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Bobs Big Boy

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  • Marc Feb 12, 2003 10:05 PM

Last night I had dinner with a friend at the Glendale Bob's Big Boy. We both had Big Boy Burgers with a entree salad, soda, a malt shake for me and a slice of pie for my friend. All for 23 bucks. Service was good and friendly, food was great. I don't get to Bobs often
(I live near the Burbank location but it's usually too crowded) but when I do I really seem to enjoy it. I always get the burger. Any one else like Bob's? Is anything else on the menu worth having? Anyone don't like Bob's and if so why?
Cheers,
Marc

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  1. Love that Big Boy Combo!

    9 Replies
    1. re: Curt

      Be sure to ask for the Bob's seasoning salt. They kept it on the counters until too many people were walking out with the bottles, but it's available on request. They also sell it at checkout.

      Great on the salads and on the burger (sort of like Lawry's).

      1. re: TE

        A little Bob's history for those who are interested. (It's kind of long, actually) In 1936, Bob Wian (who would go on to become mayor of Glendale) opened a tiny lunch counter at 900 E. Colorado in Glendale called "Bob's Pantry." This site would later become a full fledged drive-in and then a coffee shop, coming down in the late 1980's. A Blockbuster Video now occupies the site. Wian's friend, architect Wayne McAllister, known for his circular Los Angeles drive-in restaurants of the 1930's (Simon's, Roberts, later Hody's) designed a few of the earliest stores featuring drive-in service, including Toluca Lake in 1949. McAllister also did work for the Hot Shoppes chain of restaurants in the Northeast. In 1956, he became VP of Hot Shoppes/Marriott and in 1967, helped orchestrate the acquisition of Bob's (by now a national chain) by Marriott. By the early '90s after failed attempts by Marriott to change the formula (drop Big Boy, change name to Allie's) the quality had suffered and many stores closed. In 1992, the heirs of the original owner of Toluca Lake were considering closing and demolishing the restaurant for an office building when the Los Angeles Conservancy Modern Committee, (www.modcom.org) with the help of original architect McAllister, nominated this oldest remaining Bob's as a state landmark. After the landmark status was in place, the owners invested in a restoration, brought back car-hop service and remained open 24 hours. It is my understanding that they are now among the top performing Big Boy restaurants in the country. In recent years, Elias Brothers Big Boy (an early franchisee) in Michigan bought the name and rights and commissioned YOE! studios to remake the Big Boy character in a sort of of big-eye anime image. They produce comics and other merchandise, (Glendale and Toluca have the best selection) Other remaining Big Boy restaurants in Southern California include: Glenoaks in Glendale (circa 1970) The L.A. Mall Downtown (circa 1972) Eagle Rock Plaza (circa 1990) Calimesa (circa 1997) Diamond Bar (Circa 1975) and Wilshire near Highland (Circa 1970). An early '50s store building remains in Eagle Rock, but is now Panang Thai restaurant. For more info on historic Los Angeles visit http://www.laconservancy.org

        Link: http://www.modcom.org

        1. re: Chris

          Thanks for the history Chris. More people have posted that dislike their burgers. I must be missing something. I think they beat just about any other comparable burger in a sit down restaurant (like Deny's or Norms).
          Cheers,
          Marc

          1. re: Chris

            I recently went looking for the one in Eagle Rock Plaza and it is gone.

            1. re: Chris

              The original location in Toluca Lake also has classic car meets there every Friday night. If not for the food, at least the people watching is amusing.

              1. re: Chris

                Bobs Big Boy had #1 Glendale on Colorado, #2in Burbank on San Fernando Road, #3 in Montrose, #4 on Maryland just above Colorado in Glendale not sure about #5, #6 the Toluca Lake Store on Riverside. I worked at the old #2 in 1974. I was employed there with one of the original car hops Betty Santoro. She is a neighbor of mine and a fine coworker. Pleasure to work with you Betty you taught me everything I know. :) I was borrowed many times over to the number 6 on Riverside Dr when they were short handed. In 1980 I returned to Bobs Big Boy as a waitress at a new location on Glenoaks near Sonora #158. I worked there for 5 years. I met my husband who at the time worked for ON TV and we bought our home had our first child then I decided to stay at home. :)

