The 4 inaugural members of the Birmingham Lunch Club had their lunch at Sammy’s Sandwich Shop in the Woodlawn area of Birmingham.
Greg: I have been searching for the best burger in Birmingham for a long time. For about 10 years, there was an undisputed (in my mind) champion, Harry’s Place in Hoover. This restaurant closed in the last year or so, perhaps due to the 5 Guys opening across the street. Since then , I have been on a quest to find something that replicated the Harry’s burger. Blake picked Sammy’s Sandwich Shop in Woodlawn for this week’s lunch. The location is in the middle of an adventurous neighborhood on the edge of Birmingham. Locals milled around the streets as we pulled in. The location was small and filled with about 10 booths/tables. Our waiter was chatty and very friendly. I ordered the large cheeseburger and fries. It took about 10 minutes to get the food, but well worth the wait. The burger was freshly made and had peppers and onions in the meat. A special sauce was added as well as fresh toppings. The fries were hot and crispy. The burger was fantastic and as close to Harry’s as I have tasted. My only complaint is that this establishment was cash only. I am glad I had my friend Joey with me to loan me some dollars. Overhead this and margins that, it’s 2012. Let’s accept credit/debit cards. Other than that, a great experience and I will return. With cash. Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Bros
Joey: I noticed that Sammy’s is the type of restaurant that has yellowed reviews hanging on the wall. I wanted to make my play for gaining immortality via the walls of Sammy’s Sandwich Shop, so…..
- “Sammy’s has the best cheeseburger in Birmingham!” – Joey T
- “Sammy’s Sandwich Shop’s service is so thorough you would think you are at Birmingham’s other famous Sammy’s establishment” – Joey T
- “There’s a reason Sammy’s Sandwich Shop has been around for 47 years and that reason is a limited menu which provides for a low overhead in a low rent area of Birmingham. Just kidding! It’s the delicious cheeseburgers!!!!” – Joey T
- “Sammy’s uses Pepsi products. Automatic half Bro deduction!” – Joey T
- “Sammy’s cheeseburger was so tasty that it makes a trip to Woodlawn worthwhile!!!” – Joey T
- “Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 bros“!!!!! – Joey T
Blake: I chose Sammy’s Sandwich Shop on Messer-Airport Highway because last week’s special BLC guest, Rachael, said it was in the running for the best burger in town. I told a black lady at my office where we were going, and she told me I was heading to the hood. She actually emphasized it: HOOD. She offered a knowing nod when she learned that “us four white boys” would be going there alone.
I didn’t really think so, but then, I’m a long way from Rogersville, Alabama. Yes, 13 years ago, I would have considered that the hood. Not now. And here’s the thing: Rachael was right. What a great burger! The burgers are made to order. There aren’t a lot of frills like special sauces or anything, just a well-cooked burger, with the option I chose of having it served on Texas Toast. I got fries on the side, and the waiter (who I am also assuming is a part owner – the future heir, maybe?) was extremely friendly, made pleasant conversation and at one point asked me, “Have you ever had real ranch? Like, GOOD, ranch?”
How this bro knew me so well, I don’t know. I think someone must have told them we were coming. He served us sides of their home made ranch, blue cheese and thousand island to sample with our fries, and each were out of this world. The place only takes cash and it IS a dive, but it is easily in the conversation for Birmingham’s best active burger, along with Chris Z’s and Marty’s (also dives). With those two being much closer to me, I don’t know that the burger alone would make me skip over them to go to Sammy’s. But the customer service and the condiments were phenomenal. And condiments go a long, long way with me. Overall rating: 5 out of 5 Bros.
Brad: Sammy’s Sandwiches is a family-owned “Mom-and-Pop” restaurant by the Bham airport. The same family has run it for 47 years. To celebrate the excellent customer service of Sammy’s Sandwiches, I will expedite the “speed of service” of my review:
Food: 3.5 bros
Service: 5+ bros
Atmosphere: 2 bros
Price: 2 bros
The “son” who waited on us was outstanding. The burger was, at one point, rated Best in Birmingham. It’s not quite at that level in my eyes. It’s a small dining room and it’s in need of a makeover. The unframed, copy-paper pictures were not aesthetically pleasing. The place is a haul; but if you have to catch a flight, you’re better off dining here than any joint the airport offers. Overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 Bros