Cream pie from Original Market Diner
Cream pie from Original Market Diner

On weeks like this one where we have a big issue to put out, our Benevolent Publisher graciously caters in lunch mid-week to keep us chained to our des… er, for “convenience’s sake.” This week, we had a double-whammy of home cookin’: Mama’s Daughter’s Diner on Tuesday, Original Market Diner today.

Two days of diner food got me thinkin’ (and all of us eatin’): What do some restaurants do diff’ernt than others? Think of it as comparing apple pies to apple pies. So I asked around.

A lot about the menus was similar: Both days had black-eyed peas, salad, cornbread muffins and dessert; both had a chicken and a beef dish. But there were still a lot of differences.

“The cream pies are off the chart,” one ravenous officemate said between pies of coconut and whipped topping, courtesy of Original Market Diner. (He should know: He’s a connoisseur of cream pie.) “I don’t know, it would be hard to top that apple pie from yesterday,” countered another staffer. (Here’s the truth: They’re both right.)

The cornbread muffins from Mama’s were deemed slightly better by two eaters (“Weren’t they the same?” questioned another), while the yeasty rolls from OMD got higher marks.

Mama’s chicken came battered and fried — not nearly as healthy as broiled chicken breast today. But yesterday’s chicken was accompanied by a gallon of white gravy (fat and flour: a classic combo), while today’s boasted a drunken marsala sauce.

“They should ladle that into a bowl and serve it as soup,” one salesperson opined, while another suggested Snapple acquire the bottling rights (sell it at gyms! gain weight while exercising!).

OMD’s stuffed cabbage was new to one co-worker (“I’m not a big cabbage person, but I liked that,” he said) while Mama’s meatloaf was declared “juicy and delish.”

So, the winner? You’ve missed the point. When it comes to food, it’s not about winning or losing; it’s about how deep your sugar coma is after your second piece of pie.

Make that a third. I need a nap.