There is no better feeling than being welcomed to Stuffed Burgers and Deli by two smiling children. Seven-year-old Audrey and 6-year-old Paulie, children of owners Paul and Stacy Simmerman, are the restaurant’s welcome wagon and decorators — their drawings are featured throughout the store’s two main rooms.

“I drew this one,” says Audrey Simmerman as she proudly points to one of her favorite drawings taped to the bookshelf beside the seating area. One step through the door and customers feel like they are “coming over our house,” according to Stacy Simmerman.

This family-owned burger joint operates on the ground floor of a house along Route 9 in Seaville. A wrap-around porch with chairs and tables leads to the entrance, and just outside the door, a chalkboard easel displays the daily specials — and more of Audrey and Paulie’s artwork.

Inside the restaurant, the children sit by the door in the cozy dining area underneath rustic, exposed beams on the ceiling. In the adjacent room, the deli case is stocked with Dietz and Watson brand lunchmeats and house-roasted turkey and roast beef. Behind the counter, customers can peer through a window into the kitchen and watch as Paul Simmerman prepares stuffed burgers. The rest of the store is filled with shelves with bags of chips, Tastykakes, and other items to grab for a cookout or barbeque. Despite several fully stocked shelves, the restaurant feels spacious. The sea green walls, soft music and family presence create a comfortable atmosphere for customers.

Ever since Paul and Stacy Simmerman got married they wanted to open a business together. At the time, Paul Simmerman worked in Atlantic City as the head chef of EVO in Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino. Last year, when Trump Plaza closed the couple saw the circumstance as “an opportunity to do what we always wanted to do.” Without much hesitation, the Simmermans purchased the lot on Route 9 and opened Stuffed Burgers and Deli mid March.

The couple literally dreamed about running a restaurant. One night, Paul Simmerman had a vivid dream of an angel who showed him how to run the restaurant. According to Paul Simmerman, the angel from his dream showed him everything from specific reduction methods for adding sauces to their burgers to how their outdoor sign would look with the man stuffed in his red flannel shirt.

“Looks pretty much just like it did in the dream,” Paul Simmerman smiles. “(And) the angel was very specific about making a gourmet burger that wasn’t a mess.”

Before the burgers hit the menu, the Simmermans tried all the recipes at home with family and friends, and today the restaurant offers six different types of burgers ($9 to $10). Each night, Paul Simmerman prepares the stuffed burgers with particular sauces and ingredients. At first glance, the price seems steep for a burger, but each patty’s special preparation and the ultimate taste make it worth the extra dollars.

Stuffed burgers are not the only item on the menu here. The Simmermans offers a variety of choices including cheesesteaks ($8), hoagies ($7), seafood sandwiches ($9 to $10), breakfast sandwiches (all day long), and deli classics such as Reubens and hot pastrami($7). Their menu also offers starters and four different salads: classic Caesar ($4), wedge ($6), souse ($5) and chef ($7).

Additionally, customers can purchase cold cuts and other favorite side dishes with chef Paul’s twist such as bacon baked potato salad, barbeque chicken salad and lunchmeat pasta salad. Several refrigerated cases sit along the back wall of the store with juice, soda, water and energy drinks. And to satisfy your sugar craving, there are homemade desserts in the deli counter and ice cream in a freezer by the back window.

The Simmermans wanted Stuffed Burgers and Deli to have an “old country store effect.” So they decided to stock items such as coolers, plates, cups and charcoal for families headed to the beach or campground.

For the Simmermans, running Stuffed Burgers and Deli is “a family affair.” The entire family spends a lot of time in the restaurant making it their “home away from home.”

Customers can easliy come to Stuffed Burgers and Deli for a quick bite, but they often stay for the gourmet food, the restaurant’s comfortable vibe and, of course, the family hospitality.

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