My First B’Ville Diner Foray
I have lived in the Syracuse area since 1975. I have been to Baldwinsville many times over the years, as one of my best friends lives there. I have passed the B’ville Diner at least a couple hundred times over all these years, and never been there. Truthfully, I’d never even thought about going there, and I’m not sure why. I decided it was finally time to go, and I went with my friend Sunny Hernandez of For Your Pies Only, also @sunnyinsyracuse on Twitter.From what I understand, this isn’t quite the original B’ville Diner design. It used to look at lot more, well, decrepit. When Baldwinsville started its renovation plans back in the early 2000’s the diner went along and updated itself as well. I think that renovation is what helped me finally start noticing it. However, it still has the look of a diner inside, if a little more stylish and, well, clean. I’m not disparaging diners in general because that “lived in” look is part of their charm. the B’ville Diner has charm, but it’s the cleaned up version, and that’s pretty neat.
I took a little look around the insides. Even souped up, so to speak, it still had that look of an old style diner. The walls are a kind of green (my color descriptions are always terrible) with that little center strip along the walls of black and white tile; I haven’t seen that type of thing in years. I sat in a booth that had the little jukebox thing next to me with lots of musical selections, but I didn’t give it a try. Actually no one did, so I’m not sure how loud it might have been. There was also an area where people could sit at the counter to eat if they didn’t want booths or tables. It was very comfortable; I love being comfortable when I eat.
While waiting for Sunny to show up I decided to order a cup of chili; after all, it was chilly outside. I’ll say that this was the one thing I really didn’t like. There was little chili powder in it so was more like a tomato sauce that had a touch of heat in it coming from somewhere. My wife would have liked the tomato sauce part but not the heat. For me, a good chili has a lot of meat.
Once Sunny came and got a look at the menu we ordered lunch. For me, a diner is initially either about one of 3 things. One, if you’re there for breakfast you have to test their omelets. For lunch or dinner you have to try either meatloaf or one of the “comfort” foods that diners are known for. I ordered the pot roast; I’m a sucker for a good pot roast.
Of course it turned out that Sunny was very knowledgeable about the diner since she lived in town, and she even ordered a specialty sandwich that wasn’t on the menu any longer. I actually appreciated that because I often go to a different restaurant for breakfast, which I’ll be talking about later, and I almost always order something that’s no longer on their menu but that they’ll make for me.
Of course, being a diner, they had menu items with some interesting names. The one that stuck with me was the Cunningham, because I couldn’t relate it to anything except this one family I know that lives in town with that last name. It seems they actually named the sandwich after Richie Cunningham of Happy Days. I didn’t get the waitresses name but she was wonderful and got that bit of information for me, as well as other tidbits about some of the hysterical names on the menu.
I’ll admit that the pot roast didn’t look like what I’m used to pot roast looking like, but it tasted wonderful. Mixing that with the mashed potatoes and gravy, it was truly comfort food. She also brought something they called pot roast stuffing; me being me, I don’t normally like stuffing, and thus I didn’t like this stuffing, though Sunny seemed to think it was okay. She and the waitress encouraged me to at least try it, and I’ll say I did and move on. 🙂
It was now time for dessert; I mean, you can’t leave a diner without sampling a dessert, can you? I told the waitress I wanted a pie that you should just “smush”; that is, you don’t have to chew, it’s not hard and cold, and it literally just goes into your mouth soft and light and you can just smush it around your mouth. She recommended the peanut butter chocolate silk pie (one of my favorites) and said if I didn’t like it she’d take it back and get me something else for free. No problems; it was absolutely wonderful and my friend Scott will say that they might have created an animal because now I have another top dessert in my repertoire.
It was a wonderful experience, and shows what a diner can be when the owner has the money and foresight to keep up with changes within their community, yet still retain the soul of what a diner should be. I know I’ll be going back one day, maybe for breakfast since it’s relatively close, and maybe I’ll even have dessert with breakfast; I can’t say I’ve ever done that.
We’ll see what my wife says. 😉