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One Bigg burger
10-ouncers barbecued fresh at Mr Biggs
209Burgers Manteca 1 copy
Sean Aquino and wife Jenelle, owners and operators of Mr Biggs Smoke House & Deli on North Main Street in downtown Manteca, cook hamburger luncheon orders on an open barbecue grill behind the restaurant. - photo by ROSE ALBANO RISSO/The 209

MANTECA – Suzette Frese sums it up in one sentence as to why her favorite restaurant in Manteca is a dining destination.

“All the food they give you is not small,” said the hair stylist at Angles Beauty Care, which sits next door to Mr Biggs Smoke House & Deli on North Main Street and just a stone’s throw from the Yosemite Avenue intersection.

The eatery’s hamburger is a perfect example. The menu offers seven choices: Mr Biggs, Cheesey Biggs, Bacon Biggs, California, Jesse James, Bigg Kahuna, and Jacob Burger with prices ranging from $6.99 to $9.59. Don’t look for a quarter-pounder or a half-pound ground-meat patty. Each order comes with a 10-ounce burger; that’s more than half a pound of beef.

And, as Frese pointed out, everything that is served at Mr Biggs is prepared fresh from scratch, including their hamburgers. There’s a reason why they make it a point to inform dining customers ordering hamburgers from the menu to “please allow (them) up to 10 additional minutes.” That’s because all burgers are “cooked to order.”

They are cooked on barbecue grills in the back of the restaurant next to the parking lot. Like all businesses in downtown Manteca, Mr Biggs and the commercial units that share the business complex – Tammy’s Baby Shoppe is one – have more than ample parking spaces located in the back, making shopping in the Family City’s business district extremely convenient.

Each hamburger choice is served with a choice of a side order from the following selections: potato salad, cole slaw, macaroni salad, beans, and pasta salad which is available from Thursday to Sunday. Some seasons, other choices may be available as well. All side selections are also prepared fresh by Sean and Jenelle Aquino, the husband-and-wife team that owns Mr Biggs, one of the newest dining places in downtown Manteca. They moved the business to this location about two years ago. Prior to that, they had the restaurant at two different places downtown, but only for a brief period at each of those previous locations.

Mr Biggs offers more than just hamburgers. They have plate specials, salads, pizza served on a ciabatta roll, smoke-house hot sandwiches, and deli signature sandwiches. The luau special plate is an diet-busting and palate-pleasing combination of tri-tip, kalua pork, teriyaki chicken, hot link, rice, plus a side for $13.99. The luau smoke-house hot sandwich will let you experience a Hawaiian feast in the Family City. This is a big plate piled with tri-tip, teriyaki chicken, kalua pork, hot link, with mayo, mustard, lettuce, tomato, onion, and barbecue sauce for just $12.99.

Under the deli signature sandwiches are selections that will get you thinking of the boot-shaped country in Europe: Big Bambino (pastrami served hot or cold), Godfather (another big plate with half-dozen types of meat – tri-tip, pastrami, salami, ham, bacon, and turkey – and Cousin Vinnie.

For a meal deal, just add $2.49 to each order and receive a side order plus a fountain soda.

Sample cakes displayed inside the restaurant announce that this establishment is also a cake shop. That part of the business is solely Jenelle Aquino’s territory.

By the way, the restaurant is so named not because of the size of its menu orders. Aquino, whose father used to own and operate a Hawaiian restaurant at Bethel Island in Stockton where he worked helping the family business and learned the ins and outs of the restaurant business, said it is derived from his childhood moniker. He has always been a “big guy,” so family and friends simply nicknamed him “Big,” he laughed as he shared his personal story about growing up in a tightly knit family.

Mr Biggs is located at 137 North Main Street in the building complex next to the Manteca Bedquarters’ parking lot on the corner of Yosemite Avenue and Main Street. Business hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, and noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday. It’s closed on Monday. Telephone: 209.275.3658.