Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Bob Evans and Restaurant Chains

As I recently mentioned in one of my blogs, chain restaurants have greatly improved over the years…and there are many very good, very reliable restaurant chains across the country.  They may not offer that special something or focus on dishes of local interest, but they are reassuring and welcoming to the weary traveler…and in most cases, the price is right!

When Laurie and I are driving back and forth between East Tennessee and the Cleveland Ohio area to visit our grandsons, one of our most convenient lunch stops is in Beckley West Virginia.  Our favorite is this Bob Evans Restaurant.   Since we almost always enjoy a good breakfast, we do like eating here as breakfast is available from open to close. 

Bob Evans Farms, Inc. is a $1.7 Billion restaurant and retail food products chain based in Columbus Ohio.  Bob Evans started the company back in 1948 with a 12 stool, 24 hour restaurant in Gallipolis Ohio.  He had a nearby farm.  Today there are almost 600 Bob Evans Restaurants in 18 states plus 100 Mimi’s Café’s in 22 states.  It’s hard to beat Bob Evans sausage and Bob Evans refrigerated mashed potatoes are better than most homemade versions!

The inside of the Bob Evans restaurants are all very much alike… They’re almost always clean…with decent restrooms and with efficient and normally friendly wait staff. 

Bob Evans’ Restaurants are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  While we usually go for the breakfast menu, the lunch menu offers standard fare as well as special items such as the Bob Evans Pot Roast Platter. ($8.29) This consists of slow-roast beef, carrots, grilled onions and American cheese, piled high on grilled sourdough and then served with French fries and freshly prepared coleslaw.  The dinner menu features many choices but our favorites are probably the Chicken Pot Pie, ($7.99), and the Country Fried Steak. ($9.49)

But as previously noted, we went for breakfast at lunch time!  This is Laurie’s standard breakfast…2 eggsover easy, with bacon and hash browns that are nice and crispy outside. ($7.29) Her meal was accompanied by a nice biscuit.

The August issue of Consumer Reports featured a section that rated various types of restaurants.  Bob Evans was ranked #4 under the category of family restaurants.  With 81 points, it was outscored by First Watch (87), The Original Pancake House (84) and Le Peep (83).  Bob Evans did score higher than 20 other restaurant chains in this category.  I noted that it even outscored Cracker Barrel…

I went with my basic breakfast as well…2 eggs over easy, sausage links, hash browns and sourdough toast. ($7.29) Yes…that it Tabasco on my eggs!  I also put it on my sausage and my hash browns… My only aggravation was that since I make a sandwich with my sausages, cutting the toast on a bias just doesn’t work out that well!  I’ll have to remember to tell them not to cut my toast the next time…

Other restaurant categories listed in the August issue of Consumer Report are as follows, complete with the #1 recommendation for that category.  Contemporary/Traditional American (J. Alexander’s); Barbecue (Famous Dave’s); Italian (Biaggi’s Restorante Italiano); Mexican (Abuelo’s Mexican Food Embassy); Pub Style or Grill (Cheddar’s Casual Café); Seafood (Bonefish Grill); Steakhouses (The Capital Grille) and; Unique Dinner Houses (Bahama Breeze). 
Laurie and I have eaten at J. Alexander’s, Famous Dave’s, Biaggi, Abuelo’s, Cheddar’s, Bonefish Grill and Bahama Breeze.  They’re all quite good!

Since there are no Bob Evan’s Restaurants in East Tennessee and since I have very little willpower, I ordered a side of biscuits, ($1.79) and sausage gravy ($3.29) to ‘share’ with Laurie.  Every once and a while I just get a craving for this sausage gravy… It’s different than anyone else’s…and once I add Tabasco, its great comfort food!  All in all, we had a very satisfying breakfast and a nice break from the open road…

Of the 102 restaurant chains rated by Consumer Reports, only nine chains (9) earned high marks across the board in the 4 key categories…taste, value, service and mood…and were praised for menu variety.  Bob Evans was one of those 9 restaurant chains!
We use Consumer Reports quite a bit when considering significant purchases…TV’s, vacuums, grills, cameras, etc.  The information is reliable and Consumer Reports doesn’t have any conflicts of interest because they don’t accept any advertising… Check it out at www.ConsumerReports.org.
The Beckley West Virginia Bob Evans Restaurant is located at 9-102 Harper Park Drive, just off of I-77 in Beckley.  Phone: 304-252-4886.  The Bob Evans website is: www.bobevans.com.
Just click on any photo to enlarge it…
Thanks for stopping by and sharing lunch…or breakfast with us!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. I believe I've only gone to Bob Evans once, many years ago, and was underwhelmed. But it sounds like I need to give them another try and I go right by this same one when we go to WV.

  2. Dear Dave, I love eating breakfast anytime of day.
    It really is comforting, especially with a good cup of coffee. If the coffee isn't good on the first sip...all is lost.
    I do like the "kick" of the heat of a jalapeño in food. I try to use it in different ways. I even have used it in desserts!
    Try hot sauce on fruit. It really is good, such as cantaloupe, watermelon, peaches etc.. I think you might enjoy it.
    All the best to you and Laurie. Enjoy. Blessings, Catherine

  3. I love, love Bob Evans restaurants!!!! Unfortunately, there are none here in Chicagoland, but returning to Louisville last week, we stopped at Bob Evans for breakfast several times. Love their Rise and Shine! My father was instrumental in loaning him money for his farm, and to start his endeavors, many years ago, and I heard many stories about him. His farm was beautiful!!!