By Jordan Whitney | July 13, 2021
Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger, Two Pepsi, One Chip!
Ahh, the cheeseburger. The poster child of American cuisine. When asked what American food is, we pause for a moment trying to figure out how in the world to describe our cuisine, and then we remember the trusty ol’ cheeseburger. It permeates our culture from SNL to Spongebob and is loved all the same from ages 4 to 104.
It’s a love-hate relationship, knowing that we should be eating a salad, but knowing even more than a cheeseburger is the only thing that’s going to satisfy our craving. Luckily for us, we have a few mouthwatering burgers waiting for us just around the corner.
Fairfield has become quite the burger destination around Iowa and for good reason. Here’s your map to navigating Fairfield’s burger scene. (Fair warning, I think I gained ten pounds researching for this blog.)
Fishback and Stephenson Cider House
Fishback and Stephenson Cider House started making noise in the burger world almost immediately when they opened in October of 2014. After only 6 short months they were crowned Iowa’s Best Burger by The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association and the Iowa Beef Industry Council.
The secret ingredient? Thoughtfully raised beef that never leaves the county from Adrian Family Farms. It’s pasture-raised and farm finished with their own apple mash from their cider. Oh, and they use the whole cow. Yes, filet mignon and all. The quality of the beef makes itself known in the first juicy bite, and you instantly understand why people travel from all over the state just for these burgers.
My favorite is the Barbershop Special with spicy mustard, caramelized onions, and caper aioli, but if that’s not your cup of tea they’ve got a trip to flavor town for everybody. Classic Bacon Cheeseburger; Das Kraut with sauerkraut, grilled pineapple, pickled jalapenos, swiss, and spicy mustard; The Smoke House with smoky blue cheese and pickled jalapenos; Chimichurri Burger with kale, chimichurri, chipotle mayo, and pickled onions. You’ll have a hard time not finding a burger you love.
Lunchbox is the new kid on the block and it’s a very welcome addition to put it lightly. Opened earlier this year, it’s already a town favorite. As the name implies, it’s a lunch-focused restaurant but they also offer dinner on Thursday and Friday nights. They will also be launching their ticketed supper club events come late August.
This is my go-to when I’m craving a classic American cheeseburger. It seems so simple on paper but is executed so perfectly you just can’t help but daydream about it for days afterward. Their LB Double Smashburger comes with two beef patties, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickle with the “option” to add bacon. Please, obviously I’m adding the bacon. The toppings are all noticeably top-quality and the beef is so crispy on the outside but tender on the inside. It’s simply Americana in a bite.
When I think food truck, I think “The flavor better punch me in the face”. Punch me in the face it did. The owners of Mike & Nikki’s started the Rolling Cravings food truck in 2020 and have been pulling a regular crowd in all of Southeast Iowa ever since.
They offer a handful of burger options from classic to eccentric. They offer a classic Cheeseburger and Bacon Cheeseburger, as well as a Jalapeno Burger and Mushroom & Swiss Burger.
I saw the Peanut Butter Jam Burger, though, and I of course had to see what was going on there. This burger is not for the faint of heart. It’s a sweet and salty symphony with a kiss of heat at the end from the blackberry-habanero jam. The fan favorite is the Breakfast Burger topped with bacon, American cheese, hash browns, and a fried egg. Hedonistic is an understatement. Can I get this delivered to my house every morning?
Vegetarian? WE GOT YOU
Fairfield is an extremely vegetarian-friendly food scene. We’ve got great options for you that don’t lack on the flavor in the slightest.
Fishback and Stephenson Cider House offers a house-made veggie burger served with lettuce, swiss cheese, chipotle mayo, and spicy mustard. Um, yes, please.
At Lunchbox you can get the Beyond Burger with roasted tomato aioli, avocado, white cheddar, and charred sweet onions. Okay, I might go vegetarian…