                1. re: Chris

                  Phoenix and Tucson had units Bob's Big Boy that were not franchised, Central Avenue was the place to be on Friday & Saturday nights when cruising Central , Denver had Azars Big Boys, Milwaukee had Marcs Big Boys, Michigan had Elias Brothers Big Boy's, the worst run franchise was JB's in Nevada and later took the Phoenix and Tucson Big Boys into the JB'S dumpsters........The Original Big Boys had a California Style dressing on the Burgers red relish no thousand island(by request) they also had a tomato and spice dressing which they no longer offer. I used park my classic 57 Caddy at the Friday night car meet when i lived in Toluca Lake, met Jay Leno there, and the owner have really stepped up and saved this place, Johnnies Fat Boy also had SoCal Locations and a Tucson unit, but I dont they survived although Im told they rebuilt a Johnnies in Orange County it appears on a new commercial for Sensa with a marching band in the parking lot.....these old Burger joints are great for movie location shoots

                2. re: TE

                  I love that seasoning until it got me thinking when i read the label and saw Monosodiumglutemate!!!! That stuff is horrible for ya. It will make me think twice about putting it on those amazing fries!

                  Still adore Bob's though. practically grew up there :)

                  1. re: stacyface

                    Love that Monosodiumglutemate! And, it is so good for you too! Wish we could top it off with BHT & BHA.

              2. Haven't eaten there since I was a kid. Mostly, I remember going to the branch in Century City while in high school in the 80s. Actually, until you posted, I didn't even realize there were still "Bob's Big Boys" around.

                When I was a kid, though, I loved their thick shakes and their "chili size". Best spaghetti with burger I've eaten ever :-) Lives in my memory as something good, although I'd fear trying it now as an adult. I'm afraid the reality now presented would not live up to the memory.

                2 Replies
                1. re: DanaB

                  After reading the previous posts, it seems like Bob's quality suffered somewhat after the original cpmpany licenced out the name. Isn't this what typically happens? A few folks mentioned the burgers were not very good. Hmmm I think compared to other inexpensive burgers I've had (Norms comes straight to mind) I find Bob's to be the tastiest. Maybe it's the red relish and mayo that gives it the distinct flavor I'm think of. I remember the comics too as sombody mentioned. Next time I go I'll have to check into it.
                  Regards,
                  Marc

                  1. re: DanaB

                    I worked in Century City around that time and am trying to recall where Bob's was. I'm thinking it was on 'little' Santa Monica Blvd., somewhere close to Beverly Glen. Right or wrong??

                    When we moved to San Mateo we used to drive 20 minutes+, to Mountain View, so the kids could have their Big Boy burgers. We always thought it was one of the better 'chain'-type coffee shops.

                  2. Bob's Big Boy seems to have to separate lives. Out here on the left coast Bob's seems to have a loyal following and a pretty decent reputation for burgers and shakes. Back east, Bob's is pretty much synonymous with greasy spoon. Sort of a low class Ho Jo's. In fact, when I moved out here I thought it might even be a different restaurant. Has anybody else noticed this?

                    11 Replies
                    1. re: Creamfinger

                      Here in Southern California the Big Boy name was owned and operated by the Bob's organization. They subsequently licensed the name to others in other parts of the country, but did not monitor the quality control as they should have. Elias Brothers, Frisch, JBs, among others come to mind. Yet the Burbank/Toluca Lake location and the Glendale one are two of the original 3 or 4 so the legend has it. The Van Nuys Blvd. one is now a car dealership.
                      The company is now trying to re-group under the leadership of people in Michigan and trying to open new locations. Do hope this time they get the need for consistent quality control right.

                      1. re: carter
                        e
                        Everybody Wang Chung Tonight

                        The one in Syracuse is (was) called TJ Big Boy. The menu was pretty identical to the one's I've seen here.

                        1. re: Everybody Wang Chung Tonight

                          In the South the chain is called Shoney's Big Boy, still very much in existence (although I think they've dropped "Big Boy" from their name), and popular with all the oldsters because they get Senior discounts and they can't taste anything anyway. Never had anything inedible there, but nothing enticing either - ate there only because I went with family, or because it was the site for some club meeting. Toluca Lake is the only Bob's I've been to since living in the Bay area 30-some years ago, and I'm happy to say it has real food!

                          1. re: Will Owen

                            Growing up in Texas in the 60s it was called Kip's, Home of the Big Boy.

                            1. re: mc michael

                              I grew up with it being Kips. I would love to find out if I can have the seasoning shipped to me. Just trying to have a little slice of my childhood here in Houston.

