Oh, Big John, you must be a very big man indeed, a lover of all food. You welcome every type of fast food with open arms, not discriminating against any offering of greasy, calorie-addled junk. And we love you for it.
Nowhere else in Birmingham can you go at all hours of the day or night to find such a mish-mash hodge-podge of fast food. Curry, kebabs, pizza, Chinese, burgers, fish and chips, chicken sandwiches, fish shop chips, curly fries, lions, tigers and bears, oh my!
Big John's is a big, dirty take-away hub of delectable treats listed above. There are no seats, you just queue up and order your food. There are about 8 tills, and every time I've been there, it's needed them, as the queue at each one has been about ten people long.
The pizza here is soooo good, very freshly made, with a large one coming in at £11, and feeding four people easily. The chicken breast sandwich is really tasty and fresh, and the fries are nice and crisp.
Big John's only accept cash, so you have to be prepared for your trip there. But trust me, and Big John -- you won't be disappointed.
Ahh Big John's... That familiar warmth that washes over me as I see the pink on green colour scheme, and the way that the words 'Famous Five' makes me think of chicken nuggets rather than Enid Blyton perhaps says a lot about my relationship with Birmingham's fast food institution.
My relationship with Big John's on the Bristol Road went from a curious first meeting at the outlet opposite the Vauxhall Garage beyond Millenium Point, to a passionate few months of indulgence following a move to Selly Oak (The Bristol Road Big John's stood between my house and the train station as a constant temptation). Following dieting and vegetarianism, we're not really on speaking terms at present, sadly.
Perhaps the best reason to visit Big John's on the Bristol Road lies in its rivalry with Pizza Pepper next door, which has led to an outrageous price war between both establishments, slashing pizza prices to less than 50% (In real terms, a massive 12" pizza from Big John's is a steal at £4.99). While Pizza Pepper's pizzas are less drenched in grease, Big John's has a small advantage by letting customers pick as much of their own toppings as they'd like. For example, my usual would be cheese, pepperoni, jalapenos, chinese chicken, regular chicken, red onions, peppers, mince, a second layer of cheese and a top layer of pepperoni - ONLY in that order. While the shame of struggling home with such a large box past masses of people waiting for busses might hurt for a while, the dinner (and following breakfast of leftovers) will be well worth the while.
Besides pizza, Big John's covers a large variety of chip shop regulars, peri-peri chicken, kebabs, kid's meals and even paninis. These are all mostly inexpensive, with the 'Famous Five' deal in Selly Oak remaining an old favourite. When I moved to Selly Oak two years ago, a fairly small - but still generous - portion of six chicken nuggets and chips, a slice of pizza and chips, a donner meat burger, one piece of chicken and chips or four hot wings and chips were all available for £1 each, which proved to be a very tempting proposition at first. Following two jumps in price to £1.25, then £1.50 a few weeks ago, it remains a good deal but is less likely to make me count my change in the street like it used to.
Perhaps over-indulgence has overshadowed my relationship with the Big John's in Selly Oak, but it continues to open new stores and keep customers happy with a large and often pretty tasty menu, so it must be doing something right.
I went to the Selly Oak branch of Big John's, a small take away restaurant chain that has a few stores throughout Birmingham. I really enjoyed the Big John's in Kings Heath and Shirley and was starting to think that they had the potential to monopolise the fast food market in the Midlands. The Selly oak branch quashed this positive outlook for me.
The Selly Oak branch of Big John's is a lot smaller than a lot of its stores. It opens at 10.30pm and is empty till lunchtime. They sell a large variety of food in a very cramped environment.
The whole Birmingham franchise seems a little confused. They are not quite a chip shop; they are not quite a kebab house. They sell everything that the aforementioned sell. They also do a good line in Pizzas and again have copied the McDonalds style service system.
I wish Big John's all the best for the future, but I believe they must lineate their product range as at times I have walked out without ordering because they sell far too many food products and meals.
The Big Johns in Quinton has always provided excellent service and good quality food to us, but make sure you get there early at lunch times at it gets very busy.
They do a huge menu, a £1.25 menu such as nuggets, pizza, burger, sausage and chips. Also they do fresh pizzas made for you which are very cheap. You can also get wraps, kids meals, fish & chips.
The staff are usually friendly and although some cant speak English fluently, they still give service with a smile, and give you bundles of food. Coming onto the portion sizes they are quite big leaving you full after.
On average you could probally feed a familly of 5 a full meal for under £10.
Take every kind of fast food you can think of, throw in some random extras such as curry, and you've got the ultimate fast food takeaway experience. There are quite a few Big John's restaurants throughout Birmingham, although the experience is much the same no matter which you go in. The takeaway selection is far and away superior to anywhere else I've been, without sacrificing quality in any aspect of the affair. Sure, you may find better chips elsewhere in town, or better pizza, but for the family who can't make up their mind which fast food they want to eat on a given Friday night, Big John's is your best friend. They also do 20" pizzas with multiple topping combinations, making catering at house parties easy as pizza-pie.
The Selly Oak branch of the chain enjoys a few quirks you might expect from being located slap bang in the middle of studentville, such as hilariously random drunken singalongs, ridiculously cheap "recession buster" food offers, and the like. Occasionally you'll get loudmouths and troublemakers paying the place a visit, but the staff are admirably professional and often the customers will pitch in to resolving any hassle without anyone having to get hurt, or arrested.
As far as fast food goes, Big John's seems to have it coveredFish and Chips, Fried Chicken, Kebabs, Indian Food, Pizzas.this place will please a lot of appetites and the prices are not bad either. They have 'credit crunch' busting deals at the moment which offer food at ridiculously low prices!
Well staffed, clean and professional. Good 'Mc Donalds-style' milkshakes too. recommended!
Ah, the amazing brumme chain chippy! For a number of years I didn't realise this place was part of a chain - i just knew it was incredibly cheap. Unbelievably cheap. Competition killingly cheap. Fish and chips for £1.50?! I think the prices have escalated somewhat since, but it'll still be the cheapest chippy in selly oak. Mmm doner bun at 1am, mmm. Doesn't seem quite as good an idea when you find the remnants in your living room the next day. ew...
Cheapest chippy in the world, bar none. Massive portions, and good quality and service too. I presume this business is some sort of money laundering operation since all the other chip shops are 3 times the price!
Once upon a time this place was guaranteed to give great food particularly the pizza! Nowadays it is more hit and miss and leaves a lot to be desired!
I've been going to Big John's for about 7 years now and I must say that they are absolutely fantastic. They have never let me down in that entire period of time. I don't tend to like fast food places mainly because of bad hygiene and not good value for money. At Big John's every thing is well prepared and well presented and not to mention cheap. The only down side is that the place is so popular with locals, it will take you some time to order as the ques get massive especially at lunch time.
Yelp scouts normally steer clear of big chain businesses such as Big Johns but I am such a fan of their Selly Oak outlet that I decided it deserved a little bit of recognition. It's not that this particular outlet provides any services that other Big Johns do not but the speed and efficiency of the staff makes it stand out from the rest. This place is always busy, particularly on a weekend evening; however do not let that put you off as the staff will work with speed to deliver your food in no time at all. As you may be aware Big Johns allow you to choose your own selection of pizza toppings, meaning individually tailored pizzas. I have witnessed a particularly difficult customer drunkenly ordering all manner of oddities in the Selly Oak branch and I have to say that the staff maintained patience and professionalism throughout. All in all this is an appraisal of the staff rather than the business itself.
last time I went there the chips left a lot to be desired-felt like they'd just come out of a washing machine-soggy
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