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Posts Tagged ‘Breakfast Buffet’

Big Boy Breakfast Buffet Review – Hamilton, OH


Burbank, CA Location

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!

Breakfast Buffet

Mascot Statue

The Big Boy Double Decker Burger

The Big Boy Double Decker Burger


Frisch's Big Boy Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Big Boy Breakfast Buffet Review

Big Boy Breakfast Buffet Review


Genoa, IL – Vet’s Home Breakfast Buffet


I like buffets.  I especially like them when they support a cause I am partial to, like veterans. Buffets for me are not (necessarily) about the quantity, but rather the adventure, and finding surprises on occasion, like this morning in Genoa, Illinois.  The Vet’s Home there has several events per week open to the public, including a Friday nite fish fry, a Saturday afternoon burger buffet, and, on the third Sunday of each month, a breakfast buffet from 7-11AM.

You can find their event calendar here.

Advance publicity promised a buffet rife with French toast, scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, biscuits and gravy.  Juice, milk, and coffee included as well.

What the advance publicity didn’t mention was that the ‘gravy’ for the biscuits came in two forms, the traditional sausage gravy and……..(drum roll)………..S.O.S. or chipped beef!!!!  Man oh man.  Incredible!

While it is difficult to find the origin of SOS (“shit on a shingle”), it is a dish emblematic of the U.S. Army.  Dried beef in a white sauce, served on toast (shingle) is a memory for many US veterans, and possibly why it was present on the buffet today.  Historical references on SOS in literature date back to at least the early 1900s.

I was going to load up on the chipped beef, a couple pounds of bacon and sausage, and be done at that.  (I have a previous piece on wolfing down at a bacon buffet).

About to pass on the scrambled eggs, the server looked a little hurt, and said “you can’t pass on ‘Scooter’s’ eggs.  No clue as to who or what a Scooter is, but their version of scrambled eggs included sausage bits, cheese, and some herbs.

Take a pleasant drive in the country to Genoa for one of their events, gorge yourself, help out a worthy cause.

If you’d like to make a little SOS at home in the meantime, here’s a modest recipe. (serves 60).

Genoa?  No, not the city Columbus sailed from, but a town on the historic Galena – Chicago stage coach route, back in the day; named by the founder after a burg of the same moniker in New York.  30 miles SE of Rockford, 63 miles W of Chicago’s loop.

And btw, Scooter?  Good job on the eggs!

Vet's Home Genoa, IL

French toast & sausage


Vet's Home Genoa, IL

SOS, sausage, bacon, eggs




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