Neither you nor I have enough time to go into the history of Big Boy restaurants. Suffice to say, started in California in the 30s, oldest one still standing is Burbank, CA (pictured below), chain went thru several owners and now is a “chain of chains,” in that while they share menu, decor, and marketing, most Big Boy’s across the country have a “different first name,” by regional owners, like Frisch’s, Marc’s, Shoney’s, Bob’s, Elia’s, and so on. In the “good to know” category, in 1936, Bob came up with the double-decker burger with bun in the middle, (pictured below) which most people today call a “Big Mac.” It’s still on the Big Boy menu, too. As the “Big Boy.”
I used to pop into one in New Orleans on occasion for their breakfast buffet, that one was torn down to widen the freeway in front of it. They promised to rebuild, but alas, no luck. There’s just one left in New Orleans now.
Driving thru Hamilton, OH, a distant suburb of Cincinnati, I noticed a Frisch’s Big Boy (they are one of the largest Big Boy operators) so as I was spending the night, I decided I’d take in their breakfast buffet the next AM.
And I did. Alone. I was the only customer. The restaurant and bar were immaculate and the warming trays kept tidy. They had the usual breakfast buffet items, with several types of meats, eggs, breads, fruits, cereals, pancakes and more.
I helped myself. I always like to see how many types of breakfast meats I can gather up at one time, I think here it was four. Bacon, ham, link sausage, patty sausage. Wait, there were two kinds of patties, so five!
It was all hot and tasty and around $8. Service people were helpful and friendly and coffee was topped off regularly. Many Big Boy’s around the country (but not all) offer the breakfast buffet, and some have nightly buffets that vary by day of the week (seafood, southern style, ribs, etc).
The food is better than almost all the fast-casual chains, and a much better value. Stop by one.
Frisch’s Big Boy locations. If you’re not in Frisch territory, you’ll have to Google to find a Big Boy operator near you!
Big Boy Breakfast Buffet Review