                            2. re: Will Owen

                              it's not Shoneys Big Boy, it's Frishe's Big Boy.. Shoney's is a whole different thing... and not as good as Bob's

                              1. re: Lightsuprooms

                                A few things.

                                For years, the Big Boy franchisor was the Marriott Corporation.

                                Shoney's owned the Big Boy franchise for most of the Deep South except for Oklahoma. N. Kentucky, and portions of Texas. They deopped the Big Boy designation to expand into neighboring territory.

                                And it is Frisch's Big Boy based in Cincinnati that you are thinking of.

                              2. re: Will Owen

                                There's a Bob's Big Boy on Hawthrone near PCH in the south bay, almost at the PV Peninsula. Not as good as I remembered it, but still worth a once in a while visit for a trip down memory lane. Their web site, www.bigboy.com, lists a location on Willow in Signal Hill, also.

                                Bob's Big Boy
                                24021 Hawthorne Blvd
                                Torrance, CA 90505
                                (310) 375-1800

                                1. re: CynD

                                  I went to this location a few months ago, and it's pretty good.

                                  1. re: CynD

                                    still cannot beat the # 6 on Riverside Dr in Toluca Lake 'original' historical

                                2. re: Everybody Wang Chung Tonight

                                  I was shocked to see that there are no Big Boys left in the Northeast.

                            3. I remember bob's fondly from my youth. great burgers and shakes. but I went to the one on wilshire and highland recently and was very disappointed. maybe burbank is better, but the burgers at this place were dry and flavorless. I won't go back there.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: elisha

                                Talking with the Burbank mgr., during my last visit, I think he explained the inconsistency.
                                It seems that Bobs is no longer a "chain".
                                The individuals owners are keeping up the tradition on there own.

                              2. Also haven't been for eons but based on your post it seems like it would be a fun return. Doesn't this Bob's have a fun car night in thier parking lot ? Is it Fri.? Sat. ? Once a month ? etc. ?
                                Thanks

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: l.g.i.

                                  Car night is Friday night (every friday, I believe) at the Toluca/Burbank location (Riverside Dr. just west of where it splits off into Alameda).

                                  1. re: EHunt

                                    Are you sure? According to their website, it's Saturday and Sunday.

                                    1. re: Chris O

                                      it is friday starts around 2 til at least 10

                                2. Marc, I remember Bob"s from my High School days at North Hollywood. Bob's was THE place to go after football games, after movies or after anything. It was the place to be seen. We went mostly to the Toluca Lake Bob's -- is that the same as Burbank? There was also a Bob's on Van Nuys boulevard but mostly we left that to our arch rivals from Van Nuys High. Loved the Big Boy hamburger, fries and chocolate shake. Thanks for the memory.

                                  R

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: Seattle Rose

                                    do they still have the hot fudge cake? I have many memories and even more extra pounds to attribute to that hot fudge cake. Ahhhh the eighties.

                                    1. re: LA Buckeye Fan

                                      Yes! But not as good as it was after Friday night HS football games!!

                                      1. re: WildSwede

                                        Amen. I went to the one on Calgrove, in Santa Clarita after every game. My boyfriend would get the fudgecake and I'd get fries with ranch. Good times.

                                  2. e
                                    Everybody Wang Chung Tonight

                                    I have the FONDEST memories of going to the Santa Monica location with my mother for lunch when I was a kid. It was a huge treat to go be Big Boy Combos. I felt so grown up ordering my salad with the famous blue cheese dressing.

                                    1. I, too, remember the Toluca Lake (it's not Burbank) Bob's fondly from North Hollywood High School days. Today, my wife and I especially enjoy going to the Friday car nights. It is crowded, almost on any night, and I must say the last few times the meat in the Big Boy Combo tasted and felt like cardboard. Our new sit down burger chain favorite is Islands. The Sunset burger is large, juicy and tasty. Despite this, Bob's still ranks high in my heart, if not with my taste buds.

                                      1. the original double decker big boy was created by bob wians at his hamburger stand at the site of the big drive in bobs on colorado blvd in glendale. he sold out to marriott in the 70s and the food was never the same. in the 60s there was little bobs or broadway bobs on broadway at maryland in glendale, also an eagle rock bob's, pasadena bob's etc. but the best was the colorado drive in, with a long winding driveway where you sat idling waiting for a spot in the car hop section. every friday night for years i was there. you could order your burger anyway you wanted. this was my standing order:
                                        big boy, no relish, add 1000island and chili, d.p.
                                        (d.p.=divided portions, or cut in half!)
                                        fries, extra well
                                        side of t & s (tomato & spice salad dressing for dipping those fries)
                                        and either a cherry orange (drink) or
                                        a silver goblet milk shake, medium - the regular shakes were like eating ice cream.
                                        among the fondest memories of my high school days.

