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Hey Big Boy, Try This!

Jul 28, 2002 (Updated Oct 28, 2006)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Low prices; Home- like interior; Friendly service

Cons:Can get crowded on Saturday and Sunday

The Bottom Line: Frisch's is a good restaurant, one of the best deals you can find in a sit- down, full service atmosphere.

Frisch's restaurant is a small chain of sit- down eating establishments located in the midwest. Samuel Frisch started this chain in Cincinnati, in 1905, when he opened up his first restaurant. He expanded to a full- service drive- in restaurant in 1939 and introduced the signature "Big Boy" sandwich in 1946. Today, this chain has about 125 stores located throughout Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana.

Menu Selection:

Frisch's has a decent menu selection, with something to satisfy most any desire. The main menu choices include burgers (Big Boy, Buddy Boy, Swiss Miss, etc.), sandwiches (patty melt, fish, philly cheese, etc.), dinner platters (chicken, pasta, seafood, and homestyle dinners), breakfasts (omlettes, pancakes, waffles, etc.), soup and salads, beverages (unlimited refills), and desserts. There's also a senior menu and a kid's menu.

At most all Frisch's restaurants, you also have the option of the soup, salad, and fruit bar, and the breakfast bar. For a relatively low price, you can eat all you want from the bar. It doesn't have a massive selection of food like you find at many cafes, but it's sufficient. You can find about 15 to 20 different items to select from, at the all- you- can- eat bar.


Frisch's restaurants usually seat between 90 and 120 people with a combination of tables and chairs, booths, and a front bar. It can get crowded on peak days (Saturday and Sunday) but the wait is usually short.

Frisch's has improved the appearance of its restaurants dramatically in the past 10 years. I can remember when Frisch's restaurants had all the appeal and charm of a Denny's restaurant, with dark colors, dirty carpet, and unclean restrooms. Times have changed, and while the restaurant still doesn't have any distinct theme, it's clean, friendly, and pleasant. The colors are neutral (white, light colored wood, light colored carpet), giving the interior a home- like feeling.


This is one of Frisch's strongest points. Every item on the menu costs less than $10.00, and that even includes the largest dinner platter with a full soup and salad bar. A burger platter (large sandwich plus to side items) sells for only $4.50. Add a drink (about $1.20) and you have a full meal for cost that's not much greater than you would pay at a fast- food restaurant.

Desserts are also inexpensive, costing between $1.70 and $2.00 for any item on the menu, which includes sundaes, assorted pies, hot fudge cake and a few others. Even a whole pie, purchased to go, is only about $7.00 to $9.00 in price. That's a lot less than many other sit- down restaurants charge for the same item.

Final Thoughts:

Frisch's Bog Boy is one of the better sit- down restaurants in the midwest for a multitude of reasons. The prices are low, the food is tasty, the service is quick and courteous, and the neutral decor is homey and comfortable.

My favorite menu items at Frisch's are the burgers. I keep telling myself, every time I visit, that I should be broad- minded and sample something new. But I almost always follow my instincts and order a Bog Boy platter with onion rings and either cole slaw or cottage cheese. The Big Boy, with its signature tarter- based sauce, always pleases my palate.

Beverages are all you can drink, and the service is very prompt and courteous. Waitresses will often bring you a free refill without you even asking for one (Why can't taverns be this way with beer(sigh)?)

Frisch's serves some dessert items on only a seasonal basis. This would include the pumpkin pie and the strawberry pie, and sometimes some other specialty dessert items. But even without the seasonal items, you should have no problem finding a tasty dessert from the remaining selections.

I haven't seen any drive- in Frisch's restaurants in a long time. I think it's safe to say that the Frisch's chain has dropped this concept completely. They have added, however, a drive- through window, allowing customers to get some good tasting Frisch's food to take home and enjoy.

The Big Boy sandwich and concept are found throughout the United States, under various other ownerships. In the midwestern states of Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky, Frisch's owns the rights. In other areas, you can still find Big Boy restaurants, but they are owned by other franchising companies (like, for example, Marc's Big Boy, in the Wisconsin area).

For quality, service, cleanliness, and value (I sound like Ray Kroc making a pitch for McDonald's, don't I?), it's tough to beat Frisch's restaurant. It's one of my favorite sit- down restaurants in the southwestern Ohio area, always friendly, courteous, and sure to please with good- tasting burgers, sandwiches, and dinners.

Be Sure to Click the Links Below to Read Reviews of Other Full- Service Restaurants:

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Chi- Chi’s

Recommend this product? Yes

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