300 Burger opens in Des Moines serving classic all-beef hamburgers
While crinkle-edged smash burgers and unexpected toppings have become all the burger rage in Des Moines, one restaurateur’s idea of the perfect patty takes it back to the basics.
300 Burger, 300 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway Suite 170, quietly opened last October ahead of an announced launch party in December. The restaurant comes from co-owner and operating partner Josh Buchsbaum, who also partners on The Poké Co. in the same building.
“We want to have the best burger, not just another burger,” Buchsbaum said. “Everyone wants to do something fancy, something exciting or creative. We really want to be very classic with our burger.”
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The classic burger in question starts with a one-third-pound Angus beef patty made in-house and cooked to your taste on a soft bun topped with familiar fixings: cheese, lettuce, onion, pickle and mayonnaise.
If you ask Buchsbaum, that’s all a burger really needs. But for the burger aficionado, a small selection of specialty burgers including a daily chef’s choice grace the menu.
Not wavering too far from the traditional, burgers such as the Caliente take things up a notch with a layer of jalapeño cheese sauce just spicy enough to break a brow sweat. The Betty, Buchsbaum’s personal favorite way to eat a burger, comes schmeared with bacon jam and topped with crumbled feta, lettuce, tomato and onion.
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There are specialty sandwiches, soups and sides, too, with thoughtful vegan and gluten-free options — a portion of the menu Buchsbaum is eager to grow.
In fact, much of the menu will continue to be reconsidered and revamped as Des Moines sees more foot traffic, summertime events and baseball games and, eventually, downtown workers. It was all part of the plan, Buchsbaum said, to gradually grow the restaurant with the city’s needs and to do so with a lot of love and care.
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After traveling the world, Buchsbaum is investing in the city that gave him his start as a chef and sommelier, and he is infectiously hopeful about the future of Des Moines.
After many years in the city’s hospitality industry — four of those years at fine-dining restaurant Proof, in the kitchen and eventually managing the bar — Buchsbaum left the Midwest in 2016 for a years-long tour of Europe and South America.
He landed first in Prague, where he restarted his culinary journey on the bottom rung as a dishwasher for a burger joint, slowly moving into more rewarding positions.
From Prague, it was Paris, and then the south of France, and shortly thereafter Chile. Finding himself in kitchens across continents, Buchsbaum developed a new appreciation for restaurant work.
“It was just about learning how to talk to people and being willing to do things you’re not thinking that you want to do,” he said.
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In late 2019, Buchsbaum landed back in Des Moines, where he joined The Poké Co. team and began working on his own passion project 300 Burger.
The future is bright, Buchsbaum said, and he’s hopeful to be able to grow the restaurant to eventually serve breakfast and late-night crowds as well as a killer happy hour and bar program featuring classic drinks and local wine.
For now, 300 Burger is aiming for deliciously juicy patties done the old-fashioned way, served Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. for dine in, takeout and delivery.
Elle Wignall covers dining for the Register. Reach her at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @ElleWignallDMR.