Burgershackin' Boise

Big Jud's - A Welcome Sight for John Candy, Kobayashi, and Augustus Gloop

Have you ever wondered what a one-pound burger looks like? Well, there's no need to let your imagination continue to run rampant, because Big Jud's has such a monstrosity. It's called, strangely enough, the Big Jud. Best of all, if you eat the Big Jud in one sitting (plus a big basket of hand-cut fries), you get your picture on the wall and the everlasting glory that comes with it. It's like when John Candy takes down the Old 96er in the movie The Great Outdoors, except the Big Jud isn't prepared by a lumberjack and you don't have to eat any gristle or fat.

 The Big Jud 

Judging by the expansive Big Jud Hall of Fame on the walls, you might think the Big Jud is totally doable. That could be the case if your nickname is Moose, Tiny, or Armpit. For the rest of us, the first thought after seeing such a mammoth burger in front of us might be: Where is the world do they get a bun that big? Do they make it themselves? Do they somehow weave together four regular-size buns? Or are there tree-inhabiting elves with giant ovens around these parts? I spent many a sleepless night debating those plausible possibilities and few that were less plausible, and finally I decided the most logical thing to do was ask someone who works there. It turns out that Pastry Perfection, and local bakery known for its pretty cakes and cookies, is behind Big Jud's buns. Never saw that one coming. But now you know where to go if your overweight Mississippi in-laws are coming for a visit.

Everlasting fame and glory

Anyway, back to the burger. You've seen deluxe burgers, triple burgers, huge-ass burgers, and maybe even gutbuster burgers. But you've probably never seen the likes of the Big Jud. One pound of cow, covered with cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickle, and all the other good stuff. It's about the size of a full-size frisbee, and that's no exaggeration. Unless you're a glutton or a defensive lineman, I'd advise you to do what I always do: order one Big Jud Special for the entire family. If you're childless or have very young children, you'll still probably have leftovers, because in addition to the burger, each fry in the accompanying basket is the size of a cigar. If you've got older children who seem to have a tapeworm or two, you can forget about the leftovers as usual, but I bet you'll all be pretty full when it's gone.

And if you are a glutton, just be advised that there is also a Double Big Jud and a Double Big Jud Club. The number of folks in this esteemed club is significantly less, but everyone needs a goal in life. Ask Kobayashi for some stomach-stretching tips; that should help in your quest.

Double the fame and glory

If you're not into the whole super-size thing, they have "regular" burgers and other burgershack staples. One time someone in our group even ordered a Scotch 'n Soda, which immediately caused my grandpappy's eyes to sparkle like a Christmas tree. Alas, he could not hide his disappointment when he found out said drink was merely a butterscotch and soda-water concoction, not his favorite bad habit. He was inconsolable for at least an hour, but I played Gin Rummy with him later that day and he pepped up a bit.

Speaking of beverages, my advice is to come thirsty if you're drinking soda. It seems that Big Jud's only has two sizes of cups: kiddie size and diabetic-in-training. If you're older than ten and you order a soda, be prepared for the veritable Big Gulp they put in front of you. I guess they figure if they've got huge burgers and huge baskets of fries, they need the huge soda to go along with it. Their intentions might be honest, but I bet they waste more soda in a single day than Zimbabwe does in an entire year.

Unlike the majority of good burgershacks, Big Jud's has a modest indoor seating area, so no need to take it and run. However, Big Jud's recent popularity due to an appearance on the TV show Man v. Food might make it difficult find a table a lot of the time. Judging by the Man Versus Food Burger they've got on the menu, they're milking the TV cow for all it's worth, but can you blame them? If the place were a tourist trap with crappy food, I'd tell you to stay ten miles from it. But Big Jud's has tasty food and the whole TV aura just adds to the hole-in-the-wall ambiance, so it's worth any wait that might be required. Besides, you'll want to hang around awhile to see if someone thinks they are up to the Big Jud challenge. That's free entertainment you just can't get anywhere else, except for maybe the frat house on a Friday night.

Burgershack: Big Jud's

View Larger Map
Famous for: The Big Jud
Is it cheap? Probably, if you consider the Big Jud is the size of four regular hamburgers
Website: bigjudsboise.com
Drive thru: Nope
Inside seating: Yep
Outside seating: Nope
Order inside: Yep
Bonus: Gumball machines
Our rating: 4 pacemakers out of 5