There is something about diners. The places, not the people….
It’s a quarter to 11 on a Tuesday night and I have gone in search of a meal…or at least something resembling one. Actually, that’s sort of a lie. I have gone in search of pie. However I sort of realized that before pie (not quite its own food group) I needed some kind of dinner thing.
So naturally, I went straight to starch. Potatoes are such a late night decadent delight. Personally, if I am really going to indulge, fries are nowhere to be found. It is all about the mashed potatoes. As this was a solo expedition, I am writing as a eat (magic of technology and everything).
Tonight’s “meal” is mashed potatoes with a brown mushroom gravy and a side of cranberry sauce. You know, just some of the best parts of thanksgiving dinner, on a Tuesday in June.
It may not look like the best thing ever, but it is totally hitting the spot. It’s been the kind of day where I have just been hungry all day…with nothing quite able to satisfy…but here, in the ac-blasted coolness of DuPars, at least a sliver of that hunger is sated. Somewhere in the butter and the salt and the sugar there is just enough deliciousness to make me smile.
But there is something about diners.
These mashed potatoes (not that mine are actually anything like this) wouldn’t be quite the same. The thick brown gravy aside, the texture and taste of diner mashed is of another land, it’s own unique type of cuisine-style. It’s only cousin is perhaps the food of the legit cafeteria (few and far between, if any, exist at all these days). The legit cafeteria would be more buttery, of course, and perhaps a bit less salty, but they are kin nonetheless.
The gravy was not my favorite. Considering it was supposed to be a mushroom gravy, I could have gone for the presence of actual mushrooms. Still, it only has the faintest hint of that straight-from-the-box taste that so many um..not upper class… restaurants seem to have. How they all get that same flavor eludes me because they can’t all surely buy stock gravy from the same place…and ultimately I guess I like not knowing this one.
The cranberry sauce was tart and delicious. I am too tired to care whether it was fresh or canned, though the presence of actual berries and seeds leads me to believe the former. To be honest, it almost met my fruit quotient, eliminating the need for pie all together. (Sidebar: pies are made with fruit, the things made with cream are something else altogether.) But I had begun this quest with pie in mind and really, I couldn’t be a quitter.
So, despite being full on a serving of mashed and gravy with a few berries, my slice of rhubarb is on the way. Hot, no ice cream. It’s too cold in here for ice cream, and I’m not really in the mood for any interference with the tanginess that should be a plain rhubarb pie.
So, I might have been a little wrong. It’s definitely too cold in here for ice cream, but the rhubarb pie straight up (no strawberries) is a bit more intense than I realized. Still, though, it totally complemented my meal and I’m glad I tried it.
The only real bummer of the night is that they are out of whole pies. My fantasy of pie for breakfast is dashed, but I will grab a slice or two for snacking tomorrow. Plus, breakfast is truly reserved for cake (am I right Michael and Michelle?).
Once again DuPars proves itself to be awesome and a fabulous late night dining location. Now to home and to bed to have crazy diner food dreams.