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Quite a few updates at Big Ed's lately: They now use REAL PLATES and not the tiny paper ones! They also finally take credit cards. I've heard rumors that the sauce tastes different...as soon as I make it over there to test this I will report back. Otherwise, it is THE PLACE to bring out-of-towners for part of the true Oak Ridge experience.
Big Ed's opened in 1970, when Ed Neusel, his lovely, petite wife, and their three sons moved to Oak Ridge. Rumors at the time said they moved from Chicago and/or Huntsville, AL. For generations, we have called Big Ed's, home.
It's where we navigated when we came to visit after we left Oak Ridge for our first job, marriage, college, divorce, or got homesick. It was understood that if you wanted to see anyone you knew from high school, that was the place to go.
That summer my best friend had a crush on David Neusel, the oldest son, so we spent way too much time sipping on sodas, watching him throw pizza crust in the air. Mrs. Neusel was always so nice to both of us, she even offered us a mistake once or twice. We never felt comfortable calling him Big Ed; southern girls didn't do that, but Mr. Ed was worse, so we called him Mr. Neusel. He laughed at our embarassment, and told us to call him Big Ed, but it didn't seem right to call an adult by his first name.
I also remember watching the simple black drawing of Ed Neusel take shape on the front window of the old drugstore.
The pizza is the best in Oak Ridge, and among the best in East Tennessee. It isn't rocket science, it's family, as it was in the 70s, and remains today.
If you are from " the big" city, please don't come. There is no way this pizza place can compete with your city's I am sure. If you want super thick pizza that looks like a cake, then this is not the place for you. But, If you want great pizza and a great atmosphere then come on down. A small town place that has been in business since the late 1960s and still has people standing in line out the door on weekends can't be wrong. It is not the cheapest pizza in town, but it is the best. No frills, just pizza. No salad bar, no breadsticks. Just beer, pizza and soda. If you have young kids have them go up to the pizza making area with a plate and one of pizza makers will put a handful of cheese to take back to their table. Please note that the payment options shown on this site are incorrect. Don't bring plastic....cash or check only here. Enjoy!
05/17/2010Provided by Citysearch
It's alright. It's probably the best pizza I've eaten in TN. since I moved here 2 years ago, maybe. It wasn't the 2 inch menus, or the tiny paper plates, or the flimsy forks, you get there. None of that bothered me, the service was okay. I guess I have mixed feelings about it. I guess I would recommend stopping in if you're in Oak Ridge, but I wouldn't recommend going out of your way to eat there. I've had far better pizza before (not in Tn). Anyway hope it helps!
They are playing around with the cheese or the sauces. I ordered 3 large pizza and two of them tasted completely different and looked different, i noticed about 6 months ago one of the pizzas i ordered had an off taste...what's going on.
I think it's time for an update love the pizza but the asbetos is getting to me.
10/13/2009Provided by Citysearch
I managed to talk with Big Ed's son and David Nuessel which now runs the restaurant and discovered the man, Just like his father has a heart of gold to the needy, Military and Law enforcement.
When his father started the place back in the early 70's, he always made sure the children's home had a thanks Giving meal and even to this day, this happens and some of those of the less fortunate even get the opportunity to get a more directed better start by working and not being out on the streets of
misdirection and corruption.
You rock Mr Nuessel and long live Big Ed's!
If you have not been to Big Eds you are missing out. The quality of the pizza is GREAT!! When you walk in you are kinda going back to a more fun time. Everyone who is anyone in the Knoxville area has been to Big Eds. If you are looking for a fun place to go and have a wonderful meal and a good time with friends you must go and sign the wall. (Towards the bathrooms.)
03/30/2009Provided by Citysearch
I have lived all over the US, and I can safely say that Big Ed's is the best pizza I have ever had. It's a small, no frills local place, so if you're looking for pomp and circumstance you're probably not going to be welcome anyway. It's fresh, and insanely good! You can't recreate the taste anywhere! New York pizza can't compare. Big Ed did it right!
01/24/2009Provided by Citysearch
Look, I have ate plenty of pizza, it's GREAT!!!!! these other people are all jokes. paper plates????, i use paper plates at my own house. get over yourself!!!! its called saving money!!! something everybody should try doing! the atmosphere is great and its filled with laughter. what a great place with great food!!!!
Big Ed's Pizza is the best Pizza anywhere in the southeast. There is no other pizza that has the freshness and the atmosphere of the restaurant. Big Ed would never franchise because he wanted to oversee the making(as anyone can watch the handtossing and entire process) of each pizza sold. The special sauce and all the ingrediants are the freshest you can find. It is a great gathering place for 2 to 200 and if you have to wait on a table, the waiting will be worth it. Big Ed's Pizza and Oak Ridge Football are a staple in Oak Ridge.
