Monday, June 17, 2013

Big Ed's Pizzeria [3/5]

Big Ed's

I'd heard about Big Ed's for years and finally made it in when a group of mine decided to meet there. On that trip, I was focused on our meeting, but not too long afterwards, the hubby and I went in for a review.

The building is a single square with floor to ceiling glass windows on three sides. Those three sides surround the dining room, on the fourth, the bar separates the diners from the kitchen. Signed celebrity photos take up the available wall space and 3 flat screen tvs are hung around the room.

The dining area was fairly full when we came in and, consequently, fairly loud. We selected a table and seated ourselves. Our service was tag teamed by two women, which caused a bit of confusion and some repetitive question answering, but they were very attentive.

The menu included calzones, pizza, salads, and subs and we decided to go the calzone route and share a garlic cheesy bread. I selected pepperoni and black olives for my fillings, and the hubby pepperoni and onions.

Our calzones arrived promptly, but our cheesy bread went walkabout. The server who had put our order in with the kitchen had forgotten it and the server who brought our food out hadn't known anything was missing. They were very apologetic and put the order in immediately. It ended up arriving when we were about halfway through our calzones.

I was a bit taken aback at my calzone (shown up top). When I think of calzones I think of browned and bubbly dough, pinched together at the edges. Instead, the exterior was pasty and dry, looking like a standard pizza crust, folded in two. Where the edges overlapped the dough was crunchy and hard. Gussying it up a bit was a sprinkling of Parmesan powder, the kind you usually find in a green can.

The accompanying marinara sauce was acidic and sharp. On the interior, the pepperoni zesty and greasy. The black olives were clearly canned and I discovered a pit as I ate. The mozarella was ropey.

The hubby's calzone was the same.

Big Ed's

One reason I like to order cheesy bread if I'm not going to order a straight pizza at a pizza shop is to try out their crust. Most places will simply use a regular pizza crust and apply cheese, without sauce. So I got a second surprise when our cheesy bread appeared. Instead of pizza crust, the mozarella was applied to buttered french bread.

Big Ed's

It was served with the same marinara sauce as our calzones and had a very light crunch, more sound than actual feel. Small bits of a green herb (we guessed basil, but there was no real flavor to judge by) were sprinkled on top.

I wanted to like Big Eds more than I did. They serve local beers and the staff is friendly. But the food was mediocre. If you are looking for a place to get an okay pizza while you watch the game and split a pitcher of beer with friends, Big Eds fits the bill. But if you are looking for great pizza? Continue onward.

Total for the meal: $22.60 (Includes two calzones, one order of cheesy bread, and two soft drinks)

Edited to Add: After this post went live, I received a response from Dion Denton who co-owns Bid Ed's. This is what she said:

"I just wanted to give you some info about our restaurant. We've been locally owned and operated since 1969, when my father bought it from the original Big Ed. After he passed away in 2011, me, my brother and sister took it over. We try to keep the prices affordable and support the local breweries as much as we can. The black olives are canned along with the green olives and pineapple. The rest of the veggies we get fresh from Quillins, a local supplier. We make all of our dough and sauce in house. Every pizza is hand tossed, which is why you might end up with a rather odd shaped pizza. After reading the comments, you can tell we have some passionate pizza fans. We do things a bit different than most pizza places and it usually results in a love it or hate it situation. Hopefully if you try us again, you'll enjoy our pizza. I'm definitely going to add some ricotta to the menu for those who want it in the calzones."



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16 comments:

  1. I think you missed out by not having the pizza. The pizza is the draw for us.

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    Replies
    1. I've replied on the pizza/calzone question below, but thank you for your comment! I'll have to make a point of trying the pizza.

      Delete
  2. ditto on the comment above, I didn't even know they had anything but pizza

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've replied on the pizza/calzone question below, thanks for weighing in.

      Delete
  3. "if you are looking for great pizza? Continue onward."....but you didn't even try the pizza???

    Seems like you would review the primary food, and at least, not knock it if you didn't eat it. Bit like going to a steakhouse eating the hotdogs and saying the steaks were bad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've replied on the pizza/calzone question below, but I do want to make the distinction that the calzones and pizzas include all the same ingredients, unlike a steak and a hotdog which are totally separate foods.

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  4. I agree with everyone above. You went to a pizza place, known for their pizza. You ordered calzones and then talk about how unimpressed you were and that "If you are looking for a place to get an okay pizza while you watch the game and split a pitcher of beer with friends, Big Eds fits the bill. But if you are looking for great pizza? Continue onward."

    How would you know that they don't have great pizza? You didn't eat any of it! Go back and try a Big 8 or Deluxe pizza. THEN tell us how the pizza is.

    I usually enjoy your reviews and think the majority are spot on...but not this time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've replied on the pizza/calzone question below, but thank you for your comment! Food is such a personal matter of taste and with restaurants especially, there are so many other variables. Given the strong response, it's clear that I need to make a point of trying their pizza.

      Delete
  5. I'm agreeing with the above comments. Their pizza is outstanding, and to go to a pizza place and not even try a slice...

    I also love their sub sandwiches.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've replied on the pizza/calzone question below, thank you for weighing in. I appreciate the feedback.

      Delete
  6. Clearly I hit a nerve here!

    I was basing my comments on their pizza off their calzones true...but given that their calzones do not contain ricotta, the calzone is essentially a pizza folded in half with sauce on the side. I would not expect the quality of the ingredients or the taste/texture of the dough to change substantially simply by being used in a pizza as opposed to a calzone.

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  7. Keep up the great work Amanda! I enjoy your
    Reviews and hope you are not discouraged
    By some of the comments here. I guess Big
    Ed's being a local institution Understandably
    Struck a nerve with some folks. Looking forward to
    Your pizza review! -pamela

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  8. A calzone without ricotta cheese is NOT a calzone - damn the south! >_<

    Sometime, when you are in the mood for pizza again, go back and get the Super 8. Yes, their ingredients, for the most part, are from a can (I know... I know... And I agree), but damn is that a fine pizza.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And yes, I see your comment about the pizza, no need to restate it. ;)

      Delete
  9. I wanted to like Big Ed's too. The first time I ate there it was wonderful but the past few times I was sick soon after as were the folks we shared pizza with.

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  10. Their pizzas aren't like they used to be. Way better before, in the 80's, and I think even 90's. And they were cut into square pieces. That's was their signature thing. I don't understand why they changed.

    ReplyDelete

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