HOME > Chowhound > Great Plains >
What's your latest food project? Tell us about it

Upscale Burger in Des Moines? (or anywhere)

johnseberg Sep 15, 2012 06:12 AM

I'm looking for a particular burger. The most important thing is that the restaurant grinds their own, and is willing to cook it medium-rare or even rare. It would be nice if it is a single patty that's about 8 ounces. Grass-fed would be a bonus.

I've tried a few places in Des Moines, and the best result was at Americana. The meat was overcooked at Centro. It was very overcooked at Gateway Market. I didn't ask for medium-rare at Zombie burger, and I thought the patties were too thin.


  1. i
    Iowaboy3 Sep 15, 2012 09:19 PM

    Have you tried Django yet?


    5 Replies
    1. re: Iowaboy3
      vitus979 Sep 16, 2012 07:27 AM

      Yeah, Django would be my first suggestion, but I don't know if they grind their own.

      My favorite burger in Iowa though is Lincoln Cafe in Mt Vernon. It would be quite a drive though, being north of Iowa City.

      Another suggestion might be Short's in Iowa City. They only have 3 items on the menu, a burger, a chicken breast sandwich, and a vegetarian bean burger. Each of the 3 items has over a dozen varieties of topping available though.

      1. re: vitus979
        johnseberg Sep 16, 2012 08:14 AM

        Django grinds their own. It says so on their homepage. I think all the George Formaro places do.

        1. re: johnseberg
          trza Sep 17, 2012 08:57 AM

          Is there no love for the Tartine Burger, topped with La Quercia Prosciutto, Arugula, Truffle Mayo, and cheese?

          The Rusty Duck in Dexter won an award from the Iowa Beef/Cattlemans organization a year ago. One of their burgers is steak trimming ground up and sells out soon after they open at five. Their other burgers are fresh ground as well.

          Some local places have added bacon ground burgers or Juicy Lucy style burgers to their menus. But I am not exactly Mr Burger and these are not high on my list to check out.

          1. re: trza
            johnseberg Sep 21, 2012 11:03 AM

            I tried Tartine, earlier this week. I had the Prairie Burger. It was very good. I would say it was just slightly overcooked. I suspect it may have been allowed to rest for a bit, after cooking (for good or bad, intentional or not).

        2. re: vitus979
          johnseberg Sep 21, 2012 10:59 AM

          Django nailed it. I had the cheeseburger. It was perfectly seasoned, truly medium-rare, and generous with the cheese. Really a steal for $9.99 which included a side.

      2. s
        sparkeye Sep 15, 2012 09:27 AM

        Really not sure if these are "upscale" but here are a couple places Andrew Zimmern prefers...http://eater.com/archives/2011/05/16/andrew-zimmerns-favorite-midwestern-hamburgers.php

        B&B Deli - http://bbgrocerymeatdeli.com/
        Christophers - http://www.christophersdsm.com/christ...

        2 Replies
        1. re: sparkeye
          johnseberg Sep 15, 2012 09:54 AM

          That's helpful. I'll probably try both, but, the Beaverdale Burger at Christopher's sounds the closest to my specs. Buster's on 28th (Minneapolis) was already on my list.

          1. re: sparkeye
            johnseberg Oct 2, 2012 06:53 PM

            The Beaverdale Burger (with cheese) at Christopher's was good, but, not something I would make a habit of having. The burger itself was overcooked (which I have grown to expect), but still juicy. It was also under-seasoned. The fries were excellent. A good deal and quality ingredients for less than eight bucks.

          Show Hidden Posts