Hamburger Heaven

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Hamburger Heaven is a burger joint local to the Birmingham area. There are four locations, all equally as delicious. Pete Flach, the owner of these delicious fast-casual dining spots, prides himself on the quality of food he serves. “It isn’t just the beef. Even the produce is freshly delivered and cut daily, and the deli ham and turkey, featured on the club sandwich, are the highest quality I can get my hands on” Pete says. The beef is delivered three times a week (keep in mind they are only open six days a week, as they are closed on Sundays). Once the meat is delivered, it is hand-pattied and chargrilled, which is one of the main reasons Hamburger Heaven is so unique…not to mention the ‘special sauce’, a mustard and ketchup based sauce, with an A1 flare. It pairs with almost anything: burgers, fries, grilled chicken sandwiches, hot dogs; you name it!

The second I decided to date Philip, a loyalty was established. Not just between he and I, but a very personal, very emotional loyalty between myself and his dad’s restaurant. You don’t choose the foodie life, the foodie life chooses you. You think I’m kidding… Loyalties are a big thing here in Birmingham. The second you  move to town, they expect you to pick between the only TWO teams that seem to exist here. And you cannot say both. I learned that the hard way. Hamburger Heaven likes to showcase this through their wall decor. There is both Auburn and Alabama paraphernalia ALL over the place. When I asked Pete the story behind this, he simply said, “I tried to appeal to as many people as I could. When you’ve got deliciously juicy burgers and fresh grilled chicken salads and sandwiches, the only thing left is football”.  Pete is a big Auburn guy, but strangely, he seems to have more Alabama gear. Over the years, customers would come in for a burger, but would also drop off some sort of poster, flag or framed photo to add to the collection that plasters the walls. Bobby Bowden used to be a frequent customer. One day, he brought in a signed picture to add to the collection at the 280 location. He’s not the only big name to do that! Photos of Jeff Pizitz, president of Gus Mayer, and professional golfer Steve Lowry also hang on the walls.

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Today, Philip and I met Pete for lunch. There is something just sublime about a juicy cheeseburger on a nasty Monday. Between the two of us, we ordered the sliders (beef patty, melted cheese, Hamburger Heaven sauce and a pickle), a double cheese burger and crispy, perfectly salted fries. We also tasted a fresh batch of chili. Mr. Pete says it might be one of their biggest seasonal sellers. Honestly, it’s the best chili I’ve ever had. (Sorry, Mom.) It’s got a kick to it too, from the jalapeños, but it isn’t too spicy, and it is packed with their fresh beef and freshly sliced tomatoes.

Hamburger Heaven is conveniently located in Irondale, Homewood, Gardendale and down 280. To add to their convenience factor, there is a drive-thru window for optimal practicality. But, if you dine in, chances are Mr. Pete will personally chargrill your burger and bun, and maybe even throw in a free fry or milkshake! Speaking of milkshakes, his most popular flavors are chocolate, vanilla, peanut butter, banana and cherry. My favorite is peanut butter banana mixed. I promise he isn’t lying when he says they’re the thickest and most heavenly milkshakes in town, get it? 😉

Hamburger Heaven — Take Your Taste To A Different Place.

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