Recently I got to visit Bob Evans and try out one of the new Big Farm Burgers. I should stipulate that I wasn't visiting Bob Evans himself, since he died a couple of years back, and the only time I met him in person was at the Ohio State Fair back around 1986. (I have a photo of him and myself somewhere)
Anyway, we had a few of those "kids eat free" coupons they give out sometimes at Carriage Hill Metropark, and decided to visit. Along with the regular menu, they had a new "burger" one accompanied by the usual photos of almost impossibly huge (airbrushed?) and perfect looking burgers. Burgers seem a little out of place at Bob Evans, you say? Well, it turns out that they have a history at the company. Not only was one of the first restaurants run by Bob Evans a steakhouse (offering his hamburgers), but the more modern company has also offered them in the past as well.
I was trying to make up my mind between my normal favorite and trying something new, mostly because the Big Farm burgers are advertised with fries and cole slaw as sides, if you want it as a platter. The platter costs about $9.30. I like my Mom's and Grandma's cole slaw, but I'm disappointed with it most places. I decided to ask if I could substitute, and they told me yes, which made up my mind. I ended up getting "The Farmstand", which is advertised as a half pound of Angus beef on a "brioche" (egg bread, for the non French speaking like myself) bun. It also comes with portabella mushrooms, Swiss cheese and baby spinach leaves. For my sides, I got green beans with bacon and a side salad.
Was the meal filling? Yes. Often I'll get burgers off the value menu at various places, such as the cheeseburger deluxe at Wendy's, for about $1.10. That has a nice tomato slice, onion and lettuce, but it takes 2-3 to fill me up. The side salad had some nicely ripe cherry tomatoes. After eating that, I tackled the green beans, which were tasty. The burger itself was the highlight, of course. I already mentioned that I felt full after this meal, but was it the best tasting burger I've ever had? That was a tough question. I can't really say it was the very best I've ever had, but it was definitely right up there. I can certainly say it was one of the best I've ever had. I don't think it was quite able to overcome my memories of the mushroom burger sold by the chain "Burger Chef" back in the 70's and 80's, though.
Considering that I could buy all of this at a retail grocer for about $3.50, though, I'm sure that Bob Evans is able to get it for about $2.25 by buying in bulk. Selling a burger based meal up near $10, even with a really tasty burger, still seems a bit overpriced. I think a fair price for the meal, including the sides, would be about $7.
Big Farm hamburger, cheeseburger, bacon cheeseburger, smokehouse burger and 3 cheese burger also available.
Copyright 2010 Dayton Dining