Monday, January 2, 2012

Babs Delta Diner in Suisun City: Way better than Petaluma

Find this diner in the parking lot next to the boat harbor in a nice little city that can't decide whether it's a small delta town or the northeastern outpost of the Bay Area. They have good food and they serve it to you with a plainly manifested honesty that takes me right back to my youth in the analog days.

I like linguica and will eat it whenever I get the chance. This place does not serve quite as many permutations of that theme as Cook's Station up on Hwy 88, but there are several ways that linguica can be had here and it is always in ready supply. They keep the coffee coming. Their eggs are just fluffy enough, perfectly moist without even a rumor of runniness, and there are no hardened ova nailed to the wall as warnings to others. They use eggs from the great Sacramento Delta region, not Petaluma (remember please that Petaluma Poultry does not sell eggs, and if they did, they would be better than the rest of the eggs laid in that scrungy little mental prison town).

I've never been to Babs' on a weekday. I assume that from Monday through Friday the spot is occupied mainly by locals and commuters. I will discuss the commuters first, to get them out of the way, as I do not enjoy thinking about people who are rewarded materially for all the wrong reasons. Do you detect some bias? Good. 

Most of these commuters wear suits and drive German vehicles designed to let the rest of us know what  miserable existences we endure since we don't have gold dust rubbed into walnut surrounding our instrument clusters. They read about Wall Street and hatch their little intra-office intrigues while they eat, and then they bluster off to the southwest so they can sit in Bay Bridge traffic while they shave their smarmy, entitled faces. Maybe their Muffy or their Biff stays home for the kids, but more likely they drop the offspring at daycare (where the teachers likely know more about their children's development and personalities than they do),  return 12-14 hours later (after happy hour), and make grand and condescending entrances. Their lives are important, and they want to make sure you know it.

Maybe the real locals think the commuters are idiots, and if they do, I agree with them. If I had to choose one group or another to hang out with, it would be the locals--the people who work for a living and the retirees. Not the retired transplants in their polyester pants and Winnebagos. A Winnebago killed the oldest oak tree in Chico back in '76 and I am still mad at them, except for Jack Rebney, the Winnebago Man. He's not a spandex-waisted blowhard. He brings it with a reckless train wreck abandon and to hell with those nimrods who want to claim otherwise.

The true locals live and work in the area, and if they are retired, it is from honest jobs not more distant than ten or fifteen miles from the Suisun City waterfront. They hunt and they fish. They know how to bait a hook with a blood worm or pile worm without getting bit, and if they wear Dickies they do so in an honest manner.

Don't get me wrong, these locals are far from perfect themselves. Some, but by no means all, of them are hopelessly rigid in their desire to let Fox "News" tell them what to think, but a decent conversation can generally be had as long as you avoid politics. And anyway, there are plenty of them who don't fit that mold.

Everyone in town goes to Babs' place. It's more than a hangout; its a social hub, but not in that phony southern California way that seems more and more widespread as people flee northward from LA (they've stolen most of our water and now they want to co-opt our regional culture, I guess). These customers are real people.

Look, come here or don't. Babs does brisk business at her diner. The place is thriving. They don't really need your business, but they'll welcome it nonetheless, and they have never disappointed me.

EDIT: Sadly, Babs closed her doors. I do not know what occupies the space now, but I severely doubt it holds a candle to what Babs gave to her customers.

Breaking news!!!! Babs may indeed be OPEN. As in OPEN AGAIN, or STILL OPEN. Trying to confirm details. Stay tuned, my tens of semi-loyal readers.
Super-Meta EDIT:
Babs sold the place. It no longer exists. There's no longer any reason to stop in Suisun City. Ride through it on your way down the old road to Cordelia.

© Pseudocognitive


  1. Edit to the Edit:
    Bab's Delta Diner is open and thriving and still Owned by Babs herself.

  2. Babs is not closed - retract your statement!

  3. If you'll look above, you'll see that I did. Thanks for the intel! The big announcement was made, no one corrected it earlier (that I'm aware of), the Facebook page kind of dried up, so I assumed it was in fact closed. I am overjoyed that it's open!


    PS--The "suited people in German vehicles" were observed once. I think they were en route to some kind of rich people's meeting or some such. Probably an isolated incident.;-)

  4. Replies
    1. Thank YOU. This blog has been dormant for awhile, so it's nice to get a few comments.