SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — For the entire month of January, several restaurants in downtown Sioux Falls competed in the 8th Annual Downtown Burger Battle.
A lot of you probably participated, but today they officially announced the winner and it may come as a bit of shock as to which restaurant was declared this year’s burger champion.
Lisa Esser and her husband Steve missed out on last year’s burger battle because they had just opened up their restaurant.
“We actually had to change our kitchen a little bit to make a burger and at that point we just weren’t ready, but we knew we were not going to miss out on it this year being new to downtown and knowing we could make a good burger,” Lisa said.
That burger is called The Uptowner.
Oh by the way, did I mention their restaurant’s name? It’s Papa Woody’s Fired Pizza, hold the mustard, you heard right, pizza.
“I think they were shocked when I sent the email back saying we were going to participate and they said ‘no Lisa this is for a burger contest and I said yup, we are in,’ Lisa said.
Even though they specialize in pizza, the Esser’s wanted to participate in the burger battle mainly because they wanted to be a part of something special that downtown was offering.
With 24 restaurants competing and this being their first year, Lisa says they never in a million years thought they would even finish in the top five, let alone win it.
Get this, they sold over 1,800 of The Uptowner burger.
“I had a couple of bites of it and I love the cream cheese, jalapenos, bacon on it; it had a lot of classic touches to a burger, but they just did it right this year,” Sadie Swier of Downtown Sioux Falls said.
Esser’s say with the ongoing pandemic, getting involved in this year’s burger battle helped them out tremendously as a small business.
“We’ve had to think a lot on our feet and we’ve had a few sleepless nights, a lot of sleepless nights, and it’s funny I’m really grateful we live in the community we live in because Sioux Falls knows how to show up and support small businesses in this community,” Lisa said.
A community that loves its burgers, no matter how you slice them.
The Uptowner is going to stay on the menu, so you can still try it.
Chef Lance on Phillips came in a close a second with The Market Beat Burger.
For every burger sold $1 was donated to Call to Freedom, a non-profit to help victims of human trafficking.