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9/25/2013 2:00:00 PM
Deb's Biscuits Ranked Sixth In The Country
Debbie Thibault, owner of Deb's Diner, making a batch of her nationally-ranked biscuits. (Photo courtesy Melanie Hilton)
Debbie Thibault, owner of Deb's Diner, making a batch of her nationally-ranked biscuits. (Photo courtesy Melanie Hilton)
By Dominik Lobkowicz

Deb's Diner, formerly Eddie's Drive-In, is small and unobtrusive enough that it is easy to overlook amid the commercial strip of Route 1 in Waldoboro. Now, the little diner is catching some national attention after its biscuits were recently ranked sixth in the country by Cooking with Paula Deen magazine.

Debbie Thibault, owner of the diner and a former employee of the drive-in, has spent the last 12 years building her business and renovating the restaurant, cooking up at least 12 to 15 dozen of her staple biscuits each week.

The biscuits go out with all the specials, all the baskets, a lot go with chowders and soups, but the biggest draw is the weekend special of sausage gravy, replete with biscuits.

"I make sausage and gravy every weekend, and I have to make more, and more, and more," Thibault said.

The recipe for the biscuits, adapted by Thibault, was previously tweaked by her mother from a McCall's cookbook she had received as a wedding present.

Thibault had to share the recipe with the magazine in the evaluation process, along with other information and pictures of the diner.

Warned by the editor about the number of places in the running for the top 10, Thibault was by no means sure of making the cut.

"I didn't know if we would get picked or not," Thibault said.

Soon, though, Thibault found out the good news that they'd been selected, marking the first time the diner had been recognized in a big magazine and the only business selected out of the Northeastern United States.

The piece, featured in the September-October issue of Cooking with Paula Deen magazine, ranks the top 10 biscuit spots in America as a part of National Biscuit Month.

"When Deb isn't in the kitchen coming up with new creations for her customers, she is using foolproof recipes passed down from her mom, like her delicious biscuit recipe," the article reads.

"Deb's Diner is the kind of place where relationships are developed over a plate of hearty biscuits smothered in sausage gravy," the article said. "Just ask the regulars who have been going there for more than 20 years!"

About a week after Thibault found out the good news, she found out the bad news: Deen was all over the headlines for having used a racial slur.

"I said, 'Oh, yeah, I finally make it into a magazine and she has to ruin it,'" Thibault said.

Though it is not clear if the attention Deen received was a factor, Thibault has had a hard time finding a copy of Deen's magazine locally.

"I've looked everywhere for this magazine and it isn't out or people took it down," she said.

Still, the biscuits' ranking has driven new business to the diner, including a family from North Carolina and another from Georgia.

The family of four from Georgia drove the 40 minutes down from Chelsea specifically to go to the diner after the mother had read the article about the biscuits on their plane ride, Thibault said.

The lady, who hoped Thibault would sign the article, forgot her copy before making the trip and had to settle instead for a signed take-out menu.

"She couldn't wait to show her friends her copy of Paula Deen with a signature from a cook in it," Thibault said.

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