                                        1. The best things about bob's.
                                          1. there was one within walking distance of our house in huntington beach on adams near brookhurst.
                                          2. THE COMICS! we loved reading those comics (btw do the bob's still have the comics?)
                                          3. For some reason I remember that they're pancakes were really good.
                                          4. The chili size was good if you tried not to think about it too much.
                                          5. That sundae with the brownie and hot fudge.
                                          6. Even as a kid I thought their burgers weren't that good.
                                          dt

                                          1. t
                                            torta basilica

                                            Is there still one on Florence in Downey? Many memories...

                                            1. s
                                              Stanley Stephan

                                              French toast.

                                              Bob's has the greatest Texas size French Toast. Or at least it was in the 1980's in Northern California. It broke my heart when tbey closed the Mountain View location.

                                              Regarding another poster about regional differences. There was one in Boston, and, indeed it had a bad reputation. Same menu in California, but the quality of food was better. Hope it regroups and starts opening again.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Stanley Stephan

                                                "It broke my heart when they closed the Mountain View location."

                                                Yikes! That was the scene of my first chili size! Although the folks in our shop generally preferred to lunch someplace where we could drink (this was the '70s), one of the honchos had gotten his first management training at that Bob's location, and still had a soft spot for it, so we'd go there once in a while...usually on a Friday, when we got to drink wine or beer at work in the afternoon anyway (TOLD you it was the '70s!).

                                              2. Warm and fuzzy memories of the countless visits to the Bob's on Sherman Way just east of Balboa during the mid-60's through the early 70's. The burgers were terrific and my parents always took home a six pack of donuts. I was especially fond of the orange iced cake variety. The sell out to Marriott in the 70's was definitely the death knell.

                                                A couple of years ago, some relatives took me to a Bob's during a long layover in St. Louis. The food was barely edible. It's been years since I visited the Bob's in the Glendale Galleria but I recall that the food was good, just not as good as the old days.

                                                1. I remember the Bob's Big Boy in Alhambra, which I think is now some sort of Noodle Planet, Galaxy, World, Dimension, etc. now. Inside it is a surreal mixture of Chinese and old Bob's decor, even a few figures of the Bob himself!

                                                  If memory serves me right, the Pappy's Fried Chicken was also a classic!

                                                  1. OK, I'll play memory lane too. 1965 Toluca Lake Bob's was a regular stop after football games with my girl friend, who was a member of our Cleveland High school drill team.

                                                    We usually got a booth with 2 or 3 other couples and always had the big boy combo.

                                                    The Van Nuy's BB was saved for street racing connections and then we would go off to Chandler or where ever to make tire smoke, burn up clutches and prove our "man" hood to one another at 90 mph, (or maybe more accurately our "boy" hood).

                                                    I also remember as if it was yesterday visiting the Toluca Lake BB in my father's brand new 1968 Corvette, which he got really early, and had the first ever retractable headlights and, (more importantly for this story), the windshield wipers also retracted. When the car hop put down her service sign with our number on the windshield it slid right out of sight beneath the chrome cover and she yelled "Your car just ate my service order sign".

                                                    We LOAO at that.

                                                    Thanks for the memories.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: WLA

                                                      Yeah, we used to do "cruise night" on Wednesdays (I think) at the Van Nuys BBB when I was little. Then we would go eat - chili spaghetti for me. So fun!
                                                      That location is long gone, but I bought a picture of it (complete with "oldies" cars in the front) from an artist that I see at many art shows for my dad in Sweden for Christmas. He loved it - it brought back a lot of memories for him. I also bought one of the now-gone Cupid's that used to be on Victory & Tyrone in Van Nuys. That one brings back the most memories for me.

                                                    2. About once a year, in a fit of nostalgia, Big Boy Grub gets a serious jones for a Big Boy Combo. Used to go to the Culver City Bob’s – now a post office, I think. Now hit up the Wilshire/Highland store. Last week’s version same as ever: barely edible gray burger, processed cheese, puny bun, dry flavorless fries. Naaaasty, but edible w sufficient “special sauce” & seasoned salt. Fountain shakes & other ice cream delights still righteous, however. Will be back next year.

