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Big Daddy's Burger Bar, East Blvd.Charlotte

Big Daddy's is the “Real Deal”
Big Daddy’s Burger Bar – Located on East Blvd, in the former location of Jaimama

They are doing a soft opening and the place was remarkably crowded considering no advertising was done.
Cool casual sort of industrial atmosphere with comfortable booths, stainless steel on the walls. I felt a kind of a Macs vibe sans the creepy boss man mojo. They feature an awesome beer list and more importantly Charlotte’s finest waitress Jenny. If a person she can’t charm exists they have no doubt had a lobotomy.

The kitchen is still learning the ropes and the food was a bit slow getting out of the kitchen. They need to get better at working with the grill and insuring proper degree of doneness. A very positive note is that they grind the beef fresh themselves and as such can offer the option of a rare burger. Jim and Bob were delighted with this bit of good news.

The basic concept here is to build your own burger or salad. As you may have guessed I opted to build a burger. You get to pick your meat (ground chuck, chicken, black bean, for an additional charge Kobe Beef or a huge 10 oz. burger if the standard 6 oz. just won’t get you there.), bread, cheese, condiments, topping and premium toppings. Choices include some great bread options cheeses such as Swiss cheddar, pimento blue, veggies; interesting sauces and premium toppings like apple wood smoked bacon, avocado, sausage, ham, jalapeño bacon and fried egg to name few. All burgers are served with a choice of French fries, sweet potato fries, onion straws, tater tots, black bean and corn salsa or a chopped wedge salad.

Our crew started with an appetizer of Kobe pups. Kobe Pups are three little Kobe beef, chili, and cheese dogs. It was a fine little chili cheese dog, but why I must ask use Kobe beef. I now know a Kobe beef dog tastes just like any other quality beef hot dog. Save the Kobe for a situation where you can actually taste the difference.

For the main event I had a basic burger (6oz. house ground chuck) with Mailles Dijon Mustard, Cabot Swiss Cheese and Apple wood smoked bacon. I am pleased to report the bun was fresh; the burger juicy and delicious, the Swiss cheese melted just right and the bacon crispy. I am talking one first-rate top notch all American Burger. The accompanying fries were house cut and very good. The daddy sauce served with the fries was superb. I am pleased to proclaim
Big Daddy’s Burger Bar is indeed the” Real Deal” The Godfather and crew are eager to return very soon. Save us a seat in Jenny’s section.

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  1. Thanks for reporting! I can't wait to try Big Daddy's, and I am thrilled to know their fries our cut in house, their beef ground in house and you can get your burger cooked to order. That really distinguishes Big Daddy from Counter Burger, where the beef is cooked well done, period

    1 Reply
    1. re: hazardnc

      I have been to both The Counter and Big Daddy's, and they both have a good vibe. The counter is cool industrial and feels a litte more upscale. Big Daddy's has a relaxed garage feel. However, you are crazy if you think Big Daddy's has a better burger. Both places cooked my burger medium, just the way I like it, but the beef on my Counter burger was easily twice the size of my Big Daddy's burger, and there was definately a difference in the cooking of it . The Counter burger had grill marks like it was cooked on a real grill. Big Daddy's was seared all over like it was cooked in a pan and had that old oil taste. Not to make Big Daddy's sound awful, I had fun and I know they are pretty new, but they are a long way from a better burger.

    2. Looking forward to trying it this weekend, but....well, I hate to be Captain Bringdown, but it is illegal to serve a rare burger anywhere in NC. If an NC restaurant says otherwise, they are misinformed. Kathleen Purvis of the Observer cleared this up in her column some time ago.

      5 Replies
      1. re: kingfrazer

        Perhaps you can check with your "expert" As it has been explained to me if they grind the meat fresh in house it is Ok to cook it rare. I have never been terribly impressed with the musings of your expert. At best they are just one housewife's opinion. It’s also good to remember that just because it is printed in the Observer it is not necessarily the truth.
        That being said hey- I could be wrong!!!!!

