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Big Boy Double-Decker Hamburger Classic

By Todd Wilbur


Score: 3.67. Votes: 6
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Menu Description: "1/4 pound of 100% pure beef in two patties with American cheese, crisp lettuce and our special sauce on a sesame seed bun."

Bob Wian's little ten-stool diner, Bob's Pantry, was in business only a short time in Glendale, California, before establishing a following of regular customers—among them the band members from Chuck Fosters Orchestra. One February night in 1937, the band came by after a gig as they often did to order a round of burgers. In a playful mood, bass player Stewie Strange sat down on a stool and uttered, "How about something different for a change, Bob?" Bob thought it might be funny to play along and serve up Stewie a burger he could barely get his mouth around. So Bob cut a bun into three slices, rather than the usual two, and stacked on two hamburger patties along with lettuce, cheese, and his special sauce. When Stewie tasted the huge sandwich and loved, it every band member wanted his own!

Just a few days later, a plump little six-year old named Richard Woodruff came into the diner and charmed Bob into letting him do odd jobs in exchange for a burger or two. He often wore baggie overalls and had an appetite that forced the affectionate nickname "Fat Boy". Bob thought it was the perfect name for his new burger, except the name was already being used as a trademark for another product. So the name of the new burger, along with Bob's booming chain of restaurants, was changed to "Big Boy." The company's tradename Big Boy character is from a cartoonists napkin sketch of "fat boy," little Richard Woodruff.

The Big Boy hamburger was the first of the double-decker hamburgers. McDonald's Big Mac, the world's best-known burger that came more than 30 years later, was inspired by Bob Wian's original creation. See if you can get your mouth around it. 

Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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  • 1/4 pound ground beef
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • ...

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Average rating:

Score: 3.67. Votes: 6
Rating of votes (6)
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Jackie
Jun 10, 2016, 22:00

I've lived in Ohio and there was not blue cheese dressing on these burgers. It was a mayonnaise base with relish. My favorite burger still.

Phanntom
Mar 18, 2016, 22:00

As others have noted...there were different versions depending on the state the franchisee was in. In my home state of Michigan, it was Elias Bros, and they used the 1000 Island, In Ohio it was Fisches and they used a Roquefort type sauce, and then off course the original Bob's in California where they used the relish. My preference is the one I grew up on, in MI...the 1000 Island version.

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