First Time Fridays
with Jamie Lee in KC
Warmest greetings, you beautiful human. How are you? No, don’t give me the typical “fine” response. How are you, really? If you aren’t okay, that’s okay. Not a lot of us are. I and the gorgeous human’s website you are currently on, Abi, are holding space for this fear and anxiety.
How about we dip our toes into pre-quarantine life, where we could eat a nice big burger and sit in a booth, closer than six feet to other folks? Let’s talk about food and first times. Though I feel as if I am lying to you this week. This is not a first for me. Not by a longshot. I have been to Big Bam's plenty of times. However it is such a hidden gem in the Kansas City Metropolitan area, I had to give it a chance in the spotlight.
You'll find this hole in the wall dive in an unsuspecting tan stucco building on Neiman Rd between Shawnee Mission Parkway and Johnson Drive in Shawnee.There's a large red sign next to the building with a simple font saying, “BIG BAM’S”. Don’t be alarmed by the road full of Kansas best known wildflowers blooming from early Spring to late Autumn, the orange construction cone. Maneuvering around these beauties in an attempt to pull into the parking lot will be a challenge, but if I can do it, I know you can.
The best way I can describe Big Bam’s is a correlation to Bob’s Burgers. And don’t worry, the irony of the BB burger places is not lost on this woman. The floor is white and black checkered tile, with about nine black tables, matching chairs and benches. There is a large menu on the right wall with to-the-point descriptions of what they offer. There is a single point of sale terminal and when you order you can see a small window where the chefs are hard at work. If you have seen any episode of Bob’s Burgers, this location is spot on in comparison minus the chalkboard of cheeky daily special puns and a handyman named Teddy to offer daily life lessons.
I first came to grab a burger here several years ago, when I was briefly dating the owner’s son. He told me the tale of a special sauce that even he did not know how to make. A long time recipe of his father that he is unwilling to part with. And though that relationship did not last, my love for this sauce did. I am a dippin’ girl, I will order certain food for the sole purpose of dunking it in as many sauces as my little heart pleases. So when I learned of this secret cancun sauce, I knew I was all about it. Cancun sauce has a little kick to it that adds flavor to everything you eat there. I really wish I could articulate what it actually tastes like, however I will save you the second hand embarrassment of my loss for words and recommend you try it yourself.
Big Bam’s grinds their chuck daily and makes hand pattied burgers with only Kosher salt and black pepper. As their website says, three ingredients no more, no less. This time around I ordered a Ladder 49, which is one delicious burger topped with pepper jack, bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion, and cancun sauce. It is a little spicy, which I am always here for. It came with a side of perfectly deep fried tater tots. And I got extra cancun sauce, because as I said - I am a dippin’ girl in a dippin’ world. I sat at the booth nearest the door because it is bathed in gorgeous light midday. Previously I have ordered the onion rings, which can best be described as a chef’s kiss to the sky. Crunchy, well battered but not overly battered where it begins to get soggy and doughy. Truly a magical mix with the secretive cancun sauce.
So if you are up for a deja vu of Bob’s Burgers, scrumptious and unique burgers, and downtown Shawnee charm, swing by this little joint. Their presence on social media is a little lacking, which doesn’t surprise me with how Mom-and-Pop this place is. Which is the exact reason you should give them a call and inquire about to go orders during the Stay at Home orders. And let them know you heard about them from First Time Fridays!
Speaking of to go orders, join us in two weeks where we will bring you a unique FTF - To Go : A Quarantine Edition. As always if you have any recommendations for restaurants, comment or message through Instagram. Stay home and sane my friends. And if you are an essential worker, please stay safe.
xoxo - Jamie Lee in KC
5930 Nieman Road
|About the Author - I have made it my goal to visit every alley, every dive bar, every hole in the wall I can find, both exploring this city and myself mainly through the art of food. And letting you know about these joints and what they have to offer. And of course taking mad pics of good ass food.
- Jamie Lee in KC <3