        1. re: GodfatherofLunch

          Sorry, it was Helen Schwab--duh, she does the restaurant reviews. It was a few months back. I thought previously that on-site grinding made a rare burger legal--it certainly does make a rare burger SAFE, but tell that to the food regulators. I'm pretty sure South Carolina has legal rare burgers. And, hey, if no one's the wiser, more power to 'em!

          1. re: kingfrazer

            I don't think it is illegal. I found a new med rare burger place in winston this week to get my med rare pimento burger fix. Waitress did not bat an eye when I said medium rare and menu said they ground on site. If you ask nince enough most places will oblige. They would rather you be happy than give you a hockey puck

            1. re: quazi

              And what place might that be? Do tell.

              1. re: brentk

                river birch on robinhood. to be honest the burger itself was not great(not enough char or beefy flavor) but the pimento cheese was good. I will definitely try it again especially since they go through the trouble of doing it medium rare.

      2. I sure wish Frank the best. It sounds good. We'll have to try it. We jsut went to the newer cantina 1511 at Stonecrest for lunch today. It was great. Very different vibe from the east Blvd. location but good. Of course, it's also way past time I had my fix of Mama Ricotta's Caesar Salad dressing.

        1 Reply
        1. re: southernitalian

          I have tried twice to got to the Bruger Bar, closed once for water issues and way crowded the other time. I'll get there evenutally. Frank certainly know what it takes to succeed in Charlotte.

        2. Had lunch here today. Good but not great. We were offered medium to well done, there was no mention of rare. Two of us ordered the "Big Daddy Burger" one was over-run with pimento cheese the other just a tad. How can the same burger differ so much? Only difference was one was cooked medium (loaded with pimento cheese) and the other medium-well (a trace of pimento). I mean literally, the one burger had cheese running down the fingers of the eater, the other nada. The wait at 1pm was about 30 minutes. All in all I would recommend this place but the location needs better parking. Just my thoughts.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mr_big

            I have been twice. The first time was very good; loved the burger, the homemade ketchup was great. I couldn't wait to go back. The second visit could not have been more different than the first. The bun was stale, the burger waaaay overcooked, the ketchup we inedible, the fries were greasy and likely leftover from lunch as they appeared to be the crumbs of the lot.
            I might give it another whirl, but I doubt it.

          2. Agreed! A great concept, good burgers and very nice staff

            1. Big Daddy's was a great surprise, they have probably the best burger in Charlotte as far as custom burgers go, and I'd venture to say one of the best burgers in general from an almost strictly burger joint. They use good quality ingredients, and that's a plus (Cabot cheeses, applewood smoked bacon, etc.). Their housemade potato chips are great, and the onion dip is okay (hard to screw up an onion dip), but the pimento cheese is lacking to me. Their black bean burger is yummy, and their chopped salad is unique and very good. Beer list is also good, oh and the homemade ketchup is a plus! They have been extremely consistent, and I've been three times now. I've also tried Counter, but it has to be one of the worst places that I've been in Charlotte, everything I had there, from burgers to sides to appetizers, were rotten, plus the service was lacking.

              15 Replies
              1. re: Neeya

                Have you tried Lulu's burger yet? It's smack yo own ass good! Topped w/ house made pimento cheese, sweet jalapeno relish, a fried green tomato and served on a challah roll w/ lettuce and tomato. It is quite possibly better than the NYC's greatest burger from The Spotted Pig in the village.

                I haven't been to Big Daddy's yet... but I'm anxious to get up there.

                GLF, how does Big Daddy compare to Lulu's signature burger... I know you've had it?

                1. re: lynnlato

                  The Lullu's burger is great. My only issue with their burger is that they serve the meet is rolled into a ball, making it much more difficult to eat.

                  Big Daddy's is great, though. Possibly the best burger I've had in town (but Lulu's is up there, along with Arthur's at SouthPark and Brooks', which I haven't had in years).

