In March, we were told the top ten burgers in Iowa that were nominated by Iowans across the state. These ten burgers were chosen based on the number of votes that each restaurant received.

After a panel of judges ate at all ten restaurants and judged each based on their appearance, taste, and doneness, the winner of the 2022 Iowa’s Best Burger Contest has been announced.

The Flying Elbow on North 13th Street in Marshalltown is this year’s best burger. This feat comes after years of resilience.

Iowa Cattleman's Association
Iowa Cattleman's Association

Garrett Goodman, a native of Marshalltown started the Flying Elbow six years ago as an alternative sports bar.

Goodman started in the food industry with a food truck back in 2017. After finding success quickly with his truck, he opened his first brick and mortar. After opening for business, people would wait in lines stretching out the door.

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Then, business came to a halt when a tornado in 2018 destroyed the restaurant. After purchasing a new building site, writing a business plan, and working on financing, he was hit with another obstacle—the COVID-19 Pandemic.

After two years, Goodman came into a partnership with John Hermanson which helped reopen the Flying Elbow’s doors once again.

The restaurant has its own flair with wrestling memorabilia which includes classic merchandise, action figures, and vintage wrestling matches.

via Iowa Cattleman's Association
via Iowa Cattleman's Association

In late January, Goodman added the Smashburger to the menu-which is a thin patty that is “packed with flavor”.

In the first week of offering the Smashburger, they served 350 burgers.

In February, the restaurant’s loyal customers also referred to as Elbomaniacs, helped secure its place on Iowa’s Top Ten Best Burgers list—less than six months after adding the burger to the menu.

Since then, they have been serving 400 pounds of beef a week.

The burger is a blend of chuck, brisket, and short rib, which is fresh, never frozen and sourced from Midwest cattle. He also incorporates Wagyu beef, raised by a Marshalltown producer.

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