Saturday, June 16, 2012

Big & Little's

If you want to talk about Big & Little's, you first have to talk about the location.  It is in an area that formerly bordered the Cabrini Green Housing Project.  While the housing project is now gone, the location is certainly not what you would call hot.  While it is now located in a building next to Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, after previously using the space now occupied by Badhappy Poutine Shop, there still is nothing in the area that would bring most people to the area.  This actually does have some advantage to it.  There is more parking (even if you don't count the attached parking lot) and much less competition.  As one might expect for a place that is essentially in no man's land, there isn't much to see inside the restaurant.  That having been said, it's okay because it isn't trying to impress with it's look and is trying to be an everymans kind of place which it does well.  The entrance to the restaurant is on the side, off the parking lot.  The counter is to the left of the door behind which is the open kitchen and fountain drinks are available from the fountain to the right of the door.  The menu is on a couple of chalkboards opposite the door and there is a specials board behind the counter.  The restaurant is cash only but there is an ATM in the building.  Seating consists of a couple of rows of picnic benches (about 7 in total) and a counter on the wall where the menu is.  The menu consists largely of fried seafood with some burgers and a variety of po' boys.  The sides are a variety of fries and poutines.  Despite the fact that this place is in the middle of nowhere, it was pretty busy when I arrived and I ended up waiting about 20 minutes before ordering.  While there was a lot of very good looking seafood being served, I decided to go with the Pork Belly Po' Boy and Truffle Fries.  Orders are sent out piecemeal as they are finished and my truffle fries arrived first.  I got a full basket of crisp and well fried fries..  The truffle aroma and flavor was lighter than on other truffle fries that I have had but wasn't so subtle that I couldn't taste it.  They definitely had a truffle funk to them, tasted pretty good, and set me up for the Po'Boy.

The Pork Belly Po'Boy was something else.  For those that are unfamiliar, a po' boy is a sandwich similar to a submarine originating in Louisiana.  Generally, they are served with seafood (and there are a lot of seafood po' boys at Big & Little's) but they can also be served with meat and they are always served on a baguette.  This po' boy is obviously of the meat variety.  The French bread was grilled and was filled with 1 inch cubes of fried pork belly, lettuce, pickles, a few onions, some hot sauce and was finally lightly drizzled with a combination of mayonnaise and maple syrup.  As stuffed as it was, it wasn't actually that hard to eat (and it was very enjoyable).

As good as the stuff that I had was, I don't think that I got to the heart of Big & Little's with what I had.  When I return, I will definitely have to try some of their fish tacos and possibly some poutine.  I will also definitely have to one day have to try the Foie Gras and Fries.

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