                  1. re: ickymettle

                    How does it compare to The Penguin???

                    1. re: Spreadhead

                      No comparison... Lulu's is way better than The Penguin. Don't get me wrong, The Penguin is good... but it's diner food good. Lulu's is high quality grind, fresh made pimento and a challah roll that is a perfect match. Not to mention the fried green tomato and jalapeno salsa. It's in a class above The Penguin.

                  2. re: lynnlato

                    Big Daddy a very cool sports car. Lu Lu redneck burger will transform you. You will be elevated to heights unknown. LuLu - the Rolls Royce of Burgers.
                    Is it true they are now closed at lunch?

                    1. re: GodfatherofLunch

                      I just read that about Lulu's closing for lunch - I'm totally heartbroken.

                      Lunch at Lulu w/ a copy of the NYT & a glass of wine... this was a very special treat for moi. Boo hoo sniff sniff.

                      1. re: lynnlato

                        This may not be the case, but I heard they would remain open for lunch on the weekends.

                        1. re: ickymettle

                          Yea, I think I heard/read the same thing... Sat & Sun. I've never gone on the weekends... I envision a mob scene tho.

                          1. re: lynnlato

                            I've been there on a Saturday for lunch, and it wasn't that crowded. There were probably only four or five tables occupied at the time. It may be more crowded for Sunday brunch.

                      1. re: lynnlato

                        "Oh yes! The Spotted Pig Burger comes in at a close second behind the LuLu burger! (Shake Shack's mushroom burger is in 3rd place)."

                        littlegirltree Feb 06, 2008 11:15AM
                        "Wow... then I must have the lulu burger if you think The Spotted Pig's is 2nd to it... wow! It's nice to come across someone close that has experienced that beautiful burger @ TSP"

                        lynnlato Feb 06, 2008 02:30PM

                        Change in rank since my Feb post...
                        I went back to LuLu last weekend and I can now safely say that the LuLu Burger has evolved to better than Shake Shack and Spotted Pig's burgers. WOW!

                        1. re: littlegirltree

                          Wow littlegirltree, that's quite a statement. And congrats to ChefMJ and Lulu for their efforts. I've had the Lulu burger since that post above and it's mindblowing. My only disappointment is they are no longer opened during the week for lunch - so sad.

                          1. re: lynnlato

                            Oh. My. Gosh. Ate at Big Daddy's for the first time last night and I thought it was AWESOME! I don't eat red meat, but had the special - a turkey burger on wheat bun with red pepper hummus and feta. The turkey burger was huge and juicy and the combo of flavors was great. As a side I had the wedge salad; also very good. We started with the homemade chips - grease bombs but SO good. I agree with someone above's comment that the pimento cheese is lacking... but the onion dip very good. My meal was under $10. This place is well worth it.

                            1. re: Chocolate Toe

                              Since you don't do the red meat thing you should try the wings next time.
                              They are excellent.

                        2. re: lynnlato

                          Lulu's does have great burgers!

                      2. I concur about Big Daddy's, great place for groups. Good for kids, you can sit outside, booze and milkshakes and they have french fries cooked in duck fat on Fri, Sat & Sun. They also have jalapeno bacon for sandwiches, it is delicious, it is so good, I want to find out what brand it is. My only complaint is they served us tator tots warm, not fresh from the fryer, that is really a restaurant fax paus that occurs way too much.

                        Big Daddy's Burger Bar
                        1626 East Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28203

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: waitress

                          Did you take these photo's? They are outstanding.
                          Are the photo's great or am I hungry?

                          1. re: GodfatherofLunch

                            yes, I took these photos! Thanks!! Poprock Photography. If you ever need a photographer.....

                          2. re: waitress

                            They have a 2nd location now in Ballantyne in the shopping center at the corner of 521 & Ballantyne Commons parkway (where the Harris Teeter is). Its in the space that was occupied by Wise Guys, next to Zapata's. We tried out the new location a couple of weeks ago and our food was just as good as the East Blvd location - thankfully.