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bob's big boy.

  • k

the century city thread got me thinking about bob's big too.

anyohow besides the location in burbank, are there any others still in operation. the wilshire and la brea location is now long gone too;

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    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      there is one in Torrance on Hawthorne and PCH... but seriously, doesn't anyone google anymore or just go to the restaurant's website?

    2. One will be opening in Northridge, the corner of Nordhoff Way and Corbin Ave. It's in the same shopping center as the Target.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Rodeline

        Oh, really? I thought it was going into the old K-Mart spot which is a bit north, at Plummer (I think? I always get plummer and lassen confused).

      2. Had lunch at the Burbank location a couple of weeks ago. THE worst grilled chicken sammy I've eaten in a long time! And, our server (at the counter) could hardly speak English! :( I hope for all of you the new location in Northridge turns in your favor!

        13 Replies
        1. re: Kitchen Queen

          I try never to stray from the Big Boy Combo or Club Sandwich. Go with what they're known for. It ain't haute cuisine here folks.

          1. re: cagey

            I miss the Brawney Beef, do they still make that? TYIA

            1. re: Burger Boy

              The very first reply in this thread by goodhealthgourmet has a link to the Bob's website with a complete menu listing.

              1. re: Burger Boy

                With the help of Servorg I found out they no longer make the Brawney Beef, they have something called a Brawney Lad but it is very different. Life sucks, I was gonna get that for lunch today.

                1. re: Burger Boy

                  That's too bad, B-Boy. When I had my 2nd baby & was still at Prov-St. Joe's I had my mom & hubby get me an order to go. Haven't been back since tho, guess nothing lasts forever!!

              2. re: cagey

                Same here. We just went to the Diamond Bar Big Boy's on Sunday. I ordered the Big Boy Combo and hubby (who's not familiar with Big Boy's) ordered the Chicken Parmesan. The Chicken Parmesan was not good, and I said, "That's why I always order the Big Boy Combo."

                I grew up in Detroit in the '70's and '80's, and I noticed some differences between what's offered at Bob's Big Boy and what was offered at (then) Elias Bros. Big Boy in Michigan. For example, the sauce on the Big Boy combo at the Michigan restaurants was similar to (but better than) the sauce on the Big Mac. Anybody from other parts of the country notice any other differences? Just curious.

                1. re: wanderinglady

                  In fact, from my childhood here in SoCal, I also remember the sauce being more like a 1000 Island/Big Mac-style sauce, not the stuff they're using at the Diamond Bar location (where I've been a few times in the last couple of years). Not that there's anything wrong with the current choice of relish (it's the red hamburger relish many folks try to find in stores from time to time); it's just different. I haven't been to the Toluca Lake location in a while, so I can't remember what they're using these days.

                  1. re: Jack Flash

                    I grew up in So Cal eating BB as well, and clearly and lovingly remember the red hamburger relish on the Big Boy burger.

                    You may be thinking of...when I was a kid, the Northridge Mall had a BB Jr., where they sold single patty burgers...those had the 1000-island-style spread on them.

                    Anyone else remember the BB Jr. in the Northridge Mall back in the 70s/80s?

                    1. re: GK in SO

                      I think you nailed it - it's the relish. A Big Boy Combo just wouldn't be the same without it. I grew up eating at the one in Santa Monica (SM Blvd @ Yale) but the Toluca Lake (Riverside Dr.) location still gets it right. Ah simple but unique pleasures.

                  2. re: wanderinglady

                    In Pittsburgh, the Big Boy franchise was held by Eat 'n Park. Their version of the Big Boy had tartar sauce, not the red sauce that Bob uses out here. Also, Eat 'n Park's onion rings were the thickest I ever had, each one was almost an inch thick. Sadly they have gone the way of Howard Johnson's...

                    1. re: JosephEBacon

                      Eeewww, tartar sauce is for FISH, not burgers.....

                      And you still have HoJo's??? Thought they went down a looonnnggg time ago!

