Review: The Big Nasty from McAlister’s Deli

Hangovers. We all get them unless we abstain from alcohol or have some sort of remarkable self-control that allows us to stop at one or two drinks. I have never heard of such a thing myself, and I want no part of it if it turns out to exist in real life. Normally, my post alcohol regimen consists of water, aspirin, several more hours of sleep and then a trip to McDonald’s. Two Double Cheeseburgers (add Mac sauce), a medium fry and a large Coke or two will knock it out. It works for infections, poor vision and stubbed toes too. Ask your doctor.  I deviated from my standard remedy in favor of The Big Nasty from McAlister’s Deli.

The Big Nasty:

Over a third of a pound of tender, USDA choice Black Angus roast beef served open-face on a toasted baguette with gravy and cheddar-jack cheese.

First things first: I love McAlister’s. The staff is without fail the friendliest I have yet to experience. They are always ready with a genuine smile and a refill. Speaking of refills, you cannot beat their sweet tea, no way no how. The food is fresh and delicious with many options to satisfy even the most particular of customers. Here we go. The Big Nasty smells amazing and is most inappropriately named. There is nothing nasty about this sandwich except maaaaybe the price, but the size of the sandwich and the inclusion of a side makes $8.69 seem quite reasonable. That little con is easily offset by Free Tea Thursday at my local store. My favorite part of The Big Nasty was the roast beef. I was amazed at how flavorful the meat was. To throw out a few adjectives: juicy, savory, tender, the word succulent even comes to mind. The beef is obviously of a higher quality.

The thick gravy was poured on heavy and had a country/homestyle taste, with a surprising kick of spice and perfect consistency. It did have a tiny hint of artificial aftertaste, but that did not last beyond the first bite. The baguette would have done well with a thorough toasting prior to being served, but still kept a solid density and soaked up the extra gravy like a champ. The cheddar-jack cheese was a subtle, but welcome addition, rounding everything out nicely and adding distinct flavor without being overpowering.

All in all, this was a great buy. Bursting with flavor, The Big Nasty satisfies. I even liked the way the meat felt while chewing. I usually refrain from artificial words but the meat and bread on this sandwich just felt… substancey. A very filling meal, even when you discount the side of mac and cheese. This was a very substantial meal without being too heavy to enjoy as a lunch option and it will cure your hangover. If gravy laden sandwiches are your thing you certainly cannot go wrong here.

Pros: All ingredients were tasty and of rather high quality.

Cons: May be a bit pricey for some. Bread could have used a toasting.

Taste: 9.50/10
Value: 8.00/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 4.00/10 (You will need a plate, napkins and utensils)
Price: $8.69 with a side

Overall GrubGrade: 9.00/10

More Info: McAlistersDeli.com
Nutrition Facts:
Calories 790
Fat 24 g
Saturated Fat 9 g
Cholesterol 135 mg
Sodium 2940 mg (Yikes)
Dietary Fiber 3g
Sugars 5 g
Protein 54g

19 comments on “Review: The Big Nasty from McAlister’s Deli

  1. Dude, gravy is the only truly effective hangover remedy.

  2. Alex says:

    I only glanced through the review …

    Does anything come with it at that price? I see what appears to be mac and cheese… was that extra?

    It looks pretty good though… never heard of McAlister’s though.

    • Crysta says:

      “The Big Nasty smells amazing and is most inappropriately named. There is nothing nasty about this sandwich except maaaaybe the price, but the size of the sandwich and the inclusion of a side makes $8.69 seem quite reasonable.”

      Seems to suggest the mac and cheese was included as a side. The drink doesn’t appear to be included though.

  3. B says:

    I’m not trying to be rude, but Alex…was it really easier to comment with that question instead of, you know, reading the whole thing yourself? Jeez.

  4. rob says:

    I just like the idea of saying “I’ll have the Big Nasty” so I would order it regardless of price.

  5. Mike N. says:

    My local McAlister’s sells the Big Nasty for $7.99 (inc. a side and pickle spear). It sounds silly, but that extra 70 cents you paid does make it seem pricey.

  6. Mikey D says:

    I’m sorry but that looks absoulutely disgusting.

    • 3horseshoes says:

      That’s exactly what I was thinking. Looks like an even poorer quality version of school cafeteria food…

  7. Athena says:

    This doesn’t look too appealing.

    I guess I need to get over how expensive everything is now. Ugh!

  8. SkippyMom says:

    The only way that could look “absoulutely [sic] disgusting” or not “too appealing is if you’re a vegetarian.

    Although I have to agree with Athena. When you don’t eat out often sticker shock can be a bit much.

    I am so making this at home with fresh baked baguettes and my gravy. YUM!

    • Jade says:

      Haha yeah. Gravy is not the most photogenic foodstuff but dude, it’s gravy!

      And now I know what I’m making for lunch today :D

  9. MP says:

    Not that it looks disgusting, but it looks like such a small portion. Apparently the nearest McAlister’s Deli to me is over 100 miles away.

  10. tom h says:

    whew, 3k of sodium (before that mac and cheese side)… dang.

  11. Jess says:

    I used to get salads with peach chipotle dressing at McAllister’s, but their chicken was never very good. Maybe it’s just the one in Roanoke, but I have yet to come across another.

  12. Matt says:

    I had never heard of McAlister’s until I read this review the other day, and I googled it to learn that there is one within 20 minutes of me. So I hopped in the car and ordered this exact sandwich, with mac and cheese as the side, as well as one of their giant cookies. Best lunch I’ve had in the recent past. So delicious.

  13. missouri says:

    As part of the McAlisters theming inside the restaurants (at least at ours anyway) are wooden boards displaying the names of their various sandwiches, along with kitschy memorabilia from the local area.

    For some reason, they decided to hang the sign for “The Big Nasty” over the entrances to the bathrooms.

    I’ve always thought of them as the poor man’s Panera. Not quite the level of food quality or variety – but their tea is killer.