Ninth annual Burger Battle sends students downtown

The month of January is synonymous with new beginnings and the annual Downtown Burger Battle in Sioux Falls. This vigorous, one month event determined the best burger featured in downtown Sioux Falls for the ninth time.

Overall, 27 downtown restaurants participated in the battle including Crave, Chef Lance’s and Bread & Circus. This year’s Burger Battle was judged by customers who gave a restaurant up to five points in five categories: patty, bun, toppings, creativity and customer service.

In February, Chef Lance’s was declared the champion for their Tuscany Burger with a victorious sale of 1,800 burgers. Blarney Stone was the runner-up known for their famous Raspberry Jalapeno Popper Burger, selling 6,795 burgers.

Two students from Augustana University tasted a few of the burgers in the heat of the Burger Battle. Ellie Holmes, an Augustana senior from Brandon, tried burgers from MacKenzie River, Blarney Stone, Bread & Circus and Chef Lance’s.

Chef Lance’s Tuscany burger won the overall Burger Battle. Photo courtesy of Downtown Sioux Falls.

Holmes defined herself as a “burger lover” because she has participated in the battle for several years. Holmes said the Bread & Circus burger best matched her taste. She claims that their use of a fluffy bread as a bun helped her balance the taste of the burger.

Holmes prefered a cooked patty over a raw patty, so Chef Lance’s burger wasn’t one of her top choices because she felt like their patty tasted undercooked. She defined her idea of the best burger combination as the “egg burger.” However, in addition to the egg, she said bacon is a must as well as a fluffy bread and a pepper jelly.

Junior Isaac Hewitt tried two burgers. He spoke highly of the Raspberry Jalapeño Popper Burger at Blarney Stone. Hewitt recalled the moment when Blarney Stone’s burger was placed in front of him.

“I was visually perplexed,” he said.

Hewitt said he was so afraid to mess up the presentation of the burger that it took him a while to take his first bite. Although his recollection of his experiences of Raspberry Jalapeno Popper Burger was very passionate, he said he understood why Chef Lance’s was crowned the winner..

“[I wasn’t] surprised.” Hewitt said. “I’ve eaten their food before, and their food is just phenomenal.”

Hewitt also gravitates toward egg burgers. He described his preferences for a burger to have a “crispy bun, an overeasy egg and normal patty.” Hewitt’s various preferences for his favorite burger combo reinforced the theme that the Burger Battle proved the distinctiveness of an individual’s preferences.

Both Holmes and Hewitt said that Burger Battle’s main purpose isn’t only to determine the best burgers in town. It was also founded to explore the various burger restaurants within downtown Sioux Falls that cater to the distinctive tastes and preferences that individuals have.