Oh Chubby’s… I live right by you and yet I never stop in. I’m not entirely sure why that is. Perhaps because I have an expectation of disappointment when it comes to these greasy diner type places. It probably unfairly comes from many post-midnight visits to Mel’s in my youth that left me wondering why we thought it was a good idea to go there in the first place. It’s time to give you a chance.
Chubby’s Diner is practically the only place to get a bite to eat in Roseville Square these days since the Mr. Pickles went out of business (I tried to give them my money, but they were always closed by the time I got home from work). I think the Sunflower Farmers Market has a deli or something inside because they have tables out front. Chubby’s has that 1955 Hill Valley vibe going on inside, I wonder if our mayor used to mop their floors back in the day. They have stool seating around the counter and unsurprisingly cramped booths against the windows.
The menu was a lot more expansive than I had anticipated. I figured it would be some basic breakfast and lunch things but they have quite a selection for all three meals of the day (of course I completely forgot to write down some of these things, I just remember that it spanned about 4 pages and had me trying to decide on something for a while). One thing I thought was a little funny is, sprinkled throughout the menu, they have photos of the restaurant itself in it’s present form, and that there were duplicates here and there.
Sitting with my parents (who come here almost every weekend for breakfast it seems), I ordered a Dr. Pepper and sipped on that while going over the menu. I narrowed it down to a burger after deciding it was too late to have breakfast [they serve it all day, but it was something like noon and it just didn't feel right anymore ]. During this time the manager (possibly the owner as well?), Jason, came by to chat with my parents and meet me (apparently I was considered somewhat of a myth since no one had ever seen me there). He’s a super nice and talkative guy. I was partially distracted by going over the menu, but I remember him rattling off a long list of bread options for sandwiches, they seem to have a lot.
I realized something when I settled on the Be-Bopper Bacon American Cheese Burger w/ fries, I was in a diner. A malt needs to be ordered. I know, I already had a soda at this point, but this is not up for debate. Let me tell you, It was amazing. Jason boasted about the maltiness of his malts and said it’s how he likes them.
Of course you get the tall glass and the remaining bit in the malt cup. I finished the glass there and Jason happily poured the rest into a to-go cup for me when I left. My burger showed up just after the malt. The bun looked enormous, but it was really soft and delicious. The thing oozed mayo, not that that’s always a bad thing. Every time I was sure the last pocket of mayo had escaped out the back of the burger onto my plate (or forward into my beard, many napkins lost their lives during this meal) more just kept coming. The bacon was well prepared and had a slight crisp. It kind of carried the burger, the patty itself was ok. The fries were pretty bland. Even with ketchup I think I only ate about half of them. I would definitely opt for the seasoned fries upgrade next time. The burger + malt combo is a filling one. I wasn’t hungry for the next 7 hours! Next time I’m definitely going to try their breakfast out.
So the malt was great, the burger was decent and the fries disappointing. The big thing about Chubby’s I think is the excellent service. I’m sure it’s a bit different since I was sitting with my parents who are regulars and are on a first name basis with the manager, but he seemed to be chatting it up with everyone in the restaurant and was generally a cool guy. He obviously cares about keeping his customers happy because I overheard more than one conversation where he offered the customer basically anything they wanted regardless of what was written on the menu. They are super flexible. That’s Chubby’s strength from what I could tell. Come here a few times and figure out what general things you like, then optimize them. Jason will certainly help recommend how to customize them with substitutions/additions.
If I had the same food and experienced Mel’s-like service I would probably give this place 2-3 out of 5, but there’s something about a crew/management when they obviously care a great deal about their customers that takes a restaurant to another level. (Sizzle Mongolian BBQ in Rocklin is one of these places, and their food is amazing on it’s own) Great and accommodating service bumps it up to 4. I’m looking forward to breakfast. Maybe I’ll do a little follow-up when I eventually come back for it.