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Burger Dive chef and owner Brad Halsten

Once again, the Burger Dive and its owner Brad Halsten have gained national attention, this time for a TripAdvisor list naming it one of the 10 best places in the U.S. to get a burger.

It got a little surreal when Burger Dive owner Brad Halsten saw Henry Winkler sitting at table three. 

Halsten and his staff tried to play it cool, you know, like Fonzie would have, and let the celebrity eat in peace. 

"He's a super cool guy," Halsten said.

Celebrity spotting — Jay Leno walked in last summer, too — has become a factor for the restaurant as its national profile continues to rise. Earlier this week travel website TripAdvisor complied a list of the 10 best rated burger restaurants on its website and listed Burger Dive at No. 10. 

"I was actually really surprised," Halsten said of the ranking.

The Burger Dive has become something of a gastronomical superstar during its seven years in Billings, pulling in awards from all over the U.S.

Most notably, the diner won top burger in the World Burger Championship in 2016. Two years earlier, Halsten's Blackened Sabbath burger won the Red Robin Best of the Bash award at the national Burger Bash competition in South Beach, Florida. A version of the burger now appears on Red Robin menus across the country. 

The Burger Dive's profile has been lifted each time it's won an award or been added to a best-of list. After the diner won the burger championship it increased business to a whole new level, and then it stayed there, Halsten said. 

Other awards and recognition never had quite the same effect.

"It has a little less impact than it used to," Halsten said smiling. 

Still, travelers and foodies pay attention to lists like the one TripAdvisor released this week, and Halsten expects he'll see another bump in business. 

And he appreciates the attention.

"This is my first restaurant," he said. "This is the first time I've tried to do stuff like this."

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Business Reporter

Business Reporter for the Billings Gazette.