If you have not tried it, you have missed a wonderful experience
08/01/2008Provided by Citysearch
I was born and raised in the pizza capital of the world -- Chicago. I have lived in the South for over 20+ years, and cannot state this strongly enough ... people in ths South DO NOT know what good pizza is.
I cannot understand what people see in this place or pizza. On a scale of 1 - 10, I find the pizza hard to rate with even a 1. It is just terrible. Greasy cheese; sparse toppings, and flavorless crust make this undeserving of the word ""pizza."" The paper plates and napkins they use are rediculously small and useless. I have been told that most of the staff have some kind of ""colorful background"" which makes me wonder if my car is safe. The ambiance reminds me of a caving expedition - dark, dank and dirty.
No garlic bread, breadsticks etc. either. Just a poor excuse of a resturant. Don't waste your money.
03/05/2007Provided by Citysearch
I have been a caterer, server, bartender,cook, Restaurant Manager, Banquet Manager, and Assistant Director of F&B. I know about the Food Service Industry. Big Ed's Pizza has a Killer Reputation that is TOTALLY undeserved. I have been there TWICE and will never go back, even for free. The first time I went w/ a group of friends. It was Friday night and I KNOW that this was peak hours for any restaurant.Understandably, it took us 30 minutes to be seated. It took another 20 minutes to have our order taken. ONE HOUR LATER WE RECEIVED OUR PIZZA. Seriously, one whole HOUR! But wait, that's not the worst part.. THE ENTIRE BOTTOM OF THE PIZZA WAS BURNED BLACK!!! I wanted to send it back, AND I HAVE NEVER HAD TO SEND FOOD BACK IN MY WHOLE LIFE! But, at this point my friends were so starved, we all finally agreed to just eat what we could. I picked up my slice (which was easy considering it was burned stiff) and let a stream of ORANGE GREASE gush off onto my paper plate (yes, a PAPER plate) and form a POOL. We ate about half of the pizza, the rest was unfit for Human consumption. Then we had to wait 30 minutes for the check. Finally, we threw money on the table and walked-out. I can honestly say that this was the worst restaurant experience I have ever had.
Years later, my best friend and I were in Oak Ridge and decided to stop for lunch. He suggested Big Ed's Pizza because he had never been there. I told him my experience and asked him if he still wanted to go. He said ""yes"", so we went. It was a Wednesday afternoon, and they actually had a few customers inside....AMAZING! We were seated and served in a timely manner. This time the pizza was slightly UNDERCOOKED. It was limp when picked-up. ORANGE GREASE and toppings fell on my paper plate. I ate my slices w/ a fork. My friend commented on how GREASY the pizza was! Yeah, big surprise.
Both of us will NEVER GO BACK!
If you don't believe any of this, then by all means eat there yourself and find out first hand.
08/01/2005Provided by Citysearch
I have been going to Big Ed's since high school. We'd all gather there after basketball games. I went to Norris High School and we didn't have a football team. Seems nothing has changed exept to get tastier. Even tho Ed is gone, his son(s) seem to keep up his standard. I go there whenever I get the chance.
12/14/2004Provided by Citysearch
I will go ahead and say pizza is my favorite food and I have eaten lots of pizza in my life. As far as I am concerned Big Ed's Pizza is definately the best pizza within an 8 hour drive. The atmosphere is great and you can watch as your pizza is prepared, even grab some cheese from them while they are cooking it. Not only is it great pizza, all that's on the menu, but it is a place you can go and expect friendly service and the same fun atmosphere every time.
08/04/2004Provided by Citysearch
Big Ed's has fair pizza, but I was largely underwhelmed. Roman's in west Knoxville has a MUCH tastier pie. Big Ed's has a great rep, but does not live up to it in my eyes- gruff service and average pizza, though it IS better than pizza from those chain joints. If you are in Oak Ridge and want some REAL NY style pizza, it's worth the 15 minute drive into west Knox for some Roman's, trust me. BTW- I went to try Big Ed's to be open minded after seeing it mentioned in a bad review someone left for Roman's. I don't get it. Roman's is WAY better!
Phone: (865) 482-4885
Address: 101 Broadway Ave, Oak Ridge, TN 37830
Bike Parking: Yes
Good For Groups: Yes
Good for Kids: Yes
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Take Out: Yes
Cuisines: Take Out, Italian, European, Continental, Pizza
Alcohol: Beer, Wine
Takes Reservations: No
Outdoor Seating: No
Price Range : Average