Iowa's Best Burger is at Smokin' Hereford BBQ in Storm Lake

Iowa's Best Burger is at Smokin' Hereford BBQ in Storm Lake

May 1, 2017
Brooke German, Director of Marketing, Iowa Beef Industry Council, 515-296-2305

Smokin' Hereford BBQ

From L to R: Jonathan Borjas, manager, Ileck Thammathai, kitchen supervisor, Natalie Schumann, front-of-house manager

AMES, IOWA – The 2017 Iowa’s Best Burger has been named at Smokin’ Hereford BBQ in Storm Lake, Iowa. The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association (ICA) and the Iowa Beef Industry Council (IBIC) announced the winner on Monday, May 1, during a live broadcast in Storm Lake.

This is the eighth year the two organizations have teamed up to sponsor the Iowa’s Best Burger contest. This year, Iowans submitted more than 9,200 nominations representing nearly 500 restaurants in February and March. Those nominations were used to select the Top Ten restaurants. The Top Ten were independently visited and judged based on the hamburger’s taste, appearance, and proper serving temperature (160 degrees).

“The judges found the burgers at the Smokin’ Hereford were very juicy with outstanding flavor,” comments Brooke German, Director of Marketing for the IBIC. “They also noted that the burger was presented very nicely and cooked to medium doneness as they had requested.” 

The restaurant serves The Hereford Burger which is 8 ounces of hand-pattied Hereford beef dressed with their house seasoning, made to order. The burger is cooked over a flame grill and is served with a choice of one side and corn bread. The burger is served with lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle on the side, and served on a toasted bun.

The restaurant owners, Nathan and Nancy Jenson, and Chad and Jennifer Hustedt, opened the restaurant in October of 2015. When the restaurant opened, the menu was limited and has since grown into a more complete menu and now offers caterings. In January of 2016, the decision was made to add a burger special on Friday and Saturday nights. The burger special went over so well, that within one month, the burger was added to the menu.

“They do a tremendous job of helping their customers connect the pasture to plate story by identifying where their beef comes from on each menu,” says Matt Deppe, CEO of the ICA. “Like all of Iowa’s 26,000 beef producers, Seth and Etta Smith are dedicated to producing a safe and wholesome product for this restaurant.”

The Smokin’ Hereford is located at 1605 W. Milwaukee Ave., Storm Lake, IA 50588; look for Smokey the Bull on their sign in front of the restaurant. The hours are Monday – Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. and they are closed on Sunday. Reservations are accepted for four or more except for Friday and Saturday evenings after 4:30 p.m. The restaurant has a seating capacity of 123.

The burger starts at $9.99, or for an extra charge it can be customized one of five ways. Extras include: bacon, fried banana pepper, coleslaw, blue cheese or spicy mac & cheese.

“We are ecstatic to be named Iowa’s Best Burger!” says Jennifer. “It’s so rewarding. We have worked so hard to put this all together. Now that it’s a reality, all of that hard work has paid off to become such a great accomplishment.”

On Monday, the restaurant offers a slider special. Their sliders are 4 ounces of their Hereford Burger beef with beer-battered fries for $5.99 each or three specialty sliders for $15.99.

Other restaurants that made the Top Ten in addition to the Smokin’ Hereford are (alphabetically): Ankeny Diner, Ankeny; BeerBurger, North Liberty; BW’s Burgers, West Des Moines; Doc’s Stadium and Grill, Jefferson; Down Right Delicious, Clarinda; Elm’s Club, Creston; The Irish Shanti, Elgin; Saucy Focaccia, Cedar Rapids; and Vaughn’s Café & Bakery, Clarinda. More information about the Iowa's Best Burger Contest can be found here.

Previous winners in the contest are: 2016 – The Chuckwagon Restaurant, Adair; 2015 – The Cider House, Fairfield; 2014 – Brick City Grill, Ames; 2013 - 61 Chop House Grille, Mediapolis; 2012 - Coon Bowl III, Coon Rapids; 2011 - Rusty Duck, Dexter; and 2010 - Sac County Cattle Company, Sac City.


Editor’s Note Here’s some additional information you can share:

If you go:

  • The Smokin’ Hereford BBQ is located at 1605 W Milwaukee Ave., Storm Lake, IA 50588
  • Restaurant hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday
  • Reservations are accepted for four or more except for after 4:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday
  • Phone: (712) 213-3750
  • Facebook: 


About the Iowa Cattlemen's Association: The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association represents about 10,000 beef-producing families and associated companies dedicated to the future of Iowa’s beef industry. ICA’s mission is “Grow Iowa’s beef business through advocacy, leadership and education.”

About the Iowa Beef Industry Council: The Iowa Beef Industry Council is funded by the $1-per-head National Beef Checkoff Program and the $0.50-per-head Iowa State Beef Checkoff. Checkoff dollars are invested in beef promotion, consumer information, research, industry information and foreign market development, all with the purpose of strengthening beef demand. For more information, visit

The Hereford Burger

The Hereford Burger – an 8 ounce Hereford beef burger served on a toasted bun with cheese.

The Hereford Burger

The Hereford Burger – an 8 ounce Hereford beef burger served on a toasted bun with cheese.