For some reason, most of my fondest memories of being a kid are associated either with food or music. Along with the AM radio, Bob's Big Boy played a major roll in the first 15 or so years of my life.
There used to be a Big Boy right down the street from where I grew-up. As a little girl it was a place to go on special occasions or for a special treat to get milk shakes, brownie sundaes, and fried shrimp dinners.
In High School, Bob's was the meeting spot after concerts, dances, and parties. We'd hang out in the parking lot, climb on the back of Bob to get our picture taken, and sneak cigarettes from the machine in the lobby. It was THE place to fraternize with your friend over french fries, kind of like Arnold's, but without Leather Tuscadero.
After too long an exile, Bob is back in Orange County and I couldn't wait to bring my kids and Larry (who knew it as Shoney's Big Boy on the East Coast). I ordered usual, which is the same now as when I was an eight-year old, the child's grilled cheese, fries, and a strawberry silver goblet shake. I'm a little surprised and probably disproportionally happy to report that it was just as good as I remember.
I don't know why exactly, but watching my daughter enjoy her own shake and kid's chili spaghetti (accompanied by the traditional garlic toast) and then declare it "the .best. spaghetti. ever!" gave me a thrill. Like I knew some sort of pop culture mythos was going to live on.
Now, here is the big question that has torn Bob's Big Boy enthusiasts apart for decades, pitting traditionalists against progressives: Do you dip your fries in your shake or not?
Personally, I'm a french fry shake dipper. I love it. So does my daughter, but the act never fails to produce cringes and shudders from the male side of the table. If you have an opinion, please, by all means, weigh in on the matter.
I give the return of Bob's Big Boy a big thumbs-up accompanied by a Fonzie-style "Aaayyy." Now, if only we can get Naugles, Pup-n-Taco, and the lunch counter at Buffum's to come back to OC, then I'd be in retro '70s heaven.
We missed you too big guy. We missed you, too.
You can go to my Blip.Fm channel to listen to Peaches and Herb's