Experience the “Last Honest Burger” at Big Earl’s Greasy Eats

The Place: Big Earl’s Greasy Eats
The Location: 6135 E. Cave Creek Road, Cave Creek
The Dish: The Big Earl Burger, Cajun French Fries
By: Jessica Cowan

In a world of fast food and processed ingredients, there is still one vestige of hope for traditional burger-lovers at Big Earl’s Greasy Eats, Cave Creek’s own hidden sanctuary for those in search of the “last honest hamburger.” With its kid’s menu, adult-only milkshakes, and juicy patties, this restaurant is ideal for families and burger connoisseurs alike.

Big Earl’s Greasy Eats began as a gas station in the 1930s and is known as the “only surviving example of a 1930s art deco Standard gas station” in the Phoenix metroplex, according to a Sun City Times article posted near the cash register. This gas station-turned-restaurant maintains just two tables inside its tiny space and encourages patrons to enjoy their food on the covered patio, where they can admire Cave Creek’s small town bustle of tourists, the southwest-inspired shops, and the trolley that runs through town. Two old-style gas pumps sit in the center of the patio, which is lined with tables, bar seating, and heaters for wintertime dining.

Although Big Earl’s offers a variety of menus for any palete, including veggie burgers and salads, we had to try the reputable Big Earl Burger, a juicy meat patty piled high with lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, and Big Earl’s REAL mayo sauce ($5.99). This menu item uses Harris Ranch Black Angus beef, and customers can add cheese, bacon, fried eggs, green chiles, jalapenos, and more for just $1 each. If a regular hamburger is a little tame for you, try the Gut Buster ($14), an impressive creation that is so messy that it requires the use of a knife and a fork. But let’s be honest – is it really a Gut Buster if you resort to utensils?

Big Earl’s even has poultry-specific items, including the Bleu Buffalo Chicken Sandwich ($8.25), which maintains a spicy kick, a Louisiana style hot wing sauce, and bleu cheese crumbles. Although every item we indulged in was delicious, our favorite item was perhaps the Cajun-inspired French fries, a side dish covered in Cajun seasoning. Although certainly not as greasy as our burgers, the Cajun fries ($2.25) are a great complement to any entrée and were quickly devoured by our table.

This establishment also offers a pet-friendly patio, Thursday night volleyball tournaments, merchandise, breakfast, and a full bar, but it’s most intriguing option lies in its adult milkshakes. Give a unique toast to the Big Lebowski with the White Russian ($9), which consists of an espresso milkshake, Kahlua, Heaven Hill Vodka, and espresso grinds. With other flavors like Cotton Candy, Funky Monkey, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch, their wide milkshake menu has something for everyone. Don’t worry, though – they have non-alcoholic milkshakes for your young ones!

Whether you come to experience the wild west vibe of Cave Creek or are just passing through, Big Earl’s Greasy Eats is worth stopping by for. Enjoy a wonderful afternoon experiencing a piece of honest Arizona dining and a small piece of the state’s history.

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