Big Boy Restaurant – Okemos

11 06 2008
  • 2221 University Park Dr.Big Boy
  • Okemos, MI 48864
  • (517) 349-9570
  • Website
  • Menu

Ah, one day sales.  After being woke up by a lawn mower, my girlfriend and I decided to make a trip to the Meridian Mall in Okemos.  Younkers was having a one day sale and as it turns out, so was Macy’s.  We shopped for about an hour and then started back towards home since my girlfriend still had to go to work.  When we got in the car, she asked about lunch and I said, “What about Big Boy?”  Before moving to Michigan, my only knowledge of Big Boy was gained from watching Austin Powers.  Heck, at first I didn’t even know Big Boy was real.  Funny thing.   Big Boy is real and it’s corporate headquarters are here in Michigan in the town of Warren.  Neither of us had ever eaten at a Big Boy Restaurant so we decided it was time.

I’d seen the sign from the road for Big Boy on the way in, but when we actually went to find the store, it was much harder than it should be.  Big Boy actually sits behind a Sunoco near I-96.  The problem is, if you get to the Sonoco, you’ve gone too far.  So, I made myself a traffic hazard and turned into the Sunoco to turn around and go back to University Park Dr and take a right.  After the turn, we came up on a sign that said “Big Boy” and a very plain looking building.  The trademark cartoon character was nowhere to be found and there was no marking on the outside of the building.  Again, we weren’t sure if this was the right place or not.  If you turn into the first driveway, it actually takes you to the backside of the building, so again, we were confused as to where to enter.  After driving around the building, we found the front and again, no markings until you get to the second set of doors.

I don’t know why, but I always assumed Big Boy was a fast food restaurant.  I figured we’d go in and get a couple burgers to go and head home.  Whoops.  Big Boy is a sit down restaurant.  I hesitated a little when I saw the “Please Wait To Be Seated” sign, but we went ahead anyway.  The waitress showed us to a table as far away from the door as possible, but in the sunroom section of the restaurant.  The building actually reminded me of an old Wendy’s.  There was another couple sitting behind us, but other than that, everyone was in the other dining room.

The waitress gave us our menus and took drink orders.  She brought back the Pepsi’s then gave us a few more minutes to look the selections.   Big Boy is famous for their Big Boy Double Decker which is comparable to McDonald’s Big Mac.  I dont’ like Big Mac’s and I don’t like burgers with salad dressing on them, so I went for another burger.  I got the Big Cheese and Bacon Burger.  The sandwich is a 1/2 lb ground beef burger with bacon and Ameican cheese and served on a seasme seed bun.  The combo came with coleslaw and fries and is served on real plates with a handle that makes the plate look more like a ceramic fry pan.  The burger was juicy and the bacon was crispy.  The cheese had started to melt into the burger which gives the meat a lot more flavor.  This sandwich is definitely better than a fast food burger.  The fries, on the other hand, are exactly the same as fast food fries.

My girlfriend got the Triple Decker Grilled Cheese Sandwich and yes, it’s as good as it sounds.  The sandwich is constructed like the classic Big Boy double decker.  Bread, cheese, bread, cheese, bread.  The sandwich was huge, so she didn’t eat much of the fires or coleslaw that came with her combo.  She’s a self-proclaimed grilled cheese connoisseur (read: snob) and she said this one passed her test.  It was gooey and packed with cheese.

Both of us were stuffed which was too bad because their desserts looked delicious.  They even had Eli’s Cheesecake which I’m a huge fan of.  There were so many other cakes, cookies, and ice cream options that it was hard not to give in to temptation.

Well, I gave Big Boy a shot.  I’m still kind of in shock that it’s not a fast food restaurant.  The food was good, but the atmosphere was just wierd.  You really almost have to know that it’s there to get to it.  I really didn’t like the room we were seated in.  It wasn’t a super hot day outside, but sitting in the sun we were almost starting to sweat.  There was still a lot of room in the other dining room and it would have been nice had they seated us in there.  I’m not gonna rule Big Boy out of a future visit, but I think we’ll try a different location next time.




6 responses

12 06 2008

I might be a grilled cheese snob- but you’re a fry snob!

12 06 2008
Mid-Michigan Dining

I’m not denying that 🙂

7 07 2008

I’ve never been to that Big Boy, so I can’t say if it’s different from the others or not. But I can suggest that if you’re a fan of ham, give the Slim Jim a try sometime! I used to go here all the time in my former hometown, and I would get the Slim Jim while my former boyfriend would get the spaghetti, which (at least it did then) comes with a second portion free of charge.

Their ice cream cake sundae is worth a try too….the cake was a nice change-up compared to the brownie you usually get.

7 07 2008
Mid-Michigan Dining

I love all bacon products. 🙂

We had a hard time being good and not splurging on desserts. Everything looked so good.

8 07 2008
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers « Mid-Michigan Dining

[…] our trip to Big Boy (review HERE), we knew ahead of time that Red Robin wasn’t fast food, but we didn’t really know what […]

7 03 2009
Liz S

Can’t believe they are closed for good. Another good restaurant gone.

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