Good things come in threes - just ask anyone ordering a burger at Uli's restaurant on White Rock's West Beach.
For the past year, diners at the pier-side eatery have been torn between two award-winning burgers.
Now they have three to choose from.
For the third consecutive year, Uli's is the judges' choice in the Now's Best Burger in Town contest, taking top honours with a spicy concoction tentatively dubbed Uli's 3.0.
Winning any contest three times is hard, but Uli's streak of success is even more impressive considering owner Tyson Blume and chef Ryan Bissell have done it with three different burgers. This year's entry begins with a ground steak patty topped with harrissa (a Moroccan spice), cheddar cheese, guacamole, a secret house-made barbecue sauce and corn salsa.
"We're not doing anything crazy, we're just using four or five ingredients on each burger," said Bissell.
"Our main goal with our burgers is to keep it simple but with a good balance, taking classic ingredients and tweaking them to make them even better."
Blume added he was worried his restaurant's success might work against the Uli's 3.0, but the judges' taste buds prevailed.
"After winning twice you wonder if psychology is going to play on the judges' minds in favour of the underdog," he said. "I knew we had an amazing burger but the third award is the hardest and most coveted to win. In sports it's the threepeat and the triple crown - those are the hardest to win, and most exciting."
The underdog among this year's final five in the Best Burger in Town contest was E's Up Dining in North Delta, which placed second overall on the judges' scorecards.
The E's Up crew modified a meatball recipe into a killer beef patty that partners well with sautÃ©ed onions, bacon, cheddar, lettuce, tomato and mayo on a toasted bun. As an added bonus, E's Up burgers are served with seasoned pan fries quickly devoured by the judges.
In third place was another White Rock beachfront eatery, 5 Doors Down, with its monstrous Oli's burger.
This plate-sized creation includes American Kobe steak, oxtail ragu, smoked bacon aioli and vineripened tomatoes on a massive rosemary garlic herb bun.
This is a burger for those with healthy appetites and, at $42 a pop, a healthy wallet as well.
Vera's Burger Shack was the top vote-getter among Now readers, and the judges loved their barbecue burger with fried onions, bacon and Provolone cheese.
Rounding out the top five was the Texx Big Burger in Guildford. The restaurant can make you a burger with an amazing choice of toppings complemented by outstanding French fries.
Texx Big Burger takes home the People's Choice award for most online votes in the Best Burger in Town contest.
© Copyright 2013