Across the street from the University of Utah’s Presidents Circle lies another one of Utah’s finest institution, Big Ed’s. The diner on University Street is home to the Hummer (3 espresso shots), the Shap Attack (7-shot mocha latte), the Big Breakfast, the GAWD Awful, the Ranch Burger, “Mom’s” Potstickers, and the closest PBR to campus.
Opened in 1968 by Big Ed, Linda Lin (referred to as Mom) bought the place 29 years ago and still works the kitchen during the morning and lunch rush. Photos of patrons throughout the years adorn the walls, and Melissa, behind the bar, usually doesn’t forget a face. It all makes for a very friendly place.
Morning til night, Big Ed’s sees a steady (and loyal) stream of students, faculty, staff, and locals who come for the food, drink, crossword puzzle, conversation, and ballgame on the big screen. (If the Chicago Cubs are on, Melissa is more than happy to share the remote. Unless soccer is on. That stays on.) Occasionally, Mom will get a hair up her you-know-what and let the kids set up stage in the corner for some live music during the (late) dinner hour. These are usually impromptu jam sessions, so ask Melissa to keep you on the phone list if interested.
I know it’s preaching to the choir for most, but for those new to campus, here’s some advice: do not think that Chartwell’s is the end-all for food options around the U. Ditch the Union cafeteria and go get some good ol’ fashioned comfort food at Big Ed’s. And if you’re going to have the GAWD Awful, make sure you have plenty of time to digest.