This week our Spotlight is focused on...
December 1st, 2010, Woodward, Oklahoma welcomed with open arms and eager bellies the newest member of our little food family…Big Dan’s. Dan Parsons, owner of Big Dan’s (although, technically, he was passed down the title of BIG Dan from his father), an original Woodwardian, began his career in the restaurant and customer service industry working for and receiving various prestigious honors and awards at several large companies (Chili’s just to name one) in Oklahoma City. Caryl Parsons, co-owner of Big Dan’s, originally from Perryton, Texas, also worked in customer service but in a little different industry than Dan…dentistry (you should check out her perfect pearly whites!). Dan and Caryl came back to Woodward to establish their own little piece of hometown hospitality. Although several asked them why they would ever leave “the City”, Caryl happily responded “they weren’t leaving something, they were going toward something!”
The theme for Big Dan’s has always been “First time, a customer, from then on, a friend”. The Parsons truly pride themselves on great customer service as well as offering high quality food at great value prices. From the moment you step through the door at Big Dan’s, you truly get a feel of that hometown hospitality that Woodward is famous for while getting a sense of cowboy nostalgia from the captivating western décor that adorns Big Dan’s walls. Once seated by one of the friendly hostesses, the aroma of home cookin’ almost knocks you over…but you steady yourself just to take in the sight of one of the largest salad buffets you’ve ever seen right in the middle of the room! The salad buffet is one of the main highlights at Big Dan’s with a HUGE selection of homemade salads. This grandiose salad buffet has also attributed to Big Dan’s recent accreditation as a “healthy” restaurant in Woodward. True to their new “healthy” standard, Big Dan’s can accommodate almost any dietary needs of their customers, including vegetarian and gluten free.
The choices at Big Dan’s are plentiful with daily specials to assist in your choice, but the best-selling item on the menu is the New York Strip and a few favorites of some happy customers are the Salad Buffet (yes…it stands alone), Grilled Teriyaki Chicken with Steamed Veggies, and the NEW Oklahoma Gumbo. However, if you ask Dan, his favorite is the Chicken Tenders and Caryl’s favorite is the Filet Mignon. It’s no surprise that the best-sellers and favorites are steaks and burgers, as Big Dan’s cuts their own steaks and grinds their own hamburger meat! The busiest and most anticipated night of the week for Big Dan’s is Friday with ALL YOU CAN EAT CRAB LEGS! Make sure to bring your appetite if you plan to come to Big Dan’s on Friday night, and remember that crab legs are healthy (if you don’t soak them in butter)!
Big Dan’s not only serves Woodward, Dan and Caryl have recently opened a second location in Perryton, Texas. Although much smaller than the Woodward Big Dan’s, the second location allows Caryl, like Dan, to give back to a community that instilled in her a strong sense of “hometown” pride. Although Caryl now considers Woodward home, you’ll often hear Dan and Caryl offer friendly taunts at one another of Boomer vs. Ranger pride! The pride and respect that Dan and Caryl show the Woodward community overflows at every turn, and they often go out of their way to cater on-site oilfield lunches, Boomer Football lunches, Chamber of Commerce events, weddings, tradeshows, etc. With their busy restaurant and many outside functions, it’s no wonder why they have a large and very dependable staff. Dan and Caryl often say, “WE are not Big Dan’s, the staff are. We couldn’t do any of it without our team. We count on them and consider them family, and if we’ve done anything right, it’s because we’ve surrounded ourselves with rockstars.”
When asked what is next, Dan revealed Big Dan’s newest venture. We are proud to be the first to announce that COMING SOON to Big Dan’s is…BIG DAN’S CURBSIDE!! “You will just call in and place your order, then call when you arrive, and we will bring it out to you,” Dan said. They hope this will add to their customer experience and offer a little something extra to the Woodward community.
When you think of Big Dan’s, you don’t think of “the little piece” of Woodward that Dan and Caryl envisioned. It has grown to become a household staple for the Woodward community while filling bellies and hearts.