Heck's Cafe
 Cleveland, Ohio           Date of Visit: 04/28/11             

I have heard about Heck’s Café for a while now. It has been picked as the best burger in Cleveland for years. I like burgers. We were going to see Trombone Shorty again at the House of Blues for the Tri-C Jazz festival. If you haven’t seen this crew perform it might seem goofy to see them twice in such a short time. If you have seen them, then you know why. Heck’s is close by so I am finally going to get to try. We were ahead of the traditional dinner hour and found the place mostly empty. Small from the outside Heck’s is weird inside. It seems like a different person decorated every space and we sat back in the garden room which in a lot of ways feels like a nice garage with it’s odd collections of stuff. But we were here for burgers and off we went.


Not As Good As They Sounded

We ordered a unique sounding appetizer and a salad. The idea for the salad came when I heard something about their dressings particularly the apricot vinaigrette.  I would like to tell you about the dressings but I can’t. Our server was inept and unkempt. As soon as he addled up to the table just the look of the guy spelled unfortunate. His performance went downhill from that point…there were very few folks in the place and again…the less you have to do the less gets done. So the salad never made it to the table…I was starting to worry that anything would make it to the table but most of it did.

We started with an appetizer that sounded interesting. The artichoke hearts allouette are stuffed with an herbed cream cheese and then breaded and fried and served alongside a mustard seed sauce. There were fine but there was more promise on the menu than there was on the plate.


The Special Burger ( I Didn't Try)

The Rocky River is Good


Interesting Sounding; Less Than Stellar

Something Pretending to be Bleu Cheese on the Pears


After that we were on to the burgers. For some odd reason I ordered a chicken sandwich but I knew I would go halvsies with Steph and wanted to see what the other stuff on the menu looked like. Steph went with the well touted Rocky River Burger which has grilled mushrooms, bacon, Swiss cheese and is topped with sour cream. My chicken sandwich was the Spring chicken with caramelized pears, almonds and bleu cheese.

The burger is absolutely good. I wouldn’t say great, probably not even the best I have had in the past couple of months but I haven’t had any in Cleveland so maybe these are the best. Good bun, tasty patty, if I lived closer I would make a trip for one but I don’t see myself driving into Cleveland special. I also found the chicken sandwich to be underwhelming. The pears were nice but the bleu cheese wasn’t very bleu at all. The chicken was well seasoned and nicely grilled. I was just hoping for more. Honestly, the fries were good, the burger is good, I don’t want to sound like I hated the food. I more hated the experience and the food was nowhere near good enough to compensate. If you go. Go when they are busy. And if your waiter appears to be schlepping around lost and confused…move to another section.




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