Wednesday, September 17, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Dave’s Giant Hamburgers has legacy – and no fries

Dave's Giant Hamburger

Julie Wright prepares some very large chili burgers Wednesday at Dave's Giant Hamburger along North Texas Street in Fairfield. (Conner Jay/Daily Republic)

By
From page SOS7 | December 30, 2012 |

FAIRFIELD — Anyone who’s had a burger from Dave’s in the past 49 years knows what it tastes like today.

Dave’s Giant Hamburgers has been at its North Texas Street location for 49 years and still uses the same kind of meat, buns and cheese as it did when it opened. Even the grill is original.

“When you buy a burger here, you know it’s super fresh and it’s Kraft cheese,” said Lesa Gonzalez, daughter of the original owner, Dave Heim. “When people come back and are hitting the town, they have to hit Dave’s.”

Gonzalez now runs the burger joint after her dad died six years ago. Recently, her mother Carol couldn’t handle the day-to-day operation, so Gonzalez jumped in. Gonzalez is no stranger to the place as she has helped out on and off since she started making milkshakes in the eighth grade.

Heim had never owned a restaurant before walking away from his accountant job in San Francisco to open the small burger shack that backs up to Armijo High School. She said he hated accounting and loved big, juicy burgers like Nation’s.

That led to him taking over the business from another owner and renaming it. At one point, the sign read “Heimburgers,” but was eventually taken down due to confusion by customers.

It wasn’t long before he started picking up business and bonding with the customers. His orange Chevy truck became a landmark, parked outside while he flipped burgers.

“He lived here,” Gonzalez said. “When you saw the truck around town, everybody knew it was Dave driving by.”

Much of the 1950s-themed decor still looks as it did years ago. The checkerboard floors, bar stools and turquoise paint speak of a diner from the past. As for that paint, apparently Heim was notorious for finding a bargain. When it came to painting, a buddy turned him on to some cheap paint. He agreed and slapped a coat on.

“My dad was color blind, in his defense,” she said with a laugh. “He got a good deal. The good deal was mixing all of the paint colors together.”

As the reputation grew, so did the stories behind one of the things that set Dave’s apart from nearly every burger joint. Dave’s does not sell french fries. While there are many stories behind the reason, Gonzalez said it comes down to money. It was more work than they were worth after buying the fryer, keeping it up, buying the grease and selling the fries for a small profit.

“He had a million jokes about that,” she said. “People that like the burger get it. We don’t need the fries.”

Patrons must settle for a bag of chips or chili as a side dish. Gonzalez said some people will walk out when they realize there are no fries.

“They leave. It happens. But we’re not here to make them happy,” she said. “We know it’s a new person when someone orders fries.”

One regular who doesn’t mind is Taylor Torrence, who has been eating there since he was in first grade.

“With how good the burgers are, I don’t need them,” the 18-year-old said of fries. “I know most of the workers here, too. It’s a nice environment.”

Serving him that cheeseburger was Kelly Paulson, Gonzalez’s daughter. The 24-year-old worked with her grandfather when he used to bring her home from school. At one point, she was recruited to work the grill.

“I think he didn’t want to pick me up, so he said, ‘Put an apron on,’ ” Paulson said.

It’s unclear if she will one day run the business, but for now she’s happy to carry on the tradition.

“I was born into the legacy,” she said. “I’m always going to be here to help.”

Reach Danny Bernardini at 427-6935 or dbernardini@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/dbernardinidr.

 

Dave’s Giant Hamburgers
Address: 1055 N. Texas St., Fairfield
Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Saturday; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday

Danny Bernardini

Danny Bernardini

Danny is a newspaper man born and raised in Vacaville. He attended Chico State University and has written for the Enterprise Record and the Reporter. Covers the City of Fairfield, education and crime. A's, Warriors and Saints fan. Listener of vinyl, frequent visitor to the East Bay. Registered "decline to state" voter. Loves a good steak.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • steve terrellJune 28, 2013 - 5:45 am

    i ate at daves since i was 15 he opened and we became friends, i am 64 now .i used to work for dave after i got out of the service i cleaned his place when he used to close at 2 am. i moved from fairfield in 2002.but i would call him once in awhile.i would paint for him and do things around his business i painted the ceiling once,walls,clean the floor etc ,i put a new floor in the bed of his orange truck,used it to move ...i would take burgers instead of money for helping him sometimes he'd say free burgers for a month or a week .he has the best burgers i ever tasted,i always try to find burger places to see if they have daves taste ,haven't found one yet...my wife agrees his burgers were the best ....anywhere... he was a good friend and i miss him.he will always be my friend.he was funny and loved his family and his customers.dave heim worked for s.p. at one market st ,s.f. before he moved to fairfield.i worked for s.p. then u.p. bought them out and i finally retired in 2006 ,now live in arkansas.i have alot of stories about dave and i know his children and wife ...some day i will travel to fairfield to eat a dave's giant burger and pay my respects...

