By Brian Villalba
Close to the last stop on the Gold Line are the aromas of oak wood fire grilled burgers, sausages and sandwiches. Big Daddy’s Fire Grill lives up to its promise before you even enter the restaurant. Within a 200 foot radius you can smell the oak wood aroma.
The menu reads like a backyard barbeque menu being hosted by a celebrity chef. Angus beef is a staple of the menu but there is a diverse collection of meats from the chicken and pork you would expect to the less common, lamb.
All around there are bold flavors. The “Mindboggling Filet Mignon Sandwich” is as tender as you would expect with the unmistakable smokey flavors from the oak wood grill with a pesto aioli.
The “Mushroom Madness Burger” is a combination of 100% angus chuck with a red wine reduction on top to drive home the flavor of the mushroom and onion on even the most dull palate. The mayo aioli is good to order on the side so that you can apply at your discretion. This will let you really indulge in the red wine reduction.
The biggest surprise on the menu will be free. The condiments remind you that there is no boring food here but only food that doesn’t have the proper condiments. The “Homemade Ketchup” has a punch that you can smell before it reaches your mouth. The texture is more reminiscent of a salsa than ketchup and it has a smoky and peppery aroma. It isn’t spicy. You will expect it to be from the aroma, but it blends quite nicely with a burger or a sandwich. It worked well with the fries as well.
The pesto aioli is rich with a garlic aroma. The mayo aioli has a hint of horseradish mustard in it. Mayo aioli and the ketchup made for a fine dipping sauce for both fries and onion rings, which are fried in 100% peanut oil.
Everything on the menu, with the exception of the salmon, will pair perfectly with the Big Daddy Bock, a darker brown beer with a smooth aftertaste. The beer and wine selection is as good as you would expect at a nice Pasadena bar.
If you have any room, which is not likely, you must try the milkshakes. There are the standard flavors of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry, but they have banana, crunchy peanut butter, and nutella you can add.
Big Daddy’s Fire Grill serves Peet’s coffee and tea making it a fine conclusion to a meal of rich flavors coming from unconventional places. Big Daddy’s Fire Grill is located at 2122 East Foothill Boulevard, Pasadena.