today's restaurant - Big G's

Post
douginvirginia
Cheeseburger
2008/05/21 08:03:26
Based on the photos, I must ask "where's the meat".
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
RE: today's restaurant - Big G's 2008/05/21 08:11:52
ayersian-
I don't remember seeing some of those photos before. Were they just added?
mmarkovitz
Hamburger
RE: today's restaurant - Big G's 2008/05/21 08:25:14
I have to agree with you doug "where's the meat". Great menu but skimpy sandwiches.
porkbeaks
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: today's restaurant - Big G's 2008/05/21 08:52:34
quote:
Originally posted by mmarkovitz

I have to agree with you doug "where's the meat". Great menu but skimpy sandwiches.


Ditto!!
wheregreggeats.com
Filet Mignon
RE: today's restaurant - Big G's 2008/05/21 09:30:03
The pictures certainly contradict the narrative.
porkbeaks
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: today's restaurant - Big G's 2008/05/21 09:55:49
quote:
Originally posted by wheregreggeats.com

The pictures certainly contradict the narrative.



".....Unless you desire leftovers, a whole sandwich is out of the question. Travelers would be well served with a half sandwich; those with smaller appetites may want to split a half....."

The above statement can't be pertaining to this Reuben.
mmarkovitz
Hamburger
RE: today's restaurant - Big G's 2008/05/21 10:11:38
the above pic is a disgrace to the name Reuben.
exsquidao
Cheeseburger
RE: today's restaurant - Big G's 2008/05/21 11:38:55
I agree with everyone else, those have to be the skimpiest deli sandwhiches I have ever seen.
divefl
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: today's restaurant - Big G's 2008/05/21 11:56:59
The sandwiches seem a lot cheaper than the over stuffed deli's, though. The bread looks better, thickly sliced. I wouldn't rule it out because they give a realistic serving size of meat. I want to taste a sandwich when eating a sandwich. Not just a pile of meat. I'm not on Atkin's.
firecommander3565
Double Cheeseburger
RE: today's restaurant - Big G's 2008/05/21 12:20:05
If this place tried to serve those sandwiches in Chicago.....

A) The owner would get a "beat down"
B) He'd be out of business.
JBarry713
Cheeseburger
RE: today's restaurant - Big G's 2008/05/21 14:51:18
Granted the bread looks better than at most sandwich shops, but the meat on that reuben is only (at best) 5 slices thick in the very middle and 2 slices thick towards the end. Unless someone can supply pictures that show Big G's sandwiches to be heartier, the review really needs to be edited, with lines, such as the following, being omitted:

"...Unless you desire leftovers, a whole sandwich is out of the question. Travelers would be well served with a half sandwich; those with smaller appetites may want to split a half..."
divefl
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: today's restaurant - Big G's 2008/05/21 14:54:41
It's a very hearty bread. I agree to taking out the leftovers comment.
firecommander3565
Double Cheeseburger
RE: today's restaurant - Big G's 2008/05/21 15:24:37
I'll say it again...."Beat Down"
bakman_01570
Hamburger
RE: today's restaurant - Big G's 2008/05/21 15:26:59
I've been to this place before...its actually pretty good
JBarry713
Cheeseburger
RE: today's restaurant - Big G's 2008/05/21 15:43:51
quote:
Originally posted by bakman_01570

I've been to this place before...its actually pretty good


If it is "pretty" good without enough meat, then I would imagine it would be "very" good with the proper balance between the meat and the bread (which, once again, looks good)
NebGuy
Double Cheeseburger
RE: today's restaurant - Big G's 2008/05/21 15:55:41
I've never seen a Reuben that wasn't grilled but I guess they exist.
ayersian
Double Cheeseburger
RE: today's restaurant - Big G's 2008/05/21 16:10:51
Ladies and gentlemen, hold your horses and let me explain.

First off, I have no idea why this review has suddenly surfaced; I was quite surprised to see it on the homepage, a little embarrassed but happy at the same time -- maybe Bruce was thinking about Maine, maybe he was gently nudging me to get these unsubmitted reviews off my desk already. It brings up both good and bad memories: good ones of living in Maine and eating at Big G's with friends, and bad ones of the whole ordeal of how this review came to be. I emailed Bruce this morning and thanked him for making it the RotD again, despite the still-terrible pictures...and of course there's a story behind it, if you care to read further.

