BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) – The Burger Battle is underway in Downtown Sioux Falls, but that’s not the only community serving up unique burgers this month.

The idea to start the Brookings area ‘Burger Clash’ emerged at the beginning of the pandemic.

“A lot of restaurants were having a hard time with everything that was taking place, so I created a food page in and around Brookings food area, and from there somebody reached out and said, you know, ‘hey, let’s see if we can do a burger challenge,” organizer Shane Andersen said.

Nine restaurants were part of the first competition. The Pheasant Restaurant & Lounge in Brookings is the defending champ from last year, and this year they have the ‘Prairie Café Burger.’ They’re going against 14 other restaurants.

The Pheasant’s ‘Prairie Café Burger’

“We’re excited to do it. We’re excited that Shane was willing to do something to sort of help the restaurant industry and our tipped employees during the beginning of the pandemic, so it was fun to see some new faces and know that it was sort of helping out our industry brothers and sisters at the other establishments in the area,” Michael Johnson said.

Johnson is the general manager and head cook at the Pheasant Restaurant and Lounge. This year’s burger reflects the restaurant’s history.

“We take the influence of our early days as a café kind of out past the edge of town and then sort of that layer of our steakhouse days and what we are now, which is sort of a hodge-podge that pays tribute to all those layers of history,” he said.

Layers that include your choice of beef, bison or lamb rubbed with a local coffee roast, cheese, bacon and hollandaise sauce. The competition goes beyond Brookings.

“It includes Arlington, Volga, Aurora, even Clear Lake and Castlewood,” Andersen said.

You can also win some prizes by posting a picture of yourself with the burgers on Facebook.

“I’ll go in and make a comment or like it or whatever, but that gets their name put into a drawing where they’re going to win some gift cards from these fantastic restaurant participants here,” Andersen said.

The competition goes through the end of February. You can find more information and a link to vote here.

Full list of competitors:

  1. Craft-Brookings
  2. The Valley Restaurant & Catering-Volga
  3. The Lodge/Econo Lodge-Brookings
  4. Wilbert’s Alehouse-Brookings
  5. Brookings Country Club-Lake Campbell
  6. Lemke’s Bar & Grill-Aurora
  7. Tail Feathers-Clear Lake
  8. The Cardinal Tap-Arlington
  9. Strikerz Bar & Grill-Brookings
  10. Shorty’s Hot Box-SDSU Student Union
  11. Tables Steakhouse-Castlewood
  12. Pints & Quarts-Brookings
  13. The Lucky Dog Bar & Grill-Volga
  14. Pheasant Restaurant & Lounge-Brookings
  15. CC’s Bar & Grill-Volga