Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bob's vs. Kip's

Sherman, set the Wayback machine to the fateful summer of '88 where upon landing for the first time in the state the Choctaws called "the land of the Red people," I happily encountered a familiar face with a foreign name.

Bob's Big Boy was an iconic figure of my youth, inasmuch as I had still retain many fond memories of hanging out in his well lit abodes and dining on reasonably priced high caloric food items being served in his name.

In grad-school my then main squeeze/now wifey-for-lifey lived in the upper floor of an airport house a mere mile drive from the now famous Bob's '49 in Burbank. Our multiple forays into this most hallowed of all Bob's remaining dives were sprinkled with ample celebrity sitings (you haven't lived until you've spied Drew Carey downing several bowls of Bob's chili size), post-cineplex discussions, production meetings, and late-night/early morning double-decker burger dates.

Going further back, as non-driving teens, my buddies and I would migrate on foot from Friday night high school football games over to the Bob's on Valley Blvd for a post-game snack and schmooze-fest.

The short two-block walk to Bob's provided the requisite amount of time needed to shake the computer punch card confetti out of your hair and boxer shorts while inviting and gathering up as many of the pre-driving age short-skirt adorned drill team members as possible.

The girls would order Tab-floats and share mega-platters of fries, we'd get Big Boy combos and triple-thick milkshakes and blue cheese dressed salads.

My well established youthful trysts with Bob's Big Boy was thereby shattered somewhat when upon studying the environs from the back seat of the Ford Econoline van that my then girlfriend/now wife's parents had procured me from the airport in, I spotted this place...

Now remember, this was pre-internet Google days, when one couldn't just fire up a browser, type in "Big Boy" and get all the skinny on the history and background of a restaurant chain. The mystery of how my beloved "Bob" became "Kip" within the span of 1300 miles and a short 2.5 hour flight time away rocked my "Never been to Heaven but I've been to Oklahoma," world.

What triggered this keyboarded memory down Big Boy lane was an online article recently forwarded to me by a former mentor and replacer of broken tools (thought I forgot about that, didn't you topless Mustang-boy?)

The article details how the current owner of the Bob's of my youth is showing some respectful props to the history of his establishment, even though the sites and smells of burger combos and milk shakes have long been replaced by bowls of Vietnamese noodles and boba tea drinks.

Thumbs up to the current owner...and I'll have a combo pho to go.

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