Pizza place is a home away from home

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An outing to Frank’s Big O is like visiting your favorite uncle. Owner Frank Edeza is gregarious, colorful, full of stories and get this twist: he’s a Comic Con fan. You want to visit his home – I’ll describe it later – because it feels like your home. And you want him to get into the kitchen and cook what you’re craving. No matter what mood you’re in, he can whip up something and satisfy your buds. I visited Frank’s after working out on a Saturday afternoon, ravenous for a Philly cheesesteak or a dish with meatballs.

An outing to Frank’s Big O is like visiting your favorite uncle. Owner Frank Edeza is gregarious, colorful, full of stories and get this twist: he’s a Comic Con fan. You want to visit his home – I’ll describe it later – because it feels like your home. And you want him to get into the kitchen and cook what you’re craving. No matter what mood you’re in, he can whip up something and satisfy your buds. I visited Frank’s after working out on a Saturday afternoon, ravenous for a Philly cheesesteak or a dish with meatballs.
All I could think about were protein and carbs. Frank welcomed me and every customer with an ear-to-ear smile and a verve for serving up his filling fare. When I reviewed the menu, this Bronx girl hankered for the cheesesteak and meatballs but also thin-crust pizza, cheesebread, sloppy Joe fries, a deli sandwich called The New Yorker and Korean tacos. Yep, I tried everything.
The Philly cheesestake was excellent. Prepared with thinly cut, seasoned rib eye chunks, grilled onions and mozzarella on a grinder it’s hands down better than the famous Gino’s and Pat’s in Philly.
You will savor the flavor and come back time and time again for this favorite; Frank knows how to marinate cuts of meat so that they’re not tough or stringy when you bite into the sub.
The meatballs were also scrumptious, pliable, full of taste and handcrafted by Frank.
He explained that he went through a few trials to get it right and believe me, you will enjoy it. If you order the spaghetti and meatballs, it comes with garlic bread.
Frank was taught how to make a pie by the owner of Papi’s Pizzeria from New Jersey. He cooks it in a brick oven, on a pan with holes to allow the air to circulate under the crust and cornmeal on the bottom so that it’s not soggy and holds its consistency when you pick up a slice.
He also uses mozzarella from New York. Taste it, you’ll notice the difference. Pizza-making is an art form and Frank doesn’t disappoint. The ingredients are fresh and his sauce is made with Full Red base. It tastes like pizza sauce should: the simple delights of tomatoes and basil. I had the garlic cheese bread since the mozzarella hails from my neck of the woods with an unforgettable consistency (not oily and you can cut through it).
If you a looking for an Americana dish, I recommend the sloppy Joe fries. This plate features short shoestring cuts of potatoes topped with sloppy Joe and cheese. Frank seasons real ground beef and adds ketchup. The recipe sounds simple but it’s an experience that’s going to be difficult to recreate in my kitchen.
The sandwiches are mostly invented by the customers and I of course ordered the New Yorker which was invented by none other than a New Yorker visiting the establishment. The bread is from Galaso, a Southern California company. One munch and you want to shout: fresh bread!
And Frank does not skimp on the meats. This hoagie is stuffed with ham, salami, pepperoni, pizza sauce, garlic butter and cheese.
The eclectic menu continued with probably the best original recipe I’ve eaten all year: the Korean tacos. Frank starts with a quesadilla bottom made with palm-sized tortillas then tops it with Korean seasoned beef chunks, cilantro, onions and Frank’s homemade hot sauce.
Wow! That’s the only word I can truly think of to describe this item. If you order the fat boy it comes with sour cream. Regardless, it’s out-of-this-world good. The decor is full of flair. The walls are covered with photos of regulars, corporate T-shirts, tributes to local schools, Comic Con paraphernalia, paintings by local artists and Frank invites local musicians to play, too.
It makes no sense and yet perfect sense. This is a joint, not the Ritz.
Frank and his family live in Westminster, not far from Big O, and they’re deeply involved in giving back to the community by catering to schools, churches and charity organizations.
No Baloney Tony had an unforgettable meal and I couldn’t help but feel like the rest of his customers: I’ve adopted a new uncle and you can bet I’ll be back to visit my new home away from home.