A few weeks ago, I noticed a billboard on South Cedar near K-Mart for a restaurant I had never heard of. There was a web address on the billboard, so I came home and typed it into my browser. Nothing came up that day, but a few days later, I found out the Okemos Big Boy went out of business and a family diner opened up.
Since we don’t usually get up for breakfast, I put it on my mental list of places to stop for lunch after a trip to Meridian Mall. Things changed when I got an unexpected 9:00 AM wake up call. Since we were both up, J offered to treat me to breakfast. We had noticed that some people had found my blog looking for information on the place and checking it out would be a good idea.
Like I already mentioned, Bethany’s Place has taken over the old Big Boy building just off the Interstate on University Park Drive. Last summer, J and I ate at the Big Boy and it was the first Big Boy experience for both of us. We were pretty underwhelmed. The business acted like they didn’t want to be in business. There was no signage and it was hard to find. Bethany’s Place already took the first step towards a successful business. They added signs and started advertising. It’s always amazed me when people open restaurants, don’t advertise at all, then can’t understand why they went out of business because no one knew they were there or what kind of food they served.
Not much has changed from this restaurant’s Big Boy days. There are still some signs on the walls and the layout, furniture, and decor are all leftovers. When we got there, we stopped at the sign that told us to wait to be seated. A frantic hostess came over and said it would be a couple minutes. They were short handed and behind. We considered leaving at that point because there is no way the meal could have went smoothly, but J noticed a sign for a $7.99 breakfast buffet. We chose to stay and get the buffet so we could set the pace of our meal.
We were shown to a table in the dining room next to the sunroom. When we ate at Big Boy, we sat in the sunroom and it was visciously hot and the sunlight coming through the blinds was blinding, so I was glad we were seated in the dining room this time.
A waitress who was running around frantically trying to catch up said she’d be right with us. Eventually, another waiter came over to get our drink orders. I ordered a Coke and J got an OJ. As he was walking away, J grabbed him and said we were just going to do the breakfast bar. He told us to have at it, so we did.
The breakfast bar had most of the breakfast staples. I went right for the bacon and sausage. I also grabbed a little bit of scrambled eggs and a couple pancakes. The bacon was delicious. Perfect restaurant bacon. The sausage was a patty that was just a little bit spicy, but not overpowering. The eggs were eggs. I would rather have fried eggs, but that wasn’t an option, so the scrambled eggs would do. The pancakes were a little disappointing. They were tough. I couldn’t cut through them with just my fork. I also didn’t see any butter, so I just ate them with syrup. I only ate about half of the pancakes I came back with. I did go back for seconds on the bacon and sausage.
The breakfast bar was perfect for J. She was able to make herself a fancy waffle with fresh fruit and whipped cream. She really liked that she was able to get two pieces of a waffle and not a huge one that she would feel guilty about eating later. She also picked up some slices of pineapple that she said were really fresh and juicy. Her plate was topped off with some fruit cocktail and bacon.
The breakfast bar option was perfect for J. She got a much healthier meal than she probably could have if she had ordered off the menu. She seemed to like everything she came back with. I would have been better ordering off the menu because I’d rather have fried eggs and some toast which weren’t options of the breakfast bar. There was no doubt, however, that this day, the breakfast bar was the best option. Even though everyone seemed to be scrambling, our waiter was able to keep our drinks filled and get our check to us pretty quickly.
I’m not really sure what the problem was, but I’m assuming it was in the kitchen. There looked to be plenty of waitstaff and the building wasn’t all that full, but there was a pretty big party in the back corner of the room. I’m guessing they overwhelmed the kitchen and things got behind. Bethany’s hasn’t been open that long, so it’s completely understandable that they are still working things out. It does get a little old hearing time after time how crazy they are and how short staffed they are. After a while, it just starts to sound more like an excuse and it almost scared us off. I couldn’t quite understand why the hostess was having a hard time seating people. It was like she only wanted to use the same five booths over and over. That part confused me a little bit.
What we had for breakfast was good, but breakfast isn’t my favorite meal, so I’m not an expert. Our bill for the two buffet’s and drinks was just over $21. We’ll give Bethany’s another shot. The lunch menu looks pretty good and they have some interesting dinner options. We’re always more than happy to give a local place our business.