The other day my twitter lit up with people telling me about how much they were liking Big Lug Canteen, so I quickly added it to my list of places to try. I was having a subcommittee meeting with some other moms from school regarding a school fundraising night, so I made the suggestion that we try it. They were game.
This is the newest creation from Ed Sahm and Scott Ellis. It’s a 21 and over place and they are making beer in there. I like the way the menu is set up, and you have to appreciate their humor about it—“We Make Some Decent Food For You.”
And they’re right. It’s not totally different from what you might get at Sahm’s, but everything is elevated just a bit. I had a “slider” under the “knots” section of the menu. I chose the chicken B.L.A.T. The knots refer to the buns which have a knot shape swirled into them. The buns are really good. A little bit denser than a typical burger bun, but still soft. The chicken breast was seasoned and grilled. It was topped with lettuce, tomato, bacon, herb mayo and avocado. The chicken was good—not too tough. The name “slider” is a bit of a misnomer though—these are sandwiches and one is enough for a meal (especially since they come with a side), at least for me. I was kinda sad because I wanted to try more things, but I enjoyed my slider. For my side I had a salad with blue cheese dressing—the dressing was very good, I liked dipping my sandwich in it as well as my salad. On the salad itself, there were some big hunks of cucumber, which I would skip next time (I am not a fan of cucumber) and the greens were maybe a little heavy on the iceberg, but the dressing and the sandwich were very good.
I was intrigued to try the Nashville fried chicken (they have mild and hot) but after reading the warnings on the menu and hearing it again from the server, I was worried they would be too hot—I don’t like it when you can’t even taste food because it’s too spicy. One of my friends said she loved spicy things though and went for it. She got the “Willie’s Special” salad with the Nashville fried chicken—she even went with the hot version. It also came with mixed greens, black bean corn salsa, mozzarella, avocado and Fritos salt ($10 for a full, $6 for a half). She was kind enough to let me try a bit of the chicken and it was really tasty—it was spicy, but honestly even I could handle it—it feels like most of the heat is coming from cayenne. I would totally order it (I would get the mild though). The chicken was nice and tender. I would really like to try the Nashville chicken slider—it comes with the same bun as my sandwich and also pickles, chopped romaine and green goddess dressing. It sounds like it would be excellent and based on my little bite, I think it would be. That is on my list for next time.
I didn’t try the beer, because you know me, I’m a wine girl (they do have a few wine selections). Remember this place is 21 and over though, which is sort of too bad, it would be a good place to take the kids and it is pretty darn close to my house. I look forward to going back though, and it’s a nice addition to Nora.
Big Lug Canteen
1435 East 86th Street