Saturday, May 24, 2008

Flint Is More Than Just Coneys -- There's Also Big John's

Besides cars -- there's another thing that Flint, Michigan is known for around-the world -- a hot dog. Not just any hot dog -- a Koegel's hot dog on a steamed bun topped with a secret special recipe meat sauce, mustard and onions. If you were born anywhere other than Flint -- you just think of them as "hot dogs" -- but to someone from the town that I fondly refer to as "the mini-motor city" they're something more -- they're Coney Islands!

(Right about now you should be hearing trumpets blare. And if you close your eyes -- you might even see images of people who worship the coney bow their heads to show their respect to "the dog".)

Any one who has ever lived in Flint knows that the town has a lot more than just cars and coney islands. When it comes to good local eats that can't be beat -- there's Big John's Steak and Onion.

I have no scientific proof to back up this statement -- but I would venture to say that a good portion of us former Flint-ites have as big a love for a Big John's Steak and Onion as we have for a coney from Angelo's in it's heyday.

Why Big John's Steak and Onion? There are a lot of "sub shops" to choose from these days. There's that fat-ass bastard Jared's favorite "Subway", there's that talking baby's favorite sub shop "Quizno's", there's "Jimmy John's" and the list goes on and on -- but Big John's has been a part of the Flint scene a whole lot longer than these "Jimmy John's Come Latelys".

When you visit a Big John's Steak and Onion -- you not only get a quality steak sandwich -- but it's how they heap on the quantity that makes a Big John Steak and Onion what it is. Watch them make a sub at at Subway and you can see how Jared lost all that weight -- because they barely put enough meat on their subs for you to even taste it. At Big John's Steak and Onion -- they give you more meat and it's not portion controlled, pre-measured and arranged on the bun to make it look like it's more than what it really is.

When you order a steak and onion from Big John's -- you know you're getting your money's worth as you watch them pile on all of that steak on top of their flat top grill and cook it to perfection. You know just by watching them make your steak and onion that you're going to need a fork to eat all of the excess steak and onion that falls out of the bun and onto the wrapper on your table.

Personally, when I'm in Flint and I visit Big John's -- I order their barbecue steak and onion and there's chance (like the good ole days when I enjoyed a rib dinner from Bob and Ethel's Rib Crib) that I'm going to be wearing some of the sandwich on my shirt. It's not that I'm a pig -- it's just a sign that I'm enjoying some good food -- food that you can only get in my old hometown of Flint, Michigan.

So, all of you former Flint-ites -- the next time someone asks you about our coney islands -- let them know that as good as they might be -- a steak and onion from Big John's is also something we're pretty proud of.