It was a long weekend. I worked in Detroit on Friday, Champaign, IL on Saturday then had to drive home on Sunday. I left my parents house before lunch, but I didn’t want to actually stop for food on my way home. I was already making a detour to the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond to get J tickets to see Joel McHale for her birthday and another stop would have made a four hour trip (five with the time change) start pushing five hours. By the time I finally got home at 5:30 ET, I was starving. J hadn’t eaten much either, so after unpacking really quick, we went on the hunt for food.
I was craving a burger. I didn’t want to go to a bar because the MSU/USC game was on and I wasn’t in the mood for a crowd. Instead, we opted for Big Boy in Mason. We had eaten at the Big Boy in Okemos last fall and were a little unimpressed with the place, but I wanted to give them another chance. I figured a different location might make our dining experience a little better.
The Big Boy Restaurant in Mason is located on Cedar Street on the southeast side of town. It sits right near US 127 before you actually get in to the town. Unlike the Okemos location, it’s obvious this store is a Big Boy. There’s a huge sign out front and the famous statue of the Big Boy on the edge of the parking lot. There were a few cars in the lot, but nothing overwhelming.
This store is more what I was expecting from a Big Boy. The decor is a little more bright and cartoonish. I had never seen a Big Boy before moving to Michigan, but the statue is a part of Americana and I guess I just have a preconceived notion of what I thought Big Boy was. The Mason location lived up to that notion better than the Okemos location.
We were greeted by a waitress who showed us to a table in the non-smoking sun room. I almost said something when we were seated. I hate these tables. The blinds on the windows create weird shadows and the sun is always in your eyes. I didn’t say anything, but I did reach up and close the blinds. The waitress sat down the over-sized menus and took our drink orders. She came back fairly quickly and we still needed a few minutes.
When she came back a second time, we were ready to order. I was craving a burger, so I got a burger. The Classic Big Boy was tempting, but the secret sauce looks like a Fry Sauce which is pretty much equal parts mayo and ketchup (sounds weird, but this is huge in Utah). I don’t really like either mayo or ketchup, so I went with the Big Bleu Cheese burger. The 1/2 lb angus beef burger comes topped with Cheddar, mozzarella, sauteed mushrooms and a bleu cheese sauce. I opted to leave the mushrooms off and just go with the three cheeses. The sandwich was a mess. The bleu cheese sauce was good, but very messy. It was dripping off the sandwich and every time I set the sandwich down, the bun soaked up the excess sauce. It was good, but too messy. I’d rather just have bleu cheese crumbles. The fries are a perfect golden brown and crispy french fry.
J ordered the same sandwich she did last time. The triple decker grilled cheese. The sandwich is three layers of bread and cheddar cheese. She called in the best grilled cheese she’s had at a non-gourmet restaurant. Her sandwich also came with fries and again, she called them some of the best restaurant fries she’s had. She’s more interested in how they’re cooked than whether or not they’re fresh cut like I am. She also got a side salad with the zesty garlic and oil dressing. I grabbed a crouton off her plate to check out the dressing. It was really good. I contemplated ordering a salad of my own just to get some of the dressing.
Our bill was just over $20 which is pretty standard for us. We had a little problem with the waitress when she forgot about us after ordering but before we got our meal. We had empty drink glasses sitting there for a while. A manager was walking around checking on the tables and we asked if we could get more. A different waitress brought us back fresh drinks. When our waitress came back she made some smart comment about someone else bringing us drinks and said she was making a pie. Whatever. I was thirsty. I don’t care who brings it.
Overall, our experience at the Mason Big Boy was much better than our initial experience. The food is good, but it’s still a chain that freezes and ships all their supplies. I was craving a burger and I wanted to leave full and that’s what we got from Big Boy.