First Taste

Big B's Hangover Needs Some Hangover Helper

When a new spot opens in town, we can't wait to check it out -- and let you know our initial impressions, share a few photos, and dish about some menu items. First Taste, as the name implies, is not a full-blown review, but instead a peek inside restaurants that have just opened, sampling a few items, and satisfying curiosities (yours and ours).

Restaurant: Big B's Hangover Location: 7158 East Fifth Avenue, Scottsdale Open: Almost two months Eats: Sliders, sandwiches, and dogs Price Point: $11 to $20

A little over two months ago, the Philadelphia Sandwich Company moved to 4225 North Craftsman Court, and Big B's Hangover, another late-night sandwich joint, moved into its old space and opened for business.

Naturally, the inevitable cheesesteak battle ensued.

From Bryan Chittenden, who, along with partners Greg Donnally and Andrew Nam own Stingray Sushi, Geisha A Go-Go, Jimmy Woo's, and Spanish Fly (Chittenden also partnered with Donnally on the new cantina pool bar, El Santo) Big B's offers a menu of sliders, sandwiches, dogs, and sides served up counter-style.

But even with its late-night hours (until 4 a.m. Tuesday through Sunday), Big B's seems to be in need of a little hangover help itself.

To start, if the logic behind catering to a gaggle of drunks is not to try too hard on the interior, Big B's bare-bones space is doing its job in spades. A tiled counter, exposed shelving for supplies and ingredients, and a few seats facing the wall at a narrow counter (in addition to a few tables on the front patio) seemed fundamental enough; however, on my afternoon visit, it was also dark and stank of something unpleasant.

Then came the technical difficulties on my sandwiches.

A meatball sub ($8.50) featuring under-seasoned ground beef balls and a mildly flavored deep-red tomato sauce included very little (if any) provolone and Parmesan cheese (as promised on the menu), but did feature a heapin' helpin' of grilled peppers and onions not stated on the menu's item description. At least the bun was nice and soft.

The Peeler ($8.50), a sandwich with shredded chicken (on my visit, overcooked and dry), avocado, red onions, sweet peppers, lettuce, and provolone, featured very few peppers and zero of the stated avocado.

Like the meatball sandwich, fried triangles of mac and cheese with a Ranch dipping sauce ($4), were lacking in cheesy goodness. All I tasted was the greasy, deep-fried coating.

With its unwelcoming interior and difficulties in preparing the most basic of foods, Big B's has some work to do if it wants to become Scottsdale's new favorite sandwich joint. Until then, I'll get my hangover helper somewhere else.

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Laura Hahnefeld
Contact: Laura Hahnefeld