This was my very first review, submitted 4/24/06, but actually written a whole year before that in 2005. Duly inspired by the great reviewers as a very neophyte RF.com "lurker," I'd only just discovered the site a few months beforehand but felt that I could cover Big G's and do it justice. Amy & I drove over to Winslow on 6/20/05 to eat and take pictures of the place, after which I started writing my inaugural review. After a very long ordeal with the site in posting it (if you've ever been frustrated with submitting content on the site as a first-timer, you know what I mean), the very kind and encouraging Bruce emailed me to say that the text was wonderful, but it required food photos, of which I had only the shot of my holding the bag of bread heels. Darn it! Well, we moved to CT that same summer, so it took us another year to get back up there to take pics of the sandwiches. I was shooting with a regular 35mm camera back then, not able to see the pics until they were developed. Lo and behold, they turned out slightly blurry...and I wasn't sure if Bruce would take them. In a very bold move, Bruce posted the review as is, warning me that people might gripe about the blurry photos (and I'm glad he did, because I may not have been so enthusiastic about submitting anything further...thank you again, Bruce!). So...all of you are over two years late with your comments! But honestly, if all you're complaining about is my photos, then that's not so bad -- I've come a long way as a food photographer since then, thanks to lots of failures/do-overs and the friendly advice of Bruce, WanderingJew, Buffetbuster, generous posters, and most recently Stephen Rushmore, who showed me just last weekend an alternate setting on my camera for clearer close-ups (which has already done wonders!).

Now, if you give us another month or so, Amy & I are vacationing in Maine in June, and Big G's is at the top of our list to revisit for a logbook. Unfortunately, only two of the previous posters to this thread are official Insiders, so only you will be able to access the logbook once it's posted. For the dozen or so of you who aren't Insiders, email me through the site and I'll send you the text, at least! Chris
ChiTownDiner
Filet Mignon
RE: today's restaurant - Big G's 2008/05/21 16:26:31
ayersian - I share your pain as I've had several "reviews" lost in cyberspace. It seemed in these photos - which I thought came out fine - that the contents of the sandwich were a little light. Any thoughts or comments? Thanks for the perserverance - we all benefit from your beautifully written work! Thanks!
cecif
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: today's restaurant - Big G's 2008/05/21 17:11:12
quote:
Originally posted by ayersian

So...all of you are over two years late with your comments! But honestly, if all you're complaining about is my photos, then that's not so bad -- I've come a long way as a food photographer since then...


Chris,
Those of us who know, KNOW that you take fine food photos.

I think the objections voiced are primarily due to a lack of much meat showing in the pics, not the photos themselves! My understanding is the majority thinks they don't look substantial. Can you confirm or deny that the photos are indeed indicative of the typical filling one gets in their sandwiches?? (Hey I, for one, thought that the Wishbone looked & sounded good, but I echo the Reuben sentiments, quite frankly...)

RE: today's restaurant - Big G's 2008/05/21 17:26:46
I think this was a picture of their "air sandwich", a dieters delight! Or maybe their "magic sandwich", buy it and the meat disappears!
mmarkovitz
Hamburger
RE: today's restaurant - Big G's 2008/05/21 17:33:43
It was not the quality of the pictures it's the quality of the sandwiches. Or what appears to be poor quality sandwiches. Their prices of the sandwiches are not bad if there is meat to eat.
Jimeats
Filet Mignon
RE: today's restaurant - Big G's 2008/05/22 06:43:17
Nice crumb on the bread though. Chow Jim
douginvirginia
Cheeseburger
RE: today's restaurant - Big G's 2008/05/22 07:12:11
quote:
Originally posted by cecif

quote:
Originally posted by ayersian

So...all of you are over two years late with your comments! But honestly, if all you're complaining about is my photos, then that's not so bad -- I've come a long way as a food photographer since then...


Chris,
Those of us who know, KNOW that you take fine food photos.

I think the objections voiced are primarily due to a lack of much meat showing in the pics, not the photos themselves! My understanding is the majority thinks they don't look substantial. Can you confirm or deny that the photos are indeed indicative of the typical filling one gets in their sandwiches?? (Hey I, for one, thought that the Wishbone looked & sounded good, but I echo the Reuben sentiments, quite frankly...)