                      1. re: JosephEBacon

                        Are you sure it really was tartar sauce, and not Durkee's or something similar? Although I could easily see my favorite kind of tartar sauce, with chopped egg and dill pickle, on a burger...

                        1. re: Will Owen

                          Only if you add some hot sauce or sriracha, otherwise, keep it off my burger!!

                2. A while back, I heard that one was going to open in the old Johnnie's Broiler location in Downey...........anybody know anything about it?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: slowrider

                    I think that fell apart but I am not sure.

                  2. They seem to have been expanding recently. Another new one is open at the former Chevy's location in West Covina. Norm's has also been opening new locations. I guess the time is right for cheap, sit down meals.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: heckonwheels

                      Everyone should be aware that the new Big Boy's that are opening up are more like SMALL fast food joints, not the sit-down, coffee shop-type places that Big Boy used to be (and still is, I guess, in Glendale).

                      1. re: asimen

                        I stopped at one last July on the way back from Las Vegas (I think Baker) that was just converting from Bun Boy?, remodeled and an updated version of the old Bob's, full service coffee-shop style. My friend and I happily gobbled down our combos and they were as satisfying as ever.

                        1. re: asimen

                          The new one that I referred to is sit-down, waiter served. It's not at all like the old "Bob's big Boy Jr." restaurants that were fast-food versions.

                      2. Well, I went to Tennessee from NorCal, saw the Big Boy statue under a Shoney's sign for the first time and thought YIKES, what's happened to Bob?

                        The Shoney's places are a lot less like a classic burger drive-in and more like Denny's or Norm's. Bob's is better, honest!

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Will Owen

                          Hey Will, the Big Boy "Doorman" is as much a visual image of comfort as seeing that double deck "Big Boy" burger and rings on your plate. I am comforted to see the return of the Bob's at the West Covina mall.

                          I agree that seeing the Big Boy two-timing would not be comforting. Your "YIKES" comment inspired me to post...


                          1. re: JeetJet

                            Frisch's Big Boy.. The Holy Grail of the 1970's Ohio River Valley. The acne-pimpled teen was dispatched for the 2 mile bike ride up to the local Frisch's, to purchase a quart of tartar sauce for the fries mom was making at home. The tartar sauce was dispensed from a levered stopcock machine, (much like today's soft-serve ice cream) into a quart Styrofoam cup, to be nestled into the bicycle basket for the trip home.

                            Tartar sauce available here (although I am no longer a disciple):

                        2. The owners of DIMION's in Sun Valley
                          announced their location will now (soon)
                          be a
                          BOB's BIG BOY franchise.
                          8272 Sunland Blvd
                          Sun Valley, CA 91352
                          (818) 768-7373

                          1. I know there is still one on the 15, not far from Palm Springs...You know what I miss? The comics they used to give you as a kid (circa..'80's??)

                            1. Whoops..I meant the 10...

                              1. I still get a kick out of being in the Toluca Lake Big Boy, and knowing that the Beatles ate (or at least posed) there all those years ago. (As George'd say.)

                                (see photo, if this link works:)

                                And I get a Big Boy Combo there once a year, whether I need one or not. (I usually do, mind you.)

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: annagranfors

                                  No wonder I missed them (we sat in the corner booth in the back so many winter Friday nights after HS football games I would need a calculator to count them all up) - they were at the Toluca Lake location in the summer of '65 and I was undoubtedly at the Van Nuys Blvd. Bob's looking for a street race.

                                2. In northeastern Indiana (Ft. Wayne) it was Azar's Big Boy. Good food all around, as I recall. I used to love their chocolate cake.

                                  1. I grew up in San Jose, CA, we had a Bob's Big Boy on Winchester Blvd. It was a HUGE treat to get the hamburger and the mini sundae's for dessert. Miss those burgers..yeah it was the thousand island dressing

                                    9 Replies
                                    1. re: energy

                                      I had my first-ever Chili Size at the BBB on El Camino in Santa Clara. Never did find out exactly why it was called that, but it sure was fun to eat.

