Grandpa’s Guide to Burgers :: Over the Mountain Edition


Burger with friesEvery week my dad meets with the ROMEOs – Retired Old Men Eating Out. (I have also been told this has been claimed by “Retired Old Methodists Eating Out.”) They gather for breakfast at the same place at same time each week and solve the world’s problems. They also have been on a self-appointed quest to find the best burger in Birmingham, and they have covered a lot of ground, at least south of the city.

The Top Five ROMEO Recommendations

Here are the top five Grandpa-approved recommendations for burgers south of town, based on the ROMEO’s, admittedly, unscientific rating system:

Green Valley Drug

Grandpa says, “This is the least expensive, most kid-friendly. They have great service and an old-time atmosphere.” Located in Hoover, Green Valley Drug has been around for decades, and Grandpa says that the fries are as good as the burgers.

The Ridge

Grandpa says, “I’ve never been to a restaurant where they ask you how you want your fries prepared – I recommend ‘crispy.’” Located in Vestavia Hills, The Ridge also has outstanding service and is kid friendly. He does note that it is on the second floor, but there is an elevator.

Big Whiskey

Grandpa says, “This is another place with a terrific burger AND terrific fries.” Located in Hoover, this location provides lots of kid-friendly distractions, and it is noisy enough to drown out even the loudest grandkid.

Heatherwood Country Club

Grandpa says, “This hidden gem is probably not for the kids but for when you want to escape them for a little peace and quiet.” Located in Shelby County, the restaurant is open to the public and offers a “very good burger” along with housemade sweet potato fries (Grandma’s favorite) and potato chips.

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s

Grandpa says, “When the grandkids are older, this is an especially good place to grab a good burger.” Located in Hoover, Grandpa recommends their burgers but says the atmosphere may be too much bar for a grandparent on their own with a younger child.

Other contenders from the ROMEOs include Bistro ProVare at Jeff State Community College, Mudtown, Station 31 Kitchen, Chubbfathers, and Metro Diner. Each of these received a 4.0 rating (on a scale of 5) from the guys.

Set your own burger quest!

When my daughter was younger, my dad would often fill in for soccer practice transport when I was out of town. One of his favorite parts of those rides was stopping for a sandwich with her on the way home. They both fondly remember those precious moments with just the two of them.

If you’re lucky enough to have a Grandpa around town, I encourage you to explore these options with him in tow. I’m sure between your dad and your kids, all the world’s problems will at least fade away while biting into a delicious burger. Bon appetit!

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Born in Wisconsin, Chris moved South with her family, first to Richmond, Virginia, and then to Birmingham when she was 12. She loves being a girl raised in the South, and her only remaining Midwestern traits are a love for the Packers and a fondness for bratwurst. In 2010, Chris reconnected with Christopher, a former Birmingham-Southern College classmate, after a random meeting in the cereal aisle at Publix. They married in 2011, not realizing that they were bringing together a perfect storm of teenage angst with their three children. Today, Chris is the center support that keeps the seesaw of her family balanced, leading a blended family of three young adults and enjoying an empty nest. Before the pandemic, most days were busy managing client relationships for a corporate event production company, but after six months of unemployment, she has become the parish administrator aka “the church lady” for her church. When she's not working, she loves reading a rich historical novel, volunteering with her sorority, and planning their next wine-tasting excursions.


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