Heck’s Bar and Burgers

I had din­ner with Five Dollar Beer last night. We went to Heck’s Café over on Bridge Avenue, be­cause they ap­par­ent­ly have the best burg­ers in town. The burg­ers were good, but if they are the best burg­ers in town then Cleveland sore­ly needs a re­al­ly good burg­er joint. Something akin to CJ’s out of South Bend.

The place it­self has that ut­ter­ly unas­sum­ing look from the out­side that tends to char­ac­ter­ize most good burg­er places. Upon en­ter­ing I was greet­ed by a hand-stitched sam­pler in­form­ing me that I would be seat­ed in a mo­ment. That was cool. It was kind of weird to see the bar full of wine right be­hind it though. “Wine and burg­ers?” I thought. We were seat­ed by a wait­er in black pants and a white shirt, in a nat­u­ral­ly lit atri­um with a spi­ral stair­case and plant-life every­where. The nap­kins were cloth. This is a burg­er place?

We or­dered rather quick­ly. I or­dered the Rocky River burg­er [swiss cheese, ba­con, sour cream, mush­rooms] with Cajun fries and a choco­late milk­shake with the meal. It ar­rived about ten min­utes lat­er [to me it felt like ten hours be­cause I was hun­gry], we chowed down, paid, and left.

On the way home we dis­cussed the place. I wasn’t im­pressed by their burg­ers, they were good but not amaz­ing. We did a bit of math and de­ter­mined that the burg­ers are about $5.50 bucks apiece and the fries [which were re­al­ly re­al­ly good] are about $3.00. So for a five dol­lar ham­burg­er the qual­i­ty was ac­cept­able.

The ham­burg­er pat­ty was about a half-inch thick and didn’t take up the whole bun. I had about three bites of bun left­over when all the meat was gone. I was al­so a bit dis­ap­point­ed in their burg­er se­lec­tion, I’d like more va­ri­ety. Heck’s doesn’t live up to the hype, it seems like it was try­ing to be more up­scale [but with less char­ac­ter] than it need­ed to be [in­di­vid­ual ketchup bot­tles?].

There has to be some place in Cleveland where I can get a 10oz ham­burg­er with tons of dif­fer­ent fix­ins, the condi­ments on the ta­ble, a pitch­er of beer, loud mu­sic, a per­fuc­n­to­ry wait staff, and a grill god in the kitchen. Anybody know of one?

Plain Dealer Review

8 thoughts on “Heck’s Bar and Burgers

  1. I have to agree with Adam. Though the burg­er (I got a Rogue Burger — served with ba­con and topped with Roquefort cheese) was cer­tain­ly *good*, I found it hard to be­lieve that, as a large hand­ful of signs and awards told us, up­on en­ter­ing, that they were the “Best Burgers in Cleveland” and my medi­um was a hair away from be­ing a “well” (try as I might, I on­ly saw the very slight­est of red in the cen­ter). But, they were priced well (I thought), the am­biance was pret­ty good, though I was a bit dis­ap­point­ed to be led through the area with the gor­geous oak booths to the back area, with plas­tic ta­bles and, again, the burg­ers were cer­tain­ly not bad, just not “the best I’d ever had in Cleveland”

    I do dis­agree with one as­pect of the PD re­view linked to though. I found the san­i­ta­tion of the place to be very good. The kitchen was open (i.e. vis­i­ble to guests) and, pass­ing by it, I found it to be very clean and or­ga­nized. The wait­er was at­ten­tive, but not too over­bear­ing and I nev­er felt like the clean­li­ness wasn’t up to snuff.

  2. thanks for ac­ti­vat­ing me, adam. hee hee. yeah, i have to ad­mit, for a veg­e­tar­i­an liv­ing in ohio, i spent a rather in­or­di­nate amount of time read­ing about burg­ers in texas.

  3. To be fair, I live just around the cor­ner and eat at Hecks with some fre­quen­cy. They have tend­ed to be re­al­ly hit or miss late­ly. When I first went, the burg­er was amaz­ing — huge and well pro­por­tioned to the bun, cooked a per­fect medi­um rare, etc. etc. Lately though, it’s been let­ting me down a bit. The crab­cakes are typ­i­cal­ly re­al­ly yum­my, high crab per­cent­age, crispy out­side, moist inside…but I went there for my birth­day and they were just sog­gy and greasy. 

    The best burg­er I’ve had in Cleveland was ac­tu­al­ly a slid­er I had over at the Velvet Tango Room at one of their clambakes…not re­al­ly an every­day op­tion though. So, if you find a good burg­er place, please let us all know!!

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