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Best Diner Orange County 2010 - Pop's Café

Pop\'s Café

Pop's Café

112 E. 9th St.

Santa Ana, CA 92701

714-543-2772

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Readers' Choice: Ruby's Diner

You'll wish you had a fedora to hang up as you enter. Pop's is the kind of diner that's pretty much extinct everywhere except in an octogenarian's fading memories and old film noirs in which Bogart plays a gumshoe. The cherry-red swivel stools at the counter wiggle unstably, worn from decades of use. Above you, precariously hung long-stemmed ceiling fans sweep the air like the propellers of a plane taking off to fight the Nazis. Coffee is poured generously into thick mugs, the beverage of choice for the breakfast plates that feature hash browns as hash browns should be: massively portioned, crisped brown where starch met griddle and soft as mashed potatoes in the middle. The same can be said of the corned-beef hash, which is the closest you get to meat pudding. And of course, their country biscuit is blanketed in a pepper-flecked gravy as rich as a milkshake. Under the deluge, you'll find a sausage patty huge enough to be mistaken for a gourmet burger. Enjoy it as your grandparents might have in their youth: without a care in the world about their heart health.

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