I had no problems with the photos. In fact, they clearly show the poor ratio of filling to bread. I will say the bread does look very good, but it overwhelmes the skimpy content.
John A
Filet Mignon
RE: today's restaurant - Big G's 2008/05/22 08:40:43
Man, everyone jumped on that feet first.
Jimeats
Filet Mignon
RE: today's restaurant - Big G's 2008/05/22 10:04:20
Well at least we have Ellens latest trip report to look forward to.
I'm sure she will show a picture or two of a real sandwich.
Please understand that not all spots inland in Maine are like this.
My trips there {Abbott/Guilford area} I've had some great meals at a fair price. Chow Jim
ayersian
Double Cheeseburger
RE: today's restaurant - Big G's 2008/05/22 11:08:50
John A, I second that emotion! Everyone, Big G's is NOT a Katz's, nor a Harold's, nor any other Jewish or New York style deli. It doesn't claim to be. It does claim to be "Maine's Best Deli," and with that I heartily agree. They do not serve overly stacked sandwiches. They serve sandwiches that a normal person with a normal appetite could finish and feel satisfied. Mind you, it is not the best sandwich I've ever had. I never said that. The amount of meat on each sandwich is a little more than what you'd get on a comparable item from Subway or the like.

I think it's very easy for all of us, as intrepid RFers, to get used to seeing meat, cheese, etc. spilling out of sandwiches on this site, especially since we all expect clear food photos (how many times have you clicked on a review and said, "Where the food photos?"). That "spillage factor" doesn't happen at Big G's, but that doesn't make the sandwiches any less delicious and worth stopping for. When you walk into the place, you immediately know it is indeed a RF establishment. The huge menu, the locals, the little signs, the whoopie pies, the bursting bags of bread heels...and the sandwiches. The myriad combinations of ingredients make your mind spin with the possibilities.

Amy & I lived in Maine for long enough to know very well that there is not many styles of food that the state is known for (excepting the usual tourist views of lobster, seafood, whoopie pies, ice cream, anything with wild blueberries, etc.). No one goes to Maine specifically to eat pizza, or Mexican food, or sandwiches for that matter. But people do go to Big G's in droves every day for lunch, and we'll be queuing up with them in June. Check back here and I'll let you know what we ate! Chris

P.S. And Jimeats, I promise you that Big G's does serve real sandwiches -- real bread, real meats, real delicious. I think what you meant to write was "bigger." Where have you eaten great meals in the Guilford area (were you on the way to Moosehead)? I'd love to know. And yeah, I'd wait for Ellen's reports, too: she's MUCH better-looking than me.
GNeedles59
Double Cheeseburger
RE: today's restaurant - Big G's 2008/05/23 11:06:29
the bread looks good, and it better be cause it looks like the bread makes up 80% of this so called "reuben"
wanderingjew
Sirloin
RE: today's restaurant - Big G's 2008/05/23 11:16:57
quote:
Originally posted by ayersian

John A, I second that emotion! Everyone, Big G's is NOT a Katz's, nor a Harold's, nor any other Jewish or New York style deli. It doesn't claim to be. It does claim to be "Maine's Best Deli," and with that I heartily agree. They do not serve overly stacked sandwiches. They serve sandwiches that a normal person with a normal appetite could finish and feel satisfied. Mind you, it is not the best sandwich I've ever had. I never said that. The amount of meat on each sandwich is a little more than what you'd get on a comparable item from Subway or the like.

I think it's very easy for all of us, as intrepid RFers, to get used to seeing meat, cheese, etc. spilling out of sandwiches on this site, especially since we all expect clear food photos (how many times have you clicked on a review and said, "Where the food photos?"). That "spillage factor" doesn't happen at Big G's, but that doesn't make the sandwiches any less delicious and worth stopping for. When you walk into the place, you immediately know it is indeed a RF establishment. The huge menu, the locals, the little signs, the whoopie pies, the bursting bags of bread heels...and the sandwiches. The myriad combinations of ingredients make your mind spin with the possibilities.

Amy & I lived in Maine for long enough to know very well that there is not many styles of food that the state is known for (excepting the usual tourist views of lobster, seafood, whoopie pies, ice cream, anything with wild blueberries, etc.). No one goes to Maine specifically to eat pizza, or Mexican food, or sandwiches for that matter. But people do go to Big G's in droves every day for lunch, and we'll be queuing up with them in June. Check back here and I'll let you know what we ate! Chris

P.S. And Jimeats, I promise you that Big G's does serve real sandwiches -- real bread, real meats, real delicious. I think what you meant to write was "bigger." Where have you eaten great meals in the Guilford area (were you on the way to Moosehead)? I'd love to know. And yeah, I'd wait for Ellen's reports, too: she's MUCH better-looking than me.



