Heard’s BBQ in running for Bama’s Best Burger finalist

Published 11:29 am Tuesday, August 21, 2018

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

The Alabama Cattlemen’s Association Bama’s Best Burger contest is heating up, and Heard’s BBQ and Soul Food in Maplesville is a contender in the polls for the top four finalists.

Heard’s BBQ was named a semifinalist in the contest for Region 5 with its Signature Burger. Heard’s was nominated by a customer.

To make it to the finals, Heard’s needs to receive more votes than 82 West’s Cheeseburger on the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association Facebook page by the end of the day on Aug. 24. At last check, Heard’s was in the lead with 72 percent of the vote.

Owner Roman Heard said his customers are very supportive “to help us get the word out about our restaurant.”

He said using smoked cheddar and chipotle mayo is what sets his burger apart.

“It is a flavor that nobody else has — a smoky, spicy flavor,” Heard said.

Originally, Heard used smoked gouda, but changed the recipe because smoked gouda is hard to find. He said the smoked cheddar also has an amazing flavor.

“When I started out I sold everything, except burgers, because anyone can make a burger,” Heard said.

However, after numerous customers asked about adding burgers to the menu, Heard’s started selling them.

“I never knew how much everyone loves burgers, everyone from age 5 to 95,” Heard said.

While the Heard’s Signature Burger does have some spice to it, Heard said it is still mild enough for children.

“It’s a burger that I want to be on the menu all the time,” Heard said.

The burger is also topped with Applewood smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions and mustard.

“That sauce with the mustard on it, it kind of plays on a lot of the savory, smokey, salty flavors,” Heard said.

To determine a final winner, the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association will send out a judge to taste the burger. Heard’s will not know who or when.

Heard said he liked this format because it guarantees that the judge will receive what any other customer would get.

This is the third restaurant contest Heard’s BBQ has been nominated for this year.

Even as Heard makes the contest rounds, he continues to look for new ideas.

“We are always trying to find new ideas of foods to do, so no one gets bored with our menu,” Heard said.

He has closed the restaurant for Aug. 21 and 22 to attend a food show to do just that.

Results of the finalist round will be available on Alabama Cattlemen’s Association Facebook page.