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

David Grant doctor’s mission continues

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
Chamber PAC draws candidates to Jelly Belly

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Damaged dog gets going-away party after getting healthy

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Police enlist help to find armed bandit

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A4, 11 Comments | Gallery

 
 
Suisun City slaying suspect case moves forward

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

Touro University to host Zombie Run/Walk

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

 
Land trust organizes Rockville Trails Preserve hike

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4

 
 
Suisun police to host medication take-back

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A5

Chamber to host Suisun City candidates night

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A5

 
Coastal Cleanup Day targets local waterways

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Judge questions juror in Calkins case

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A6

Drama reigns supreme with week’s film debuts

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7

 
Anti-drug programs face funding shortfall

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A8

 
Suisun City police log: Sept. 13, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Fairfield police log: Sept. 13, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: Sept. 14, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Fairfield police log: Sept. 15, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Sept. 15, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

Suisun City police log: Sept. 14, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Weather for Sept. 17, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B14

.

US / World

Woman in wildfire’s path lost almost everything

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Lumber town takes stock after wind-driven wildfire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

PG&E officials leave posts over improper emails

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8 | Gallery

 
Governor signs first California groundwater rules

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Things to know about California groundwater law

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
California drivers must give bikes 3-foot buffer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9 | Gallery

San Francisco trying shaming for quake safety

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
UN: Nearly $1 billion needed now to stop Ebola

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

CDC study: Americans’ bellies are expanding fast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
Blacks, Hispanics have doubts about media accuracy

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

School bus driver killed during safety drill

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Hunt on for survivalist charged in trooper killing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Robbery suspects tried to make off with $15,600

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Top general: US ground troops possible in Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Obama: Ebola outbreak a threat to global security

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Afghan suicide bomber kills 3 foreign troops

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

Mexico airlifts tourists after Hurricane Odile

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
Ukraine lawmakers ratify landmark deal with Europe

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13 | Gallery

Iraq parliament rejects interior, defense nominees

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
.

Opinion

Brown dons rose-tinted glasses for look backward

By Dan Walters | From Page: A11

 
Time for utility execs to start worrying

By Thomas Elias | From Page: A11

Editorial cartoons for Sept. 17, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
Climate change: Complacent vs. apocalyptic

By John M. Crisp | From Page: A11

 
Column focus on campaign signs misplaced

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 12 Comments

.

Living

Today in History: Sept. 17, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Sept. 17, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

My selfish husband neglects and cheats on me. What’s next?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B5

 
Horoscopes: Sept. 17, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

All the flavors of fall in one twice-baked package

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Leave them feeling full with nutritious chia seeds

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

A late summer Southern classic – tomato pie

By Elizabeth Karmel | From Page: B6

 
.

Entertainment

CBS: Rihanna out of NFL telecast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Leonardo DiCaprio named UN Messenger of Peace

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Sports

Kazmir, sloppy Athletics lose 6-3 to Rangers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Armijo volleyball team falls to Vintage

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

Peavy, Posey help Giants gain ground in NL West

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Prep volleyball preview: Big goals for city teams

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Raiders games are like live reruns

By Tony Wade | From Page: B1

 
Sacramento Kings to retire Stojakovic’s jersey

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Broncos, Seahawks top AP Pro32 before rematch

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Union appeals Ray Rice’s indefinite suspension by NFL

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Jaguars sign Rodriguez grad Jensen off practice squad

By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B2

 
Short stay at NASCAR’s party for AJ and Almirola

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Hindsight: a Ryder Cup tradition, like no other

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Senator ties NFL tax status to Redskins name

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

DA: Josh Gordon gets probation in DWI case in NC

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Anheuser-Busch, McDonald’s voice NFL disapproval

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Criticism mounting for Vikings, Adrian Peterson

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
McIlroy wins PGA player of the year award

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Grand jury to weigh case of NASCAR’s Tony Stewart

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
49ers defense looks to bounce back from tough day

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9 | Gallery

.

Business

NASA picks Boeing and SpaceX to ferry astronauts

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Web filter lifts block on gay sites

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Alibaba risk: China’s rise leaves out investors

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Corinthian Colleges sued for predatory lending

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

UPS expects to hire up to 95,000 seasonal workers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
US CEOs less optimistic about hiring, spending

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

.

Obituaries

Margaret King

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Minnie Watkins Dixon

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5