Livin’ easy at The Big Cheezy

When you dine out regularly, it can be a relief to go to a casual restaurant where you don’t have to be concerned about whether or not your food will taste good, or even worse, if you’ll be able to afford it. I’m sure you all can relate to restaurant “sticker shock” . . . or should we call it a “check crash?” One too many Old Fashioneds or extra appetizers can easily push you far beyond your food-cost comfort zone. There’s also that possibility that, by no fault of the chef, you simply didn’t like your dish. Then you’re left paying through the nose for a partially full stomach and an afternoon of disappointment.

Thankfully, there are always inexpensive options that are almost guaranteed to comfort your tummy like The Big Cheezy. Since I visited with my friends Anne and Candy several months ago, there have been a few changes at this Mid-City restaurant, not the least of which their expansion to the French Quarter (inside the Dragon’s Den on Esplanade) and way out to Kenner (brah).

While standing in a line that moved quickly, but stretched out the door, we made our selections and grabbed a table outside. I got the Cheezy B.E.T. with cheddar, apple wood smoked bacon, a fried egg and sliced tomato on sourdough bread. Simple, comforting and delicious, it was an easy win-win that cost me less than $8. Anne and Candy both enjoyed their options as well; a “Big Cheezy” triple-decker on Hawaiian sweet bread with gouda, guyere, pepper jack, cheddar, mozzarella and Monterey jack and a “Crazy Old Goat” with goat cheese, Monterey jack, applewood-smoked bacon, grilled green peppers and red pepper jelly on multi-grain bread. Anne got a tomato-basil dipper on the side which was just okay, but I’ve never really enjoyed tomato soup aside from the glorious gazpacho.

Because we are gluttons for punishment, we also opted to try three desserts that The Big Cheezy have since removed from their menu and for good reason. Picture this … fluffy beignets that are split down the middle and grilled with fillings like fresh strawberries, addictive Nutella and mascarpone … sounds pretty good, right? Yeah, not so much. While the fillings were tasty, the grilled beignets were terribly hard and unpleasant to chew, good thing they were only $5. Responsively, the good folks at The Big Cheezy came to their senses and are now offering, at the Mid-City and Kenner (brah) locations, delectable milkshakes made with ice cream from the Creole Creamery. You know they can’t go wrong with that!

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