Fortunately, Big Bob’s resurrection has occurred just south of town in a Piney Flats storefront. My dining partner and I decided to visit Big Bob’s Pizza last Saturday, inviting our dine-around friends the Dieter and the Carnivore to come along.
Big Bob’s Pizza has a central location in a Piney Flats shopping center. Inside, Big Bob’s has an order and takeout counter set up in front of the kitchen pickup window, with a menu posted for all to see.
Dining at Big Bob’s is simple. You place your food order at the takeout counter up front, take an empty drink cup and fill it at the nearby fountain drinks station. Then find a table for you and your friends.
Chicken parmigiana sandwich
The Carnivore started things off by ordering a whole Big Bob’s chicken parmigiana baked sandwich ($6.25). Big Bob’s kitchen staff makes a very good chicken parmesan sandwich here, using marinated breast and thigh chicken meat that is coarsely sliced and grilled through.
Big Bob’s marinara sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese are then added, with the whole mix ladled into an Italian hoagie roll dotted with roasted sesame seeds. Then the sandwich is baked until the crust is crunchy in one of Big Bob’s pizza ovens. The result was very pleasing to the Carnivore, and also to those who each got our personal morsel handed to us.
Garbage Pail salad
My contribution to our table’s smorgasbord was ordered in answer to a question of mine: Can you really make a salad out of all of the toppings you can put on a pizza? Here, the answer is “Yes,” in the form of a Big Bob’s Garbage Pail salad. Now, I can hear you saying “$11.99? For a salad?”
Yes, and in this case it is worth every penny. To a bed of chopped iceberg lettuce, Big Bob’s kitchen puts a hefty handful of every one of the twelve toppings they put on a Big Bob’s pizza.
True, this gets you some interesting, if not downright unusual taste pairings for your tongue to deal with; pepperoni and banana peppers, or bacon with pickled jalapenos, or pineapple with anything. There are enough toppings here that adding a salad dressing is not needed — your taste buds will be busy enough. There is enough in the order that everyone at your table can share in the adventure.
Bacon and Steak calzone: While pondering her contribution at the takeout counter, the Dieter saw a Big Bob’s cheese pizza calzone being sold as a take-out, and ordered one just like it in the 10-inch size ($5.75), adding bacon and steak to the filling at $0.25 for each.
What was brought to the table and set in front of our dieting friend looked nothing like what she had seen going out through Big Bob’s front door. Instead of being a nice-looking 10-inch cheese pizza calzone, what was set it front of our friend looked like a mostly-deflated football.
The filling was cooked, yes, but the taste was bland and the texture flaccid instead of firm. The majority of the “steak” used in the calzone was of the “ground beef” variety rather than coarsely chopped or shredded round steak. The bacon was just crumbles, all of it, and you could really taste how salty the pizza and cheese portion of the filling was.
My dining partner’s contribution was a Big Bob’s 12-inch veggie pizza ($12.99). Nestled on an excellent, oregano-laced red sauce, Big Bob’s pizzas have edge-to-edge toppings that are scattered so that your slice of pizza and your tongue each get a good taste selection to enjoy. The veggie toppings used are all fresh, not a wilted leaf or brown stem among ’em. Definitely a very good effort.
Bottom line: It is good to see Big Bob’s Pizza back serving the public once more. Aside from the one stumble, the other selections of our smorgasbord were all very good; the Carnivore’s chicken parmigiana sandwich, the veggie pizza and, of course, my Garbage Pail salad. Teach the staff how to correctly prepare and bake a calzone, and Big Bob’s should have an easy road back to success.
Big Bob’s Pizza
6681 Bristol Highway
Mon-Thu 11 a.m.–9 p.m.
Fri-Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m.
Available on Facebook & at
Credit cards accepted