Big Jud's. The name says it all. Even if you've never been there, it's likely you can make an educated guess about the cuisine. If you're thinking Italian right now, you need to get out more. At first I was curious whether they would be open for long but they've been around for years now, and judging by the lunch crowd on the day I visited, they're relatively well known.
The atmosphere is ultra-casual with about a dozen tables of various sizes haphazardly placed wherever they could squeeze them in. The entire dining area is only about the size of my living room, making it difficult to ignore the conversations of those around us but apparently this is the way the customers like it because we had several people stop by our table to chat.
The menu has a large selection of burgers and chicken burgers, and I ordered the Hot Buff Chick. Witty name aside, this chicken burger is coated with spicy buffalo sauce, leaving me no other choice. If you're going to have buffalo anything, your breath is going to be beyond repair, so you might as well have the onion rings while you're at it.
I explored every page of my address book in search of a companion that might be able to take a stab at the Big Jud (a full pound burger with the works, a pound of fries and a soda), but no one seemed up to the challenge. I made a last minute pitch to my dining companion, in the interest of great journalism, but she politely declined due to the fact that the meal outweighed her. Instead, she opted for the regular burger and shared my onion rings. We also brought along our resident French fry expert, a 2-year-old child, to test the chicken nuggets.
The Hot Buff Chick was good, although it came with bacon strips that I could have lived without as buffalo sauce needs no flavor competition. The onion rings were also worthwhile, and I commend the restaurant for having fry sauce. We made it out of there having only spent 20 dollars (including a tip), so the price is fair.
Two things make Big Jud's: the Big Jud Wall of Shame and the old-fashioned ice cream counter at the front. While I do not recommend attempting the Big Jud Challenge, I know that some of you will be grabbing your old lady and heading straight down there, flannel shirt and all. On the flipside, I highly recommend attempting a milkshake before the last of summer fades away.
--Joline Boyett Armuth likes a dab of buffalo sauce behind each ear.