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Two local eateries voted top five for best burger
August 21, 2015 Jerry Purvis   

Read more by Jerry Purvis
At this year’s Nebraska State Fair, our local area will be well represented as two eateries will compete for the title of Nebraska’s Best Burger.

The Nebraska Beef Council received more than 6,000 nominations during the initial online voting. That was narrowed down to five finalists. And when that list was announced, included were the Union Bar in Gering for the Deuce Burger and Goonie’s Kozy Keno Bar and Grill in Terrytown for their Goonie Burger.

Scott Swanson placed second in last year’s contest for their Union Burger. This year, they’re trying a new recipe. The Deuce starts with a half-pound beef patty, Swiss cheese, potato coins with cheddar cheese and jalapeno, American cheese, three strips of bacon, pepper jack cheese, all on a jalapeno bun with “sparky sauce.”

“This is the third year in a row we’ve been in the top five,” Swanson said. “We’re really excited this year because we’ll be at the state fair in a big pavilion with an audience and judges will decide. We each have 30 minutes cook our best burger and make a presentation. Winning it at the state fair would be a big honor.”

Paul Guhn of Goonie’s Kozy Keno Bar and Grill in Terrytown will be cooking his Goonie Burger. It’s a half-pound of fresh ground beef with sautéed mushrooms, jalapenos, pepper jack cheese, American cheese, fried ham, and their secret special Goonie sauce on a toasted split-top bun.

“I was pumped when I learned I was in the top five,” Guhn said. “I’ve only been open 19 months, so we’re all ecstatic to be going for the top burger. I’m really proud to have two places in western Nebraska going for the top at the state fair.”

The judging event happens Sept. 4 at the state fair in Grand Island. A panel of judges will evaluate each hamburger and score them based on taste, proper cooking temperature and appearance.

The overall winner will be determined based on the combined scores from the judges. All finalists will be awarded cash prizes with the top burger receiving $1,000 and the award for Nebraska’s Best Burger.

Also making the top five for Nebraska’s Best Burger this year are the Cellar Bar and Grill and Sozo American Cuisine, both in Kearney, and last year’s winner, Stella’s Bar and Grill in Bellevue.
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