flight said they did get a tip that they were the top burger, well before it was announced. That warning really was helpful.

“In the last three weeks we’ve hired about 30 people to get ready for today,” said Matt Pacha. “It’s been all week in preparation and ordering trucks and changing truck schedules and we had a thankfully we were tipped off.

Flight took down two golf simulators to make room for more tables anticipating more visitors to sample the Best Burger. 

You’ll find Flight Bar + Grille on Highway 69 in Huxley – right between Des Moines and Ames. They are open seven days a week, but the kitchen closes at 8:00 p.m.

They were named one of ten finalists earlier this year. Since then, judges have secretly visited and sampled each burger on the list.

Flight succeeds last year’s winner – The Flying Elbow in Marshalltown.