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Big Boy 

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So, you think you know Big Boy, eh? (I feel like there's a joke there someplace.) The beauty of the long-standing Michigan eaterie isn't just in the Slim Jim – although those are quite delicious, as I'm sure you know – or in their legendary salad bar.

The newest and most exciting thing going on at Big Boy is the fact that they've stepped up their burger game – BIG TIME.

Believe me when I say that I'm not the biggest hamburger fan on the planet. Also believe me when I say that I had two of Big Boy's burgers on my recent visit. I was fortunate enough to try the Big Boy (for those unfortunate souls amongst you who are not familiar with this epic burger, think a Big Mac but with more history and not fast food-y). The other cool thing about the Big Boy is that they haven't changed it in 75 years. Well, hold on, that's not entirely true. They recently upped the size of each burger patty (yup, there's two of them and they're real beef and real delicious!). They're each now 2.5 ounces instead of 2. For all you math majors, that's an extra ounce of meat on each burger!

The other amazing burger offering comes with probably the best burger title of all time – the Best Cheeseburger on the Planet. And it's pretty damned close. Not only does this incredible burger come with all the fixins, it uses red relish and mayo (something you'd typically see mixed, although seeing red relish at all these days is like finding a chupacabra in its native habitat). The sweet and savory combo of condiments compliments the gooey cheesiness of the two slices of good ol' American cheese laid on top of a nicely pressed ground beef patty of goodness. Served on a brioche bun and buttered, this is what you picture a burger tasting like when you think of what a burger is supposed to taste like. It's simple math. And it's delicious.

Not only have these fine folks gotten their burger business in order, they've redone a couple of other things worth mentioning. The menu now boasts a buffalo chicken sandwich which is not only hand-breaded, but it also happens to utilize breading made by Dorothy Dawson of Jackson, MI. And if you've ever had a buffalo chicken sandwich, you know they usually come out of a fryer looking like a sweaty, deep-fried yet crispy mess. It's not usually a pretty sight. Big Boy's, however, looks and tastes like real chicken (imagine that concept!) and their awesome and tasty sauce is, in fact, also made here in Michigan – at their commissary in Warren. The breading looks and tastes flaky and flavorful, and you can immediately tell it's done by hand.

I could go on and on about the other amazing items featured at your local Big Boy. Their onion rings are fabulous, their milkshakes (yes, I had one of those during my visit, too) are creamy and delicious and their coleslaw is tastier than whatever dull side of slaw you order at your local eatery.

The other cool thing about this company, besides it being a very recognizable Michigan thing that we've all grown up with and come to know very intimately, is that they now have a location inside Ford Field. Yup, you can get your fix of a number of their fantastic menu items while cheering on our favorite football team. What goes better with guts, glory and gridiron than that dude in checkered overalls? | RDW

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