                                      1. re: Will Owen

                                        We called it the "Chili Surprize" because of the patty hidden beneath the chili. If they'd had a chicken hidden under there maybe it would have been a "Pullet Surprize?"

                                        1. re: Will Owen

                                          Servorg writes: "a 'Pullet Surprize?'"

                                          ... for which pun he gets no Bell Prize.

                                          BTW, here's as good an explanation as I've seen of the name "chili size": http://westwardho.typepad.com/westwar... You can also find a few interesting LA Board mentions of surviving versions if you set the search period for 5 years.

                                          1. re: Harry Nile

                                            I had never heard the phrase "chili size" either, until I moved to the west coast. Interesting. We would've called it smothered hamburger, or chili burger, back in CT.

                                            1. re: Phurstluv

                                              As a native Californian, I can say that my favorite chili size is at the Frisco Shop, a great old homey cafe, now in a new building in Austin, Tex. They offer both a Chili Burger and a Size Royal. (See menu at http://www.frisconighthawk.com/frisco... ) Anyone who knows the Frisco Shop and can recommend something similar in Los Angeles (hint: NOT Bob's Big Boy and not even Pann's, which I like very much), please do so.

                                              Pann's Restaurant & Coffee Shop
                                              6710 La Tijera Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045

                                              1. re: Harry Nile

                                                You might want to check out Twohey's and Pie 'n Burger for their versions and see what you think.

                                                Twohey's Restaurant
                                                1224 N Atlantic Blvd, Alhambra, CA 91801

                                                Pie 'n Burger
                                                913 E California Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91106

                                                1. re: Servorg

                                                  The last time I had chili at Pie 'n Burger it was lukewarm -- easy enough to send back to the stove, but I worried about it sitting around all day at that temperature. Maybe I should try the chili again. I really like their burgers and especially the hashbrowns and pies.

                                                  In any case, I'm looking for a place with a larger menu of the type and quality offered by the Frisco Shop.

                                                  Pie 'n Burger
                                                  913 E California Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91106

                                                  1. re: Harry Nile

                                                    Pie n' Burger is a train wreck of a place - I ate there once and was mortified at the filth I saw, just by being at the counter. Don't know how that place stays open, frankly.

                                                    1. re: Phurstluv

                                                      Except for the lukewarm chili, which may well have been anomalous -- that's why I proposed trying it again -- I've never seen unsanitary conditions at Pie 'n Burger. Nor did the city inspectors who visited last April and gave them 98/100, the same as the Athenaeum at Cal Tech, e.g. (See: http://cityofpasadena.net/RestaurantI... )

                                      2. I still have fond memories of the one on Van Nuys Blvd. The drive in when it was deemed fun to have BB combo on a tray attached to the car window. After band rehearsals at the Glendale location just a couple of years ago. Now that I know about the West Covina location I might try it sometime even if it's a fast food location. And yes I remember the Nortridge Mall location in the 80s'.

                                        1. A new Bob's is coming to Pasadena on Del Mar near Lake, in a space that formerly housed a Baja Fresh.


                                          Del Mar Cafe
                                          712 S Del Mar Ave, San Gabriel, CA 91776

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: Jack Flash

                                            Thanks Jack! I feel a departmental lunch coming soon!

                                            1. re: Jack Flash

                                              Thank you, lord! I was beginning to think you couldn't open anything in that area that wasn't either veggie or just too damned good for you. I just wonder how much of that market is left after Pie'n'Burger and The Hamlet take their cut...

                                              1. re: Will Owen

                                                That's where Pappy Parker's fried chicken comes in. That and hopefully a good Bob's vibe. If they get those things right, I think they can carve out their own niche.

                                            2. There's a new Bob's Big Boy in OC @ the Stadium Promenade on Katella Avenue near Main Street (east of the 57 and the Honda Center in the King's Fish House area).

                                              Main Street Cafe
                                              12939 Main St, Garden Grove, CA 92840

                                              Fish House
                                              3440 W Slauson Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90043