North Charleston Eatery at Tanger Outlets Serves Up Beach Bum Apps & Alcohol Infused Shakes
By: Jeff Walker, Business Review
Now under new management, Big Billy’s Burger Joint is slowly re-introducing itself as North Charleston’s only laid back ‘Folly Beach-esque’ family friendly eatery. Although Big Billy’s is roughly 25 minutes from the beach, it still invokes a ‘welcome to Margaritaville’ type of vibe, with surfing and seaside decor affixed to the walls, and a ‘come as you are’ beach bum mentality.
With a combined 30 plus years in food and beverage Greg and Ellen Leonard are owner operators of Big Billy’s. Greg likes to say he is the brawn, while his wife is the brains behind the operation. Together the Colorado and Tennessee natives hope to revitalize the seven year old burger joint, on International Boulevard near the coliseum, with plans of adding a second location somewhere in the low country in the near future.
Aside from a few staff changes, regular customers to Big Billy’s will notice few changes except for an evolving menu. The interior still reflects a tiki hut and welcoming happy hour bar. Many of the core food and drink favorites remain, including five Beach Bum Appetizers, and seven signature salads aka ‘Billy’s Gone Green’, some paying tributes to iconic beach destinations.
While the menu board has welcomed a few additions, burgers are still the main attraction at Big Billy’s. From half pound pure beef classics to one of a kind gourmet burgers, Big Billy’s offers up nine signature burgers, adding a Patty Melt deliciously crafted from angus beef smothered in sauteed onions, Swiss cheese, garlic mayo, on freshly slice marble rye. Yummy!
Bacon lovers will know doubt gravitate to the Bacon X3 Burger which is a half pound patty surrounded by bacon from top to bottom, slathered in Big Billy’s homemade bacon mayo. Beef meets pork in this ‘gotta have meat lovers delight‘. The Mac & Cheese Burger might require a fork but no matter how you dive into it, it is a cheesy all beef masterpiece, oozing with fried mac & cheese bites, American cheese, and queso (creamy white Mexican cheese).
Oh no, you got a late start to your day and missed your morning fare, that’s okay how about pop in for an early lunch, and enjoy the Breakfast Burger. Hash browns, fried egg, apple smoked bacon, grilled black forest ham, and good old American cheese covering your juicy patty. Big Billy suggests complementing the Breakfast Burger with a Bloody Mary. Sounds like a carnivorous brunch time ‘escape to the islands’ to me.
The winner for best named burger is the, ‘I Wanna Lei Ya Burger’. A Hawaiian themed all beef patty covered in black forest ham, provolone, and a juicy pineapple slice. Goes great with Raspberry or Peach Tea, or any of your favorite rum laced cocktails. Aloha!
Are you adventurous, perhaps like to take a walk on the wild side, than Big Billy’s daily burger specials might tantalize your palate. The Bison Burger is beef’s leaner and equally flavor ridden younger brother, touting zero grams of artificial trans fats, yet just as juicy as the Angus burger.
Looking for an all natural, low fat, antibiotic and hormone free burger that includes a heart healthy Omega 6 and Omega 3 nutritional boost, than Big Billy’s has a burger for you. From Seaside Farms Proper in Mt. Pleasant and Three Gates Cattle Company, comes the Three Gates Burger, with purebred beef from Belted Galloways (rare breed of cows originating in Scotland). The highlands meets the low country with Three Gates.
The Wild Boar (low in saturated fat and cholesterol) and Venison Burger (rich with iron, zinc and vitamin B12) are equally heart healthy, and offer a different flavor sensation. The Gator, Venison, and Elk Burger complete the wild game tour. It promises not to snap or kick back while being quite filling.
If you’re not a beef lover, don’t worry Big Billy’s won’t judge. They still invite you in with your party. They have an array of sandwiches filled with chicken or seafood, as well as a host of salads (Billy’s Gone Green) that offer the same. All out vegans can have several options or just ask them to hold any of the meats from your salad.
Milkshakes are all the rage at Big Billy’s. Thick creamy delights that complement any handheld edible. There are eight signature shakes for all ages, some paying tribute to Oreo’s, Key Lime Pie, Peanut Butter Brownies, and the classic Almond Joy. Another eight are suggested for Adult Surfers Only (21 & over). It’s amazing how well dark rum, creme de menthe, Crown Royal, and Kahlua go with vanilla ice cream. I recommend any of their alcohol infused classics.
Perhaps you’re catching a wave after work at Big Billy’s. You can swim up to the bar and enjoy one of five signature Beach Bum Apps, including Wings Your Way and their Famous Fried Pickles. Yummy snacks go great with a cold brew, cocktails, a glass of wine, or a frosty shake (with or without alcohol).
As their website so proudly proclaims, many area restaurants have a ‘beef’ with Big Billy’s because they use hormone and antibiotic free Certified Angus Beef® Brand Natural. That will get your juices running. If you want to catch up (ketchup) on all that takes place at Big Billy’s, why mustard is a must have, their SC toppings are the tops, and why they have the freshest ‘buns’ in town, than visit https://www.bigbillysburgerjoint.com/
Most burgers range between $10-$13, with Turkey and Black Bean Burgers under $9. Given the portion sizes they are moderately priced. If you want a burger that has taste, or maybe one that has a little bit of character, than Big Billy’s Burger Joint will not disappoint. And one thing for sure is, you won’t leave hungry.