Northern Wisconsin bar & grill wins first-ever Wisconsin’s Best Burger Contest

Northern Wisconsin bar & grill wins first-ever Wisconsin’s Best Burger Contest

HAZELHURST, Wis. (WFRV) – The Wisconsin Beef Council has announced that the All American Burger at Pickles Bar and Grill in Hazelhurst has won the inaugural Wisconsin’s Best Burger Contest.

Announced on Wednesday, the All American Burger is a half-pound burger with lettuce, tomato, raw onion, smoked garlic mayo, and cheese. All the burgers at Pickles Bar and Grill consist of a craft blend of brisket, short rib, and ground chuck seasoned with a house blend seasoning.

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“We are honored to have our All American Burger named as the winner of the Wisconsin Beef Council’s 2024 Best Burger Contest,” said Justin Koshak, who co-owns Pickles with Dan Linscott. “We are happy to represent what the Northwoods has to offer when it comes to restaurants, taverns, and grills. There are so many great spots up here that showcase great menus and fantastic food.”

The Wisconsin Beef Council designed the contest to seek out and promote 100% beef burgers prepared in Wisconsin restaurants. Pickles Bar and Grill emerged with the highest score from a secret panel of three judges, who traveled to the Elite Eight restaurants named in the contest.

“We are thrilled with the overwhelming response from Wisconsin residents for this contest,” Tammy Vaassen, executive director of the Wisconsin Beef Council, said. “The Wisconsin Beef Council’s mission is to grow demand for beef, and our Elite Eight restaurants have reported a strong increase in business and sales of beef burgers. The feedback from our judges was immensely positive for all the competitors, which is a testament to the large number of nominations received for each of them. We are honored to have Pickles as our first-ever winner, with judges’ comments including: ‘The burger was juicy and thick, the bun was delicious, cooked to perfection, the flavor was amazing, and the owner stopped by several times to check on us.'”

The announcement follows a 30-day nomination period during which consumers across the state could submit their favorite burger joint. The Elite Eight restaurants received the most nominations.

April’s secret panel of judges visited each restaurant to evaluate a burger on the menu. They rated taste, appearance and presentation, proper cooking temperature, and overall eating enjoyment. Bonus points could be awarded for the restaurant’s environment, atmosphere, and experience.

The Wisconsin Beef Council expects to rerun the contest in 2025. To be eligible, the hamburgers in the restaurant must be 100% beef. Officials say other ingredients, such as spices and vegetables, may be added to the patty.

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All burgers must comprise a formed ground beef patty/patties served on a bun or other bread products such as biscuits, focaccia, or tortillas. Burgers may include any combination of condiments, sauces, cheeses, and toppings. Every burger component must be placed between the bun or bread pieces or served open-faced on a bread product.

“Restaurants can watch for details about next year’s contest coming out in February of 2025 on our website,” said Vaassen. “The contest has shown us that whether you’re from a rural area or one of our larger cities, beef brings our communities together for delicious meals.”

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