Gourmet burgers are pretty commonplace in Joburg right now … there’s always a place with a menu it takes 15 minutes to read and prices that mean you can only make repeat visits every 15 days. But if you’re from a generation raised on the dependability and bright branding of fast food, but still want to support local entrepreneurs, what’s a cat to do?
New Braamfontein joint Mr Big Stuff offers the right balance of the unfamiliar and the comforting, with Southern-style American chow prepared as classic takeout that feels right at home in Joburg’s student district. There are burgers, sure, but there are also Disco Fries (covered in cheese and bacon), Mac ‘n Cheese Squares (they also put those on a burger) and for those looking for a touch of breakfast with their dinner, Fried Chicken and Waffles dripping in sweet mustard syrup.
The latter is apparently inspired by Southern jazz musicians who would play shows all night, then have to cram two meals into a single sitting before hitting the road to parts unknown. You don’t need to know that to enjoy it though … everything from the logo and the furnishings to the simplified menu stresses a down-to-Earth, unpretentious take on Joburg dining. The aim here is to serve you a really big portion of some really big food.
The brainchild of Wolves co-founders Shane Durrant and Angie Batis Durrant, along with Craig Durrant (that’s a lotta Durrant), Mr Big Stuff offers a hefty meal at an affordable price, right in the heart of what’s often considered to be a pricier neighbourhood.
I’d keep writing but I’m passing out; a serene food coma’s hit, induced by the Mr Chicky Cheese Burger, a full portion of fries and a few of those Mac ‘n Cheese squares. If you’re thinking that sounds like a lot of food for one guy, hey, I’m just living the brand.
Address: 87 Juta Street (corner Juta and Melle Street), Braamfontein, Joburg.
Written by Nas Hoosen
Pictures by Angie Batis Durrant