I've never been to Big G's

However I have to agree, all the Maine locals are laughing at the touristas who are eating Lobster and Whoopie Pies

Same thing with The Jewish Delis in NYC- it's mostly tourists- the locals are not eating there - even those that are Jewish will go maybe once or twice a year- if that much
--

I know that I can't eat the serving sizes that they have at Katz's or the Carnegie on a regular basis and forget Harold's, that's just not do-able..

However its great to know that there are good places available that have regular portions..
fattybomatty
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: today's restaurant - Big G's 2008/05/23 11:39:50
I happen to like a decent amount of meat on a sandwich, but I always feel the bread makes or breaks the sandwich. This sandwich, while not over flowing with meat, looks like it is made with good bread and good meat in a portion size big enough to fill one up. I would rather have that then a sandwich with bad bread and bad meat that is just big.
Scorereader
Sirloin
RE: today's restaurant - Big G's 2008/05/23 13:49:46
sure, a sandwich doesn't have to be overflowing to be good. But that "reuben" looks skimpy, not regular. Sure, portion control is good, but there's also a thing called "proportion," and those sandwiches look proportionately large on the bread and thin on the meat - not my idea of a good deli sandwich.
fattybomatty
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: today's restaurant - Big G's 2008/05/23 14:07:47
quote:
Originally posted by Scorereader

sure, a sandwich doesn't have to be overflowing to be good. But that "reuben" looks skimpy, not regular. Sure, portion control is good, but there's also a thing called "proportion," and those sandwiches look proportionately large on the bread and thin on the meat - not my idea of a good deli sandwich.


Isn't the taste what truly makes a good deli sandwich? It can be proportionate all it wants, but if it doesn't taste good what's the point?
Scorereader
Sirloin
RE: today's restaurant - Big G's 2008/05/23 14:19:45
quote:
Originally posted by fattybomatty

quote:
Originally posted by Scorereader

sure, a sandwich doesn't have to be overflowing to be good. But that "reuben" looks skimpy, not regular. Sure, portion control is good, but there's also a thing called "proportion," and those sandwiches look proportionately large on the bread and thin on the meat - not my idea of a good deli sandwich.


Isn't the taste what truly makes a good deli sandwich? It can be proportionate all it wants, but if it doesn't taste good what's the point?


Not really. Not when comparing apples to apples. If two places are using the same ingredients and one place's proportions are not right, then that place won't be as good as the place that uses the right proportions. It's impossible to truly taste good if the proportions aren't right. The bread might be great, the meat might be great, the cheese might be great, but if the meat is so thin the bread rules the sandwich, then the sandwich loses points. Or if the cheese overpowers the meat, that's bad, no matter how good the cheese and meat. Or whena roast beef has so much horseradish, no matter how great the horseradish and no matter how great the roast beef, when the horseradish muffles the roastbeef, then the proportion has ruined it - even if the horseradish tastes great. The sandwich cannot taste great when the proportions are imbalanced.

I am under the assumption that the quality of the ingredients was high. Sure, you can load a pile of crappy meat on a sandwich, doesn't make it better than another place that uses higher quality meat. But that's comparing apples to oranges.

All ingredients being equal, the sandwich still needs balance. The reuben pictured above is not the right proportion to impress me. Carnegie isn't really the right proportion either, but the meat is so good, I forgive the huge portion. But when it's too skimpy, like pictured above, there's no room for forgiveness.


fattybomatty
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: today's restaurant - Big G's 2008/05/23 14:28:51
quote:
Originally posted by Scorereader

quote:
Originally posted by fattybomatty

quote:
Originally posted by Scorereader

sure, a sandwich doesn't have to be overflowing to be good. But that "reuben" looks skimpy, not regular. Sure, portion control is good, but there's also a thing called "proportion," and those sandwiches look proportionately large on the bread and thin on the meat - not my idea of a good deli sandwich.


Isn't the taste what truly makes a good deli sandwich? It can be proportionate all it wants, but if it doesn't taste good what's the point?


Not really. Not when comparing apples to apples. If two places are using the same ingredients and one place's proportions are not right, then that place won't be as good as the place that uses the right proportions. It's impossible to truly taste good if the proportions aren't right. The bread might be great, the meat might be great, the cheese might be great, but if the meat is so thin the bread rules the sandwich, then the sandwich loses points. Or if the cheese overpowers the meat, that's bad, no matter how good the cheese and meat. Or whena roast beef has so much horseradish, no matter how great the horseradish and no matter how great the roast beef, when the horseradish muffles the roastbeef, then the proportion has ruined it - even if the horseradish tastes great. The sandwich cannot taste great when the proportions are imbalanced.

