The Burger Worth 1,000 Words
(Or at Least 500 or So…)
If metal is your musical genre of choice and hamburgers your guilty pleasure, then do we have a spot for you! On 2532 Jackson St. in our little paradise of Paducah sits the ‘mecca’ of all burger joints in the Western Kentucky region and possibly the world. The likelihood of being from the area and not having heard of, or experienced, the pure sense of savory surrealism found within each bite of burger, is slim to none. Known for their ever-expanding menu of zany burger concoctions, there is quite literally something for everyone that walks in the door. My favorite creation is The Bombus Burger, a double-burger topped with peanut butter, red pepper jelly, bacon, and sriracha sauce. Coupled with their infamous waffle fries and a larger than life fountain coke, your lunch break is bound to rock harder than it has all week. Other notable titles include The Pork Burger, The Spud Web, The Big Popper, Mushroom & Swiss, The Nebula, The Graveyard, The Gouda Burger, The Red Zeppelin, The Pizza Burger, and The Cody Wody.
We wanted to peel back the curtains of this bodacious burger joint to learn more, so I had the honor of sitting down with Robert Waller, the founding father of Just Hamburgers to ask a few questions.
When did you first become passionate about food? In particular hamburgers?
Honestly, I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t passionate about food. My mother is an exceptional cook, and I’m not just saying that because she’s my mom. I’ll probably spend the rest of my life trying to be as good in the kitchen as she is. She and my step-father have always owned restaurants, so feeding people has pretty much been my way of life. I’ve always felt very comfortable in a kitchen. With hamburgers, the possibilities are endless. It’s kind of like a blank canvas. In regards to our more strange creations, I think it’s fun to make something that sounds weird but tastes good. I like to get people out of their comfort zone. In a positive way, of course.
What are your future goals for Just Hamburgers?
My goals for Just Hamburgers were always fairly modest. However, it grew into something much greater than I could have ever imagined. I’m definitely open to the idea of expanding someday, but I would never do it if it meant we had to sacrifice quality for quantity. We’ll see what happens, though. A perfect opportunity may present itself.
There’s a good chance we’ll be teaming up with the Paducah Fire Dept. this year for BBQ On The River. It would be really cool to work alongside with some of Paducah’s heroes.
What’s your favorite burger creation?
As far as my favorite burger goes……..that’s a tough one.
Our collaborations with other local businesses are always really good. I absolutely love the beer cheese that we make with Dry Ground Brewing Co. I can’t get enough of that stuff! And, of course, The Red’s Zeppelin. I mean, how can you beat a burger on a Red’s Donut? That one was ridiculous, and easily our most requested special.
What do you love most about our community?
The thing I love most about our community is the sense that everyone seems to look out for each other when it comes to supporting local businesses, or even local bands. No one hesitates to tell you that you’re doing a great job. That’s a good thing, and I’m proud to be a part of it.
If you could say one thing to the people of Paducah (and customers), what would it be?
Words could never describe the appreciation I have for the people of Paducah. Our customers are extremely loyal and supportive. I couldn’t thank this town enough!
Never has a name been so deceiving than “Just Hamburgers”. That’s like calling The Cheesecake Factory “Just Cheesecakes”. Regardless, the next time find yourself in the mood for the most affordable and out-of-this-world burger in town (or have a sudden craving for homemade potato salad and homemade baked beans on a burger – oh yeah, it’s a thing…) you know where to go.