Local restaurant wins Beef Backer Award, food quality recognized

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Little Apple Brewing Company, a Manhattan restaurant located in the Westloop Shopping Center, was presented with the Beef Backer Award at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association trade show in Nashville, Tenn. earlier this month.

Each year, three restaurants are recognized by the Beef Checkoff Program for their menus and marketing of beef. This year, the Little Apple Brewing Company won the “Independent Operator” category.

A committee of retail industry professionals on the judging committee selected the Beef Backer winners based on a variety of criteria including promotional partnerships, beef merchandising and education programs.

“There was an extensive application process which took months to complete that we worked on with our local Certified Angus Beef representative,” said Donald Darfler, assistant general manager at Little Apple Brewing Company.

The other two national winners include Zippy’s Restaurants in Hawaii and Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort located in Idaho. Zippy’s has 25 different locations across the islands and purchases enough beef to keep the Hawaii beef industry viable. Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort has a custom built dry aging room for the beef that is served in their eight restaurants.

Megan Fink, senior in animal science, grew up dining at Little Apple Brewing Company. The Fink family co-owns the restaurant with family friends, Kelly and Russ Loub.

“It’s grown a lot over the years,” Fink said. “The managers have changed the place and gotten back to where it needs to be.”

Little Apple Brewing Company is well-known in the Manhattan community for serving gourmet food such as Certified Angus Beef. The menu includes homemade soup, a variety of salads and lots of different varieties of beef.

“Steaks are my number one choice; there is the steak gazzetta that I’m addicted to right now as well as the black and blue salad,” Fink said.

The Manhattan Mercury has recognized Little Apple Brewing Company for the best steak in Manhattan.

“My husband and I love to go there for lunch. Their soup and salad bar are perfect,” said Marlene McNerney, administrative specialist in the Vice President of Student Life’s office.

The Fink family lives about 20 minutes outside Manhattan on a ranch where they raise Angus and Charolaise cattle.

“When we lived closer to Manhattan, we went often as a family,” Fink said.

Little Apple Brewing Company caters to a diverse Manhattan community that includes K-State professors, students, international students, Fort Riley soldiers and others in the Manhattan community.

“We provide a rustic and casual atmosphere that makes you feel at home, whatever your background is or social status may be,” Darfler said. “We take pride in providing a full customer experience from the moment you enter the restaurant to the moment you leave.”

Darfler said Little Apple Brewing Company prides itself on the high level of customer service it provides to every person dining at the restaurant.

“Our staff is encouraged to let their personalities show, allowing them the freedom to be who they are, creating a personal and genuine interaction with the customer that you don’t find at most places,” Dafler said.

Little Apple Brewing Company is located in the Westloop shopping area. It is open seven days a week excluding the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Years Day.

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