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You might think that Pasadena’s Big Daddy’s Fire Grill is trying to do too much by offering killer burgers alongside savory milkshakes, craft beers, and wine (not to mention only a $10 corkage fee if you’re partial to your very own vino) to go along with a slew of LCD flat screen TVs. Is this a sports bar? Or is it a cool, indie, family friend burger joint? To their credit they manage to hit the mark in every category.


Described as a “casual gourmet” destination, Big Daddy’s Fire Grill distinguishes itself by the smokiness of its Oakwood Fire Grill. Serving fresh 100% Angus chuck burgers, there are other options too, such as turkey, chicken, lamb and vegetarian burgers, not to mention grilled marinated sandwiches featuring salmon, chicken or filet mignon, as well as sausages and dawgs, wings, big salads, and a bunch of tasty sides. Hearty one-third pound burgers cost between $6-$8---add $1 extra if you want a half-pound burger. You just can’t beat those prices.

During our recent visit for dinner, we had to start with The Classic Burger made with 100% Angus Chuck topped with tomato, lettuce, dill pickles, onions and house prepared Dijon-mayo Aioli dressing. Sounds simple but sometimes simple is best (as in simply delicious). This burger isn’t trying to do too much; instead it’s simply savory and satisfying.

For sides, you can choose between Premium Fries, Premium Garlic Fries, and Sweet Potato Fries. We decided to opt for the easiest selection and had a combination of all three. There’s just no better way to go.

We also had to order the Big Daddy. Come on, it’s the namesake burger after all. The Big Daddy is made with 100% Angus Chuck infused with crushed fresh garlic, onions, basil, Italian parsley, egg, breadcrumbs, black pepper, and house Top-Secret Ingredient, plus dill pickles, onions, tomato and lettuce, topped with a special Dijon-mayo Aioli dressing. It may sound like it’s all over the place but it’s a very focused burger offering a solid and deliciously direct taste. This bad boy is screaming to be paired with the Big Daddy Bock or one of the rotating craft beers on tap.


Another solid choice is The Lamb Burger prepared with 100% New Zealand lamb infused with fresh mint, crushed fresh garlic, onions, egg, breadcrumbs, black pepper, Top-Secret ingredient, topped with fresh mint leaves, onions, tomato and lettuce with pesto aioli dressing. Not gamey at all, this is a hearty and flavorful burger for $10 that would pair wonderfully with a glass of red wine or the aforementioned Big Daddy Bock—a really wonderful brew.

For anyone looking for a healthier option, the Daddy’s Salmon Chicken Platter is a great choice. For less than $10 you get a 7oz fresh salmon filet bathed overnight in extra virgin olive oil, crushed fresh garlic and basil, plus 7oz fresh white chicken meat marinated overnight in tons of crushed fresh garlic, basil, Italian parsley, black pepper, lemon juice and a generous chunk of avocado.

And lets not forget the $5 Fresh House-Made Milkshakes. Sometimes a classic shake even outdoes a nice, cold beer. Choose between Vanilla, Strawberry, Chocolate, or Root Beer Float. And for a little extra, you can add fresh banana, crunchy peanut butter and/or Nutella.

With so many fine looking TV’s abound, this is a great, low-key place to catch a game. Beers are $4.25 a pint and $15.95 for a pitcher; The Big Daddy Bock is $4.75 a pint and $16.95 for a pitcher; Stella, Blue Moon, Stone IPA, Alesmith X extra pale ale and Bear Republic Red Rocket Ale go for $4.95 a pint and $17.50 a pitcher.  The rotating tap of LA and other craft brews cost $6.95 a pint and $24.95 a pitcher.

Happy Hour is from 3-7pm daily and the Big Daddy Bock & Light go for $2.50 a pint and $9.95 a pitcher. During any local games, think LA and OC basketball, baseball, hockey and soccer games (Lakers, Clippers, Kings, Raiders, 49'ers, Chargers, Trojans, Bruins) there’s a special sports happy hour where all beers are $3.50 a pint and $13.95 a pitcher!  And the "Game Day Platter" consisting of 12 wings, large (14oz) chicken crispers and zucchini dippers costs $20.95.

With so much going on, it’s really all about the food, especially the burgers, at Big Daddy’s Fire Grill, but it’s also a great spot to avoid the sports bar yahoos and catch the game with quality eats and drink.

For now, there are two Big Daddy Fire Grill locations in Pasadena; 2122 E. Foothill Blvd, and 147 W. California Blvd. Open Sun-Thurs 10:30am to 10pm, and Fri-Sat 10:30am to 11pm.

By: Jose Martinez








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