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.
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.
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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