Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Budabing's 50s Cafe: A Case Against Calorie Restriction

Article by Eric H., at

I love a happy restaurant -- a place where food is served in ample portions, kids are everywhere except the assigned dining table, waitresses crack jokes, music plays off the jukebox, and you can get away with making funny sounds with the plastic ketchup bottle.

What a pleasant alternative to the crowd that uses the search engines in the afternoon to find "great 18th century artist" information and then claim authority of the subject during conversation at your local snob restaurant requiring an attitude and second mortgage for the meal. At Budabing's in Millis, MA, everyone seems to be having a good time, including the waitresses -- and the brave cooks working by the 100,000 degree wood-fired oven. The restaurant walls are even fun with "I Love Lucy," Elvis, Three Stooges, Texaco, Speed Racer and other memorabilia signs. The jukebox lends authenticity to the 50s look, with further nostalgic validation created by the long counter with stools. Most of us, however, like to eat in the informal, spacious booths with tables big enough to accommodate the large portions of food.

Not a place for calorie restriction researchers, Budabing's serves big pizzas, big chicken, steak and seafood dishes, big sandwiches and wraps, big salads and very big desserts. My favorite dish is the mixed greens salad with a variety of greens with grilled chicken, shrimp and steak tips. The dish is about as big as Millis! Other favorites: the foot-long hot dog, chicken pot pie, tuna melt on rye, grilled Reuben, cheeseburger club, barbecue chicken, steak tips, perfectly-formed fries and the amazing hot fudge brownie sundae. The only items I don't like are the too-salty clam chowder and the rather flat-tasting, oversized onion rings.

Some sophisticates might say Budabing's is not for them, but you just might see those people sneak in and order a burger and shake. For the rest of us, we revel in the concept of a joyous, welcoming, informal restaurant with enough excellent food to feed an Army. So, pass the plastic ketchup bottle, and enjoy this down-to-earth gem in tiny Millis!

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