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Feb 4, 2010 02:18 PM

What's the difference between a Big Mac and the Bob's Big Boy Classic burger?

This recent thread on the Los Angeles board on a recent opening of a Bob's Big Boy not only brought back fond, nostalgic memories, but also got me wondering if there is any difference between the Big Mac and the Bob's Big Boy Classic.

Is there one?

Both burgers are essentially two patties wedged between a triple decker type bun, with special sauce, cheese and lettuce right?

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  1. for me, it's the sauce. Bob's red relish and the Big Mac Secret Sauce both have very distinct, different flavors. i find i crave the Big Mac more than the Big Boy because Mac is sweeter and Bob's is tangy.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Jelly71

      Interesting. That's exactly why there is so much sugar in our food. It gets the customer hooked.

      1. re: GH1618

        Or it could be that since humans are biologically wired to seek sugar, food companies are simply responding to what people want.

    2. Maybe $3 ?
      Both a poor excuse for a burger.
      $1.99 Big Carl beats them both.

      2 Replies
      1. re: monku

        I had one of those Big Carl's yesterday for the first . The meat is superior bcause of the flame broiling. I requested "no cheese" which they were happy to do but when I asked how much the price would decrease because they're saving on the cheese they replied no discount. Then I asked for a tomato slice (.30!), and some pickels (another 30 cents). I didn't dare ask for extra onions (who knows what that would have cost!). A single flaccid letttuce leaf and spread on both buns, not too thick. In it's original form only servicable (but a better value than McD). Doctor it up and increase the cost and its probably not a bad berger for CJ.

        1. re: TomSwift

          No cheese for me either. A very serviceable burger for the price.

      2. The difference is the Big Boy is the original and the Big Mac is the copy. There is some confusion about that because both have been around seemingly forever but the Big Boy was definitely there ahead of McDonald's. The Big Mac was created because McDonald's lacked a signature burger like the Big Boy. Big Boy was stronger competition to McDonald's back in the 50's and early 60's because McD's didn't have the market penetration they do today. Big Boy also had a lot of infighting between it's largest franchisees and the parent company that slowed their growth allowing McD's to pull away from them so for a lot of people their first exposure to that type of burger would be from McDonald's and not Big Boy leaving them the impression that McDonald's originated the idea.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Jobe1

          Well you know. It was the price and excessive expansion that defeated Bob's. In 1967 a Big Mac went for 50 cents. The Big Boy was 75 cents. The California Minimum Wage was $1.65/hr. in 1971.
          Bob's tried a chain of drive-thru Big Boy Jr. locations in the mid-late 1970's, like Jack-in-the-Box, but the Bob's Jr. chain invested in opening too many locations all at once and they then failed, and this development nearly killed Big Boy for good. They ended up closing all of their on-the-go Jr. locations and most of their sit down restaurants.

          It was because of over-investment in the failed Jr. chain caused by the higher price of Big Boy food. They were finished by the 1980's when the food trends went to generics / "Plain Wrap" products at the stores.

        2. But yes, since this has been revived, the only real difference, as noted in the first reply, is the sauce. Bob's is ketchup and sweet relish based, while the Mac is basically Thousand Island, more or less.

          1. Bob's has always been better by far in every way

            3 Replies
            1. re: mucho gordo

              Yes, back in the day, I considered the Big Boy Drive-In my office (hang out) so to speak, I was always there! The Big Boy burger has a taste that is unmatched. I put down many a Big Boy in my youth. BTW - they're coffee was excellent. Glad to see this thread revived.

              1. re: treb

                Their onion rings were also superb.

                1. re: mucho gordo

                  And their Great in-house Bob's Season Salt and their Excellent Bob's Tartar Sauce. Great Stuff it was. I always used some of that season salt on my burgers and fries.

                  Are they as good as they used to be in the 1960's?
                  Please Say Yes! and lead the way. I'm dying for a great one like it used to be.

                  I stopped at a Glendale location on Glenoaks Blvd. in 2010 and bought "The Classic Big Boy". That's what they called it. It was really horrible. None of the former glory and all of the pain which was never a characteristic of a Big Boy. Never.
                  This was in the morning and the place reeked of rancid cheese, but this location closed afterwards within a month.