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Big Fella Sandwich

Subject: Big Fellas
From: Lisa
Date: 5/11/2019, 6:40 AM

On 5/10/2019 7:10 PM, Lisa wrote:


I see your last copyright date is 2015.  Are you still hunting recipes?

There’s one I can’t seem to find anywhere.  My mother made these “Big Fellas” for
as long as I can remember, so she must have had the recipe since at least 1965.   
She moved from Toronto to Los Angeles in 1962, so it’s possible that it was a 
Canadian thing.   This recipe was sort of a cross between meatloaf, hamburger, 
and sloppy joe.   The best way to describe it would be an open faced meat loaf 
sandwich, where the raw meat was pressed onto the bun and then broiled.  We 
always had them with ketchup on top (AFTER the broiler), and if we were feeling 
particularly daring, some horseradish too.  Everyone loved these!

One time, she forgot them in the oven, and just as she was pulling them out, my 
boyfriend at the time was walking into the kitchen and said, “Oh look, BURNT Fellas!”   
So they got a new nickname from that day on. ??

My mother passed away in 2013, and I haven’t been able to find the recipe in any of 
her books or boxes.   I didn’t worry too much, since my sister also knew how to make 
them, but then she also passed away unexpectedly in 2015.  I’ve been looking online 
since then, but only come up with restaurants named “Big Fella”….no recipe.

I suppose I could just try to put meatloaf on a bun, but I remember her saying it 
was a little different.   I’d live the actual proportions of ingredients if you 
could find them.  Thanks for your time,  -Lisa

Hi Lisa,

Yes, I'm still  going strong. That copyright date may be different according to which page of the site you are on. I haven't been updating all the pages as I suppose I should.

Lisa, I checked the Internet thoroughly , and I cannot find even a mention of a sandwich or burger with the name "Big Fella" or "Big Fellow" that comes close to your description. Mostly, all that I found with that name were specialty fast-food restaurant hamburgers. I also checked through an index that I have created that lists all of the recipes in hundreds of cookbooks. Nothing.

To me, this sandwich sounds like a recipe that may have been placed in a magazine ad for a particular product or something similar to that. Maybe a package label. Maybe for a Canadian product. Maybe it was a recipe in a newspaper food section.

The only way that I can think of to pursue this search is to post this request on my site. Perhaps a reader will recognize the sandwich and respond.


Thanks for your help! Your reasoning sounds accurate, as it probably WAS a one-off magazine 
or newspaper recipe.  She had many of those.  -L

Subject: Big Fella Sandwich
From: Tony
Date: 5/17/2019, 9:12 AM

On 5/17/2019 7:50 AM, Tony Call wrote:

Hi Uncle,

Reading Lisa's request for a recipe for Big Fella Sandwich put me in mind of 
Longboy cheeseburgers.  My aunt used to make them and they are the same 
sloppy-joe/meatloaf kind of thing, just with cheese on top instead of ketchup.  
Lots of recipes out there for them.  Worth a shot?


Hi Tony,

Thanks for writing. I'll see what I can find about Longboy cheeseburgers.


Subject: Big Fellas
Date: 5/17/2019, 9:59 AM
To: "Lisa"

Hi Lisa,

This is a follow-up on the Big Fellas sandwich.

One of my readers sent a suggestion that Big Fellas might be like "Longboy Cheeseburgers", so I did a search on longboy sandwiches. I found a variety of recipes for them, and a lot of people described them as being like "meatloaf sandwiches". However, "longboys" fall short of your description because they have cheese on top, which you don't mention, most longboy recipes call for cornflakes, and longboys are baked, not broiled. Anyhow, here are some recipes for "longboys":

Buns in My Oven

Sunshine and Bones



Key Ingredient

All Recipes

Taste of Home

This is not a longboy, but is more like a meatloaf burger:


Lisa, there are a lot of "meatloaf sandwich" recipes on the web, but they, too, fall short of your description.  They either are made of leftover meatloaf, or they are made using a meatloaf mixture that is formed into patties like a hamburger patty, then baked or fried, not placed on the bread raw and broiled as in your description. They also usually have cheese on top.

Don't give up yet, though. There is still a chance that we will find something closer to your description.


You know, I bet this is what the recipe was based on. Long (Big) Boy (Fellow/Fella). Makes sense.  
I don't know if it was HER who changed the name, or the publisher of the recipe.
Minus the cheese, the concept is the same.  And my mom used oats instead of corn flakes, like one 
of the bloggers. She broiled them because then the meat cooked faster without drying out the bun 
like baking would.  I never heard of a Long Boy!  ??  East Coast thing maybe?
Wow, you are good.   Thanks so much, and I'll try some of these.   -Lisa

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