Binging at Babbo

“Some Insider Tips For Dining-In at the Popular Local Restaurant.”


I worked for Babbo Italian Eatery off of 67th for nearly eight months, and it was one of the strangest experiences of my life. 


It was my first job, and while I wasn’t sure what to expect, I never thought that I’d be surrounded by the most explosively colorful co-workers I’ve met so far, some of whom became real friends. 


There are so many stories for me to tell just because of how long I worked there; from my coworker Jerome launching himself under the sink to get a piece of bread, to my then 2nd bread-roller in command Frank dumping a bucket of green soap on me while yelling “Alien Pee!” and then disappearing from the restaurant forever, there are plenty of things for me to go on about. 


Yet, those are stories for another time. I’d instead like to give some of my personal opinions of the restaurant food and atmosphere wise, while also giving some suggestions for anyone interested in checking the place out. 


First of all, the restaurant is definitely easily accessible, with it being located right off of 67th and the 101 (it’s in the huge shopping center, in between the Safeway and the lovely flower shop). 


Second, let me preface by saying that, the food isn’t ‘real’ Italian cuisine. Babbo is a small chain with a handful of restaurants dotted throughout the valley. That being said, the recipes prepared do use some fine ingredients and are made by some older chefs with years of experience (at least at the restaurant I worked at). 


Beyond that, I’ll just give some pretty straightforward tips to maximize the quality of your experience if you choose to dine-in at the place. 


Enjoying the Experience: 


1.) Your best time to find seating is right when the place opens at 12 PM, or an hour and a half before closing (closing times may vary since I worked there because of COVID-19 complications). 


2.) If bringing a date or just one friend, you’ll usually get seats in a booth, though if you can try to book a party of 6+ as you’ll be reserved for this huge table in the back that’s good for large parties. 


3.) If you’re going in for lunch alone you ought to bring your own headphones for music; the music they play in there sucks and you’re going to be hearing that alongside the chattering of Snowbirds. 


4.) Food wise, your best bets are going to be on the Pasta, Pizzas and Sandwiches. The pastas are all very safe choices, with the 3-Cheese Macaroni & Cheese being a favorite of mine and others (it’s spicy though.) All of the pizza dough, and the bread used in the sandwiches are hand-made in the morning by Captain Nacho (An older Mexican chef in the back) most days and it’s very fluffy and good. There are some good pizzas on the menu and some equally good sandwiches. Another solid option is the Spaghetti and Meatballs, which there is a deal for on some days, though you better get them earlier in the day for a fresher meal. There’s also a really good lasagna which Nacho works with, though he keeps it in the sink (albeit only when the sink is clean) for some reason. 


5.) Speaking of bread, the bread Nacho makes is really, really good. They use it for sandwiches but also for filler bread at the tables much like most Italian-style restaurants do. However, ‘filler’ is right, as eating too much of the bread will quickly fill your stomach. Only go for a piece or two and focus the rest of your attention on your main meal so you can finish it. 


6.) Always be polite and tip nicely. The waiters at the restaurant work very hard and are usually quite attentive, even on busy weekend nights. As long as you’re polite with them you should expect good service, especially in the morning. 


Those are just some good tips to help you enjoy your experience. Though, I’m not done, because there are also some things that are absolute no-gos which you are best warned about. 


Absolute No-Go Moves:


1.) You’re fine arriving right when the place opens in the morning, but don’t bring a huge party of people. The kitchen is still setting up in the morning so if they receive immediate demands for like ten orders the quality of your food will likely suffer as the cooks are better off not being rushed. 


2.) On the opposite side of that, don’t ever come in ten minutes before closing, especially with a huge party. The kitchen begins to pack up an hour before closing on any given day, with the dish-crew having to stay after close in order to put some finishing touches on the kitchen’s cleanliness. Creating a huge rush order, and an even larger mess at 9 O’clock at night for the chefs and staff to bust though is incredibly rude. Don’t feel afraid to get a late night drink at the bar, but if you’re intending on bringing a whole birthday party at 10PM (which I’ve been subjected to) please head somewhere else for a better experience. 


3.) Don’t order a tea from the place. Just don’t. Any other drink on the menu is fine. 


So that’s all I have for you. Hopefully my words have actually encouraged you to go support the restaurant, particularly the waiters who rely on tips. 


And, if you do go, tell your waiter that I sent you. 


Note: The place is basically always hiring if you’re willing to work a job bussing or doing dishes, or both. A word of warning though, it’s not fun. Your coworkers will be friendly yet the work itself is demanding.