I am under the assumption that the quality of the ingredients was high. Sure, you can load a pile of crappy meat on a sandwich, doesn't make it better than another place that uses higher quality meat. But that's comparing apples to oranges.

All ingredients being equal, the sandwich still needs balance. The reuben pictured above is not the right proportion to impress me. Carnegie isn't really the right proportion either, but the meat is so good, I forgive the huge portion. But when it's too skimpy, like pictured above, there's no room for forgiveness.






I agree that if you are comparing two deli's of the same quality I would want a sandwich that is more proportionate. However, I was saying this sandwich doesn't not look like it is necessarily a bad sandwich just because it is has less meat than some people would like. And I would prefer a sandwich like this that is skimpier on the meat, but tastes better because of the quality, over a sandwich that is overflowing yet lacks in taste because of poor quality.

Scorereader
Sirloin
RE: today's restaurant - Big G's 2008/05/23 14:40:47
Sure, high quality always wins over low quality in a preference. But I prefer high quality AND the right balance. I even concede that it's possible the ingredients of said deli are of high quality. But, the above picture is supposed to be that of a reuben...a reuben. It's not just "less meat than some people would like," it's hardly any meat...on a reuben. A Reuben is one of those sandwiches I'm passionate about. I don't like it when some mom and pop shop tries to pass of a lean corned beef sandwich with a little sauerkraut as a "Reuben."

I also don't like it when some place tries to pass of their "dripping with thousand island dressing, greasy mess from grilling with too much butter, with sauerkraut falling out the sides from it's icecream cone sized serving" reuben, either.

Either way, I'm an unhappy camper; Questioning every decision the preparer made when putting it together.

porkbeaks
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: today's restaurant - Big G's 2008/05/24 08:20:43
Although I prefer my Reubens grilled a tad darker, this one (from Katz's) appears more than acceptable. pb

brittneal
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: today's restaurant - Big G's 2008/05/25 11:02:18
Keep in mind that you are paying 7bux for a sandwich, not 37.
britt
porkbeaks
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: today's restaurant - Big G's 2008/05/25 11:54:48
quote:
Originally posted by brittneal

Keep in mind that you are paying 7bux for a sandwich, not 37.
britt


True, but for $37 you get one of these....
Maybe Once
Junior Burger
RE: today's restaurant - Big G's 2008/05/29 11:01:09
I went to college near Big G's and so I have a nostalgia-influenced love of the place. I just don't think you can adequately judge the merits of the place by looking at a photo of a conventional, pedestrian sandwich like a Reuben. (Don't get me wrong, a good Reuben is a Thing of Beauty and a Joy Forever, but this is just not what Big G's is about) The real uniqueness of the place lies in the depth of the menu. Big G's offers choices of I think 5 different types of bread, some flat, some thick and homemade, all delicious. And, it would be a crime to order a sandwich there that you could see on any menu around the country. The key to Big G's (at least for hungry college students 20 years ago) is the crazy sandwiches packed full of ingredients that you might not otherwise see together. Now, looking back at the menu I "liberated" in 1991, I see that many of the combinations that I thought were so unique back then have become more commonplace....but, still, it is the "original sandwiches" that are the strength of the menu.

And, yeah, I've seen college football players struggle to get through a meat-laden whole sandwich. They are big. Get a whole if you want leftovers.


Oh, and that $37 heap o' meat? Kind of gross.
ayersian
Double Cheeseburger
RE: today's restaurant - Big G's 2008/06/29 20:25:29
Well folks, we finally made it back to Big G's for lunch (and a few pictures). I think these sandwiches speak for themselves. Each is what Big G's considers a "half sandwich," and we've never been able to eat more than a half of a half in one sitting. Sure, they're not of the Katz's or Harold's variety...but this isn't a Jewish/NY-style deli! The meat isn't overwhelming; rather, it's in (what we believe to be) perfect proportion with the rest of the sandwich toppings and the delicious homemade bread!

We got the Mel's Dinner on Pumpernickel, which was a chicken salad sandwich layered with sweet potato fries, cole slaw, onions, and melted cheddar.


We also tried the Governor Baldacci on rye, with pastrami, ham, pepperoni, onions, marinated mushrooms, tomatoes, and melted provolone cheese on top.

Notice the hand stretch required to consume this sandwich!