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Big Bite'z delivers best on its biggest flavors

If the "big" in Big Bite'z has to do with portion size and flavor, the onion rings and gyro live up to the restaurant's name. Some other things (chicken salad; strawberry milkshake and the welcome we received) have some growing to do.

Big Bite'z has two locations, both owned by John and Helen Zaravelis. One location is in Mooresville. The one we visited, on West Catawba Avenue in Cornelius, has been in business for 10 years.

We went on a Saturday around lunchtime. The staff was super friendly to those they seemed to know. But we didn't get that warm and fuzzy feeling at all.

At one point we stood in front of the cashier long enough that my friend and I shared a look that said, "Does he not see us?" And when the cashier did speak to us it was after he talked to the guy behind us who came in after we did. The rest of our interactions with the staff kind of went the same.

As for the food, the double cheeseburger was picture perfect - two patties, lettuce, tomatoes and pickles on a sesame seed bun.

Big Bite'z gyro was a better choice. Tender lamb and beef join homemade tzatziki sauce and red onions. The house-made onion rings were equally good. I liked that the onion didn't have that raw taste.

I liked the look of the garden salad with chicken salad. Nice rounds of cucumber along with wedges of tomato and shredded cheese joined two scoops of chicken salad. Still, the chicken salad left me underwhelmed.

And it would have been nice if the strawberry milkshake had a more pronounced strawberry flavor.

Overall, when Big Bite'z embraced big flavors, that's when it was most successful.

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