Welcome back

Anwar Khoshaba

Photo By brad bynum

Giant Burger was a favorite lunch spot for University of Nevada, Reno students in the ’80s and ’90s. After a 10-year hiatus, it reopened on Aug. 8 at 801 N. Virginia St. It’s open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Owner Anwar Khoshaba, 322-6565, says he is diligent about quality control.

You reopened in the same location you used to be in.

I was here from 1984 until July 4th, 2000. Then I leased the property to Jimboy’s, and Jimboy’s had personnel issues, and we took the property back.

So you own this building?


What have you been doing the last 10 years?

You really don’t want to know, but I’ll tell you anyway. I’ve been working. I worked in real estate. I worked in the casinos.

Is this incarnation of Giant Burger any different from the old version?

Not much, as far as the menu, though we have a lot of improvements. … We are broiling everything. Same old steak fries. The food is much better. You ate here earlier. How did you like your food?

It was good.

How would you grade it from one to 10? Your burger?

From one to 10? Probably a seven-and-a-half or an eight.

OK. That’s fine. How about the falafel?

I didn’t eat that; my wife did. She liked it. She really liked the fries.

So, two out of three is not bad.

Well, the burger was good too. Seven-and-a-half or eight is good.

No, I don’t go for that. If it’s not 10 out of 10, it’s not good for me. That’s true. I won’t eat it. I won’t serve it. My place has to stay so clean that if I drop some fries, I feel comfortable dropping it, picking it up and eating it. You’ll see me on my knees.

It’s a family-run operation. We make everything from scratch. We use everything fresh. We come in every morning, slicing and dicing.

We haven’t even fixed our sign yet …

I saw it still says something about tacos.

But we’re already getting our old customers back. We haven’t made any advertising, or any flyers, or even put my banners out. It’s just word-of-mouth among my old customers. … “Welcome back, Giant Burger!” that can be your headline.

Anything else?

I like to keep it very basic, very simple, because of the rotation, because of the freshness. I go to a restaurant and they have 100 items on the menu, and you expect me to believe they rotate that? No way! My menu is 10 items, and basically the same, so you know the rotation there.

You’re one of the few places in town that do falafel.

There are other places. But believe me, I ask some of my customers, just facetiously, where have you been eating falafel while I was vacationing? “Oh, we ate here, and we ate there, but it was terrible! We didn’t like that!” There are some old customers right there with their newborn baby. Just two days old! They haven’t even taken her home yet, and already they’re here at Giant Burger!