                                                      1. Hot.
                                                        Chocolate.
                                                        Fudge.
                                                        Cake.

                                                        (i think that was the name of it...?)

                                                        Giant slabs of brownie smothered in icecream, toppling with hot fudge and whipped cream. ummm, mmmm.

                                                        1. I love the Chili-Spaghetti. At least the way they used to make it.

                                                          1. Bun Boy on the way to Vegas has now become a Bob's. It has nothing to do with the one in Toluca Lake in terms of menu or quality. Toluca Bob's rocks. I get the half-pounder medium rare with bacon & cheese and a side of fries. So juicy you can't eat it without making a big mess. The fries are brown, limp, greasy and delicious. Bob's in Baker has a different menu (looks more like a chain menu, which I confirmed by stopping at another Bob's on the way), and very pedestrian food. The fries were dry and the burger was cooked brown through and not particularly big or moist. The food wasn't awful, but it wasn't even a distant cousin of the fare at MY Bob's.

                                                            1. Pappy Parker's fried chicken Rocked!

                                                              1. Back in the 50's, Wed. was club night at Bob's Toluca Lake. Mostly North Hollywood and Burbank but it was so popular that high school clubs from all over would show up. Who can forget the long lines of cars lined up around the back of Bob's waiting for car service. Bob's had the best Thousand Island dressing. It's still my benchmark for what Thousand Island dressing should taste like

                                                                1. Bob's Big Boy is the only place I know where I love the burgers as is! I wouldn't change a thing. The red relish is the bomb!

                                                                  1. I was a fan of Big Boy's in the midwest - Columbus Ohio to be specific. One of the things I loved was the fried fish sandwich. Fried battered fish fillets (NOT square-shaped!) on a toasted bun with tartar sauce.

                                                                    Just remembering it makes me crave one. Is there anyplace in LA where you can get such a thing anymore?

                                                                    1. the tartar sauce and the roquefort dressing and the cherry cokes before coke made them

                                                                      1. no Bob's in Santa Monica- too far to go to Burbank/Glendale..

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: miffy

                                                                          There's a Bob's on Wilshire/Highland that I pass by all the time on the way to Koreatown.

                                                                          1. re: WBGuy

                                                                            This is a totally disgusting location, avoid, avoid.

                                                                        2. Bob's is someplace that we all grew up with (if you were raised in So Cal). I think that it, along with many other places, have that "bring back good memories" thing going. I know for me, we used to go to Bob's (when there was one on Reseda/Ventura in the 80's) after high school football games. It was the hangout.
                                                                          Now when I go, I still get the chili spaghetti, although it seems not to be as good as it was back then. However, I still get it for nostalgic reasons.
                                                                          I think the burgers are good. The hot fudge brownie cake thing is really good, too. So were their croutons dipped in their Thousand Island. There you have it. Memories of a teenager!!

                                                                          1. I just went to the Signal Hill/Long Beach location the other day. The last time I was in one was the one on Hawthorne Blvd in Torrance. I had the Big Boy classic burger and fries with coffee. This coffee was really good IMO. I was able to drink it my favorite way, black. I enjoyed my burger, too. Nicely toasted buns, tasty sauce. My fries were good , also. I put some of their seasoning salt on them and dipped them in a side of their thousand island dressing. That was a pretty darn good meal.

                                                                            1. The one near me, Wilshire / Highland... is about as awful a meal as you're likely to eat. They're just not all the same. Grey meat, soggy fries, sad interior.

                                                                              1. Bob's Big Boy....how I love that place..many, many memories. I still love that hamburger..yeah, its the red relish!! I remember going with my family (Glendale location) when I was 5 and hearing "Hey Paula" on the radio. I went to John Marshall HS and we would go on Wed. nights after club meetings....what fun we had. I remember going to the Wilshire/near Highland one also with my folks. In 1976 (after parents divorce) I would take my dad to the Van Nuys one for breakfast on Saturday mornings...great breakfasts too!! 1978 would be the last time for me at the Glendale location...right before I moved from LA. Gosh...it was Bob's when my parents were looking at houses, it was Bob's with hs friends, it was Bob's after a hs friend died, it was Bob's after a hs friend got married, it was Bob's the day we were taking my sister looking for an apartment, it was Bob's with my dad and many, Saturday mornings having time together, it was Bob's while I was shopping for wedding things. Both my folks loved Bob's and my dad is gone now and my mom lives in Ireland....all I have to say is Bob's and she'd remember......

