Big Ed's Pizza is a legend in Oak Ridge
Big Ed's Pizza: a tradition; an area landmark!
Big Ed's Pizza continues its 33-year tradition as a landmark -- as a building, a restaurant and an experience -- in Oak Ridge.
The pizza place was started by Big Ed Neusel when he moved his family to Oak Ridge from Huntsville, Ala.
It is operated today by Neusel's family. He died in December 1998.
Bid Ed's is famous -- literally -- internationally.
The restaurant has hosted visitors from dozens of countries. From the United States, politicians make regular pilgrimages, national and regional sports figures have eaten there, and tens of thousands of people who just came for the pizza.
Paraphernalia from military units -- Blue Angels, Marines, Navy -- decorate the walls.
Photos of former U.S. Sen. Jim Sasser, University of Tennessee football coach Phil Fulmer and local residents grace the walls of the restaurant.
During football season, it is common for fans of visiting teams to drive to Oak Ridge early and take advantage of the trip to visit Big Ed's before the contest.
The traditions also of hiring teen-agers -- perhaps the single practice for which Big Ed Neusel was best known -- and of those teen-agers cooking behind a glass wall in full view of the patrons continue today. The cooks still knead, roll and twirl the pizza dough in front of the customers.
As the name says, pizza is the menu -- all kinds of pizza. Soft drinks and beer are also available.