Family Dining: Big Daddy’s Burger Bar

We arrived a little late on a Tuesday night at Big Daddy’s Burger Bar on East Boulevard, Frank Scibelli’s new Dilworth dining spot, and found ourselves with a 20-minute wait. As we walked in, many smarter (or at least more prompt) families were already on their way out. If you want to avoid the dinner wait, go at or before 6 p.m.

Once inside we pulled up to a high-top and got a peek at the simple menu of build-your-own burgers and salads. We started with a basket of crisp, seasoned Kennebunkport potato chips and pimento cheese dip. It was not something the little guy loved, but we finished off the basket. The menu offers a variety of add-ons from cheddar to Brie cheese, and condiments from chipotle mayo to yellow mustard and, of course, apple-smoked bacon. You can even upgrade to Kobe beef for a few more bucks.

We chose the easy way out and ordered from the list of pre-built “Favorites.” My husband ordered the Southern Special, a sloppy 6-ounce beef burger dripping with chili, slaw and mustard, while I ventured to try the 1511 Cantina Burger (named after Scibelli’s other local restaurant), a vegetarian black-bean patty with two cheeses, mild chilies, avocado and chipotle ranch. I’m no vegetarian (in fact, as a Texan, quite the opposite) but delighted in the tasty combo of the pressed black bean patty with all the fixin’s, and would recommend it to anyone.

Our 8-year-old went for the traditional cheeseburger, ketchup only. A kids’ menu offers sliders and mini hot dogs, but our guy has outgrown the kids’ menu, it seems.

Each burger comes with a side choice of salad, fries, tots, onion strings or chips. The salad, a chopped iceberg blend with bacon and blue cheese, was overloaded with dressing, and a disappointing item.

Everything else rated a thumbs-up. My son gave the fries, ordered with queso via special request, 11 points on a scale of 10. I preferred the onion strings.

An ample selection of beer and even root beer on tap, plus milk for the kids, kept everyone’s thirst at bay. If there’s room for more, order a giant root beer float for dessert. When you’re ready to splurge for a burger and fries, get over to Dilworth and try out Big Daddy’s. It’s a treat for the whole family.

The Chow Down
Dollar deal: $4-$10, plus add-ons for burgers and salads
Kid Friendly: Yes
Noise Level: Loud, but fun
Décor/Atmosphere: Filling station chic
Kiddie Fare: Sliders (mini burgers), mini hot dogs, grilled cheese
Anything healthy: Forget about it.
Bathroom: Clean
High chair/Booster: None
Got milk/juice: Yes
Address: 1626 East Blvd. in Dilworth
Phone: 704-714-4888

Clean Plate Score: 5 out of 5

Eve White is editor of Charlotte Parent.