                                                                                I'll never forget "Pledging" a sorority at Glendale Community College where you had to dress up one day in whatever "getup" your Big Sister wanted you to come as....one of the gals had to come to school as Big Boy....she did a great job...overalls, etc....she went to Bob's early that morning and she got a hamburger and put it on a plate and walked around like that all day.....we all got nick names...guess what her's was?

                                                                                There is one in Victorville/Hesperia and one off I-15 near Barstow......where is the one in Glendale now? Is there really one at the Glendale Galleria?? I'll have to make it down there....

                                                                                Shadow

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: Shadow

                                                                                  The one in Glendale is on Glenoaks. There is none in the Galleria. Used to be one in the Eagle Rock Plaza, but that has been replaced.

                                                                                2. New Bob's in Signal Hill. Cherry & Willow. Packed from day one. They're still working out the kinks but it was pretty good. I remember when I was a kid I was never allowed to order the fudge cake and I think I'm still scarred from it.

                                                                                  1. I used to work at the North Syracuse TJ's Big Boy the summer of '78.
                                                                                    The franchises were sold by state. We brought the frozen product from Bob. Fresh products were obtained locally. Shoney's was the franchise down south. When Big Boy ran into finacal problem many of the larger franchises split off. In my travels around the US I have found that the quality can vary greatly from one location to the next.

                                                                                    1. I didn't grow up w/ Bobs Big Boy hence I rate that place along side the "tastiness" of Dennys.

                                                                                      1. the Bob's in Toluca Lake is one of the few left (a lot of the became a carrow's or something like carrow's) the quality has suffered a bit since I was a kid but it's still great as long as I only get it once in awhile (if I were to eat it too often it would lose something) as far as the salad dressings I love the blue cheese. thousand island & ranch dressings

                                                                                        1. I've had a lot of memories stirred while reading these comments about Big Boy, in particular, Bob's BB. Does anyone remember visiting the Bob's on Whittier Blvd. in Whittier years ago? Originally a car-hop as I think back. As many on the West Coast may have noticed, Big Boy is making a come back. I now visit the store in Lake Havasu, Arizona every couple of months and have found it is one of the most consistant in the food preparation. One thing they do when someone orders a Big Boy Combo, is to ask if you want mayo or the red relish on the burger. Now maybe someone can help me. I thought the relish was part of the original BB burger. Maybe it depended on what part of the country one was from. And now, Pappy Parker's Fried Chicken is being brought back. It used to be really good!
                                                                                          Thanks for answering any of my questions,
                                                                                          -BnF

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: Big N Fat

                                                                                            I worked at one of the Big Boy franchisees and they were using a tartar sauce which tasted quite good on a burger.

                                                                                            However, Marriott was using a Thousand Island dressing on the East Coast.

                                                                                            Do realize that the Big Boy chain had a very loose franchising agreement. Their major franchisees - JB's, Frisch's, Elias Bros., and Shoney's - all pretty much had a lot of latitude to set up their own menus and most did based on their regional favorites. I would say that about 50% of the menu was consistent throughout the chain.

                                                                                          2. There used to be a Bob's Big Boy in Deerfield, IL in the late 80s/early 90s we would take our kids to. As a reward for good behavior, our oldest got a gift from a waitress of a molded plastic Big Boy doll to be used as a bank. It still sits fondly in her bedroom (she's in college now). Don't know what happened to the place, when they re-modeled the shopping center, I think they made it a Chili's or Applebee's. A trip down memory lane!

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: Diane in Bexley

                                                                                              Hi Diane. I have to laugh at your story about the Big Boy Bank. We have had one for years. It has found it's place as a Christmas Tree topper, used instead of an angel, star, etc.
                                                                                              BnF

                                                                                              1. re: Diane in Bexley

                                                                                                I used to work at that restaurant in Deerfield in the mid 80's, and it was Marc's Big Boy, not Bob's. They tore it down and built an Applebee's, which is no longer there.

