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Squires Four tops poll in best burger contest

Squires Four executive chef Nik Martselos gets the flames roaring as he prepares a winning Squires burger – which has been voted the best burger in town through The Morning Star’s online contest. - Jennifer Smith/Morning Star
Squires Four executive chef Nik Martselos gets the flames roaring as he prepares a winning Squires burger – which has been voted the best burger in town through The Morning Star’s online contest.
— image credit: Jennifer Smith/Morning Star

It’s official – Squires Four has the best burger in town.

Through The Morning Star’s latest online contest, readers voted for their favourite burger from a selection of 10 participating pubs and restaurants.

Nearly 14,000 votes were cast, with Squires claiming nearly half – giving the neighbourhood pub bragging rights to having the best burger in town.

Sir Winston’s Churchill Burger took second place followed by The 1882 from Kal Sports Bar and Grill. Other participating restaurants and pubs included: Checkers Pub, Red Robin, Alexanders Beach Pub, Bourbon Street Bar and Grill, The Bulldog, Boston Pizza and Phoenix Steakhouse.

“It’s the biggest contest we’ve ever done online and we thank the readers/customers and restaurants for taking part,” said Ian Jensen, Morning Star publisher, adding that similar contests will continue at vernonmorningstar.com.

“This got the whole community involved.”

And the winning creation comes from an establishment that has 27-year-old roots in the community.

“We have very loyal customers,” said Serry Massoud, Squires owner, attributing the win to both the local and distant customers (votes came in from as far as Vancouver) as well as the “family” of staff.

The Squires burger is a popular item on the menu.

“I have (from sale numbers) over 400 sold for the slowest month of the year, which is January,” said Tamara Hill, director of operations, adding that the number doesn’t include Squires’ burger and beer Sunday special.

With a chuckle, executive chef Nik Martselos adds: “We’re going to try to beat McDonald’s.”

Even despite preparing and cooking so many burgers each day, Martselos admits that even he has a hard time resisting the burger.

“Once in a while I have one because they look so good,” said Martselos, who generally tries to stick to salads.

The secret to the successful burger includes a variety of factors, including freshness.

The kitchen staff hand prepares and forms 120 to 150 patties twice a week from fresh beef, which is 84 to 86 per cent lean.

“One of the most important things is the quality of meat,” said Martselos. “And we’re using AAA Alberta grain-fed quality meat.”

The six-ounce patty, packed with a secret Squires spice, is charbroiled to perfection and made to order.

It’s virtually the exact same recipe Squires used back in 1986 when it first opened.

“If it’s not broken you don’t need to fix it,” said Massoud, adding that the portion can fill a truck driver’s appetite and is a popular item split between seniors and those with smaller stomachs.

Aside from the staple Squires burger, the neighbourhood pub’s packed parking lot is evident that customers are coming for more than just a great burger.

“Usually we do 100 to 150 at lunch, then in the evening we could do 150-200 people,” said Massoud. “And that’s just people who order meals.

“We’re very lucky with the recent bad economy and the liquor laws and all of that, that we still manage to be above water.”

 

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