                                                                                              2. I grew up eating at Bob's in El Toro California. It was always so much fun getting my favorite Big Boy Combo with the Hot Fudge Cake and boy their dressing is so great. I wanted to let all you Big Boy fans out their know that happily they opened a Bob's in Long Beach off of Cherry Avenue. It tastes just like it used to and still has great prices. This as far as I know is the closest to Orange County. Enjoy. Here is the exact address:
                                                                                                1898 East Willow
                                                                                                Signal Hill , California 90755
                                                                                                Phone No : (562)426-2126
                                                                                                Fax : (562)426-2123

                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: Jakamouse

                                                                                                  Excellent, Jakamouse. Thanks for the Bob's Big Boy update!
                                                                                                  -BnF

                                                                                                  1. re: Big N Fat

                                                                                                    I grew up in Glendale eating the original BB with the red relish and BB salt on the table. Here in Michigan we get the MacDonalds style sauce and no BB salt. I would KILL for an original!

                                                                                                2. Although I've seen them here and there over the years, I had my first and last Big Boy when a franchise opened up here in Vegas. One of the worst burgers I've ever had -- I was amazed that a supposedly cooked-to-order burger could be so lousy. The relish did not help. Mercifully, they went out of business in six months.

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: Steve Green

                                                                                                    I was going to eventually try the Vegas Big Boy Restaurant out but never got the chance. If it was as bad as you say it was, maybe we are lucky. So hard to compete in Las Vegas anyway.
                                                                                                    -BnF

                                                                                                  2. I was linked to something that reminded me of the good ol' Bob's Big Boys that I experienced as a youngster back in the 50's, in the Pasadena area of Southern California. It was the car-hopping tray servicing drive-in version that was the most fun to visit, but the big boy burger with that sauce (red-relish sauce or later known as Thousand Island, it all tastes the same, admit it), with the best french fries a crisp green salad (of which you can hardly find any longer), was the perfect combination plate in my later years, and once I was taking my own children to locations around the state (Calif.). I guess my biggest dissapointment is when a good thing is franchised, and it becomes more about the dollar that is going into the CEO's and investor's pockets, than it does about the product and those that worked the restaurants that made it fun to visit. In essence... people who cared about what they did, unlike much of the restaurant industry of today. (And, I should know, as later on, I spent over 25 years in and out of the industry, finally giving up last year finding it harder and harder to work where anyone cared much about what the "business" used to be about. Even the waiters today only think about their tips. The attitude is, if I carry it from the kitchen to the table (even if I don't remember who is getting what, which is a key element of "service" and service is what tips are based on???), I "deserve a tip". WRONG!! Go back to service 101, and start over, as although most restaurant people tip better than most, I still base it, and always have based it on the greeting, right through all the various steps of service (including a quick and efficient placement, and processing of the check, after clearing the "entire" table), whether you are in a coffee shop or a fine dining establishment. Service is service, and I don't get service, I don't give tips!?!?: Anyway, I have gotten off the subject, but as you can see, I am passionate about how big money has ruined what used to be a fun career choice. All franchisees and franchisors are interested in is the bottom line, and that is not how you run a business, or at least it is not the first and foremost. The first and foremost is to provide a quality product, in a clean and pleasant surrounding, with service that makes it worthwhile to come out to eat, worth while! Otherwise, why not just eat at home? O.K.. I will get to the point. Although it is fun to see Bob's having a come back, it is NOT the same. So, if you can't visit one of the originals, than don't expect much. What is out there now, including all the other "designs" other companies tried to create over the years as "their versions" of the original, are just more Denny's, or any other chain coffee shop. And, if you will read the history of where Bob's came from, you will know that is now what was originally behind what was originally the best thing going!

                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: moozieinc

                                                                                                      The red relish is MUCH superior to the thousand island McDonalds type of sauce, especially with a good sprinkle of Bob's seasoned salt!

                                                                                                      Sorry, nothing else satisfies my childhood memories in Glendale in the 50's.

                                                                                                      1. re: moozieinc

                                                                                                        the red relish is nothing like thousand island dressing -- no mayonnaise

                                                                                                      2. Brings back memories, great burgers and a car hop!

                                                                                                        1. Thank you for posting. I saw Steve Wozniak eating here (an apparent fav of his) and how ticked off Kathy Griffin was at being forced to eat here. I had only heard about BBB in passing and had wondered more about it.

                                                                                                          9 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: TampaAurora

                                                                                                            Too bad for poor Kathy, awe.... I haven't been anywhere that was able to come close to the great flavor of the sauce on the BBB.

                                                                                                            1. re: cstr

                                                                                                              Admittedly I've not read every post in this thread. With that said I will say that my family and Bob Wian were good friends. By all accounts he was a good guy. I'd rush over to the BBB on Van Nuys Blvd. for a quick lunch as I attended Van Nuys High School in the 1970's. Below are a few of early photos of Bob. The first is of himself and the blond next to him was my Mom. This was before he married June. The second is of him in his run for Governor. Finally just a fun photo.

                                                                                                              http://www.pbase.com/bob_burkett/imag...
                                                                                                              http://www.pbase.com/bob_burkett/imag...
                                                                                                              http://www.pbase.com/bob_burkett/imag...

                                                                                                              1. re: Bob B

                                                                                                                Great pictures, Bob B. thanks.

                                                                                                                1. re: LA Buckeye Fan

                                                                                                                  Hey, no problem Buckeye. I'm happy to share. If you ever watch Lou Dobbs on CNN, there is a reporter named Casey Wian. That is his son. My Mom told me a couple of stories of him running around in diapers while the big folks were trying to eat ( a no doubt ) well prepared dinner. This would have been circa 1962-1964.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Bob B

                                                                                                                    I also appreciate the history on Mr. Bob Wian! As previously mentioned, I grew up around Bob's Big Boy attending the Whittier drive-up store several times. We have lots of memories. Thanks a lot, Bob B.
                                                                                                                    -BnF

                                                                                                                    1. re: Big N Fat

                                                                                                                      Hey Big N Fat I'm glad you got a bit of a kick. Unfortunately my Mom passed in July of 2008. It was during a house cleaning I came across tons of old photos.

                                                                                                                      As a kid Mom and I would go to the BBB on Van Nuys Blvd. We would eat in the car with the food trays firmly attached to the car in the late 1960's. As a single working Mother I remember her telling me that if times really got rough she knew there would always be one person in this world she could call on for help. She never called Bob for anything. We muddled through, but there was a security she always felt with his friendship.

                                                                                                                      One night in the mid to lat 1950's Bob came over to my Mom's Arthur Murray dance studio on Lankershim in North Hollywood and said he had to talk. He explained to Mom that he was in love with a woman that laid down the law and said "either we're going to get married or I'm going to leave you". Bob was very noncommittal. He was shaken over this though. Mom said "don't screw this one up like you did with us". From 10 PM to 12PM Mom gave him a life lesson/riot act talk. Shortly after Bob married June. June was with Bob until the end.

                                                                                                                      Bob was always interested in the franchise model Arthur Murray had set up. My Mom owned her studio franchise and was very close friends with Arthur and his wife. Bob wanted to expand, but was not exactly sure how to go about it. Mom laid out the inner workings of a national franchise chain for Bob. He capitalized on it. Mom, Dad, June, and Bob were all good friends.

                                                                                                                      It was some time in 1992 while watching the national news that they mentioned Bob Wian had died. I sat across the room from Mom and watched her head slowly fall into her hands as she sat there and silently cried. He was a good guy...

                                                                                                                      I know this is one of those "too much info posts", but I thought maybe someone might find it interesting.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Bob B

                                                                                                                        Never too much info. That was a fascinating story. Love the personal aspect to this history. Thanks again.
                                                                                                                        -BnF

                                                                                                                        1. re: Bob B

                                                                                                                          What a lovely story. We used to go to the Van Nuys Blvd location in the early 70s. Remember cruise nights on VN Blvd? I always got the chili spaghetti (and still do!). It is my absolute favorite. There is an artist who does pictures of places that are not there anymore (and those that still are). I bought the one for my dad of the VN Bob's and the VN Cupids for me! ;-) I hope the Toluca Lake location stays forever.

                                                                                                                  2. re: Bob B

                                                                                                                    Just a note - although he had been Mayor of Glendale the "governorship" Bob Wian was running for I believe was not the State of California but rather the local region .of the 20-30 Club

                                                                                                              2. I just had a Big Boy at the Diamond Bar location less than 2 weeks ago, and it was absolutely delicious. Perfect. I had a Big Boy and a cup of black coffee.
                                                                                                                I was dining w/DD who is a vegetarian, but she said if she ever goes back to eating meat, she'd want a Big Boy ~~ with Red Relish.

                                                                                                                Back in the 70s, on Beach Blvd. just up the street from Knotts' Berry Farm, we'd go to Big Boy every Sunday a.m. for the #8 breakfast.