A Gravy-Filled Breakfast at Mama's Daughters' Diner: an Appreciation

Everyone has been sick lately, including me. Headache, scratchy throat, the works. I'd been medicating with chicken soup and tapioca pudding for days, but feeling on the mend I decided to venture out for sustenance. I needed something good, something comforting. But also -- and this is not a typical requirement for my breakfasts -- soft. I wanted something that would give my cough-worn larynx a massage. Oh sure, oatmeal is soft, but it's also the kind of breakfast you eat when you want to thank your body for doing such a great job. Mine, however, needed to be shown who the boss is.

CUT TO: Mama's Daughters' Diner.

The Plano outpost of this local chain is known for showing lots of peoples' bodies who the boss is. Come in on any given day and people will be pushing back from the shiny, red pleather booths, patting their bellies as they heave great sighs of relief. What these people are feeling is the satisfaction (which feels very similar to indigestion) of rallying past their bodies' outcries in order to establish dominance.

I found that I was able to establish a similar sense of authority over my ill-behaved immune system by way of biscuits and sausage gravy. At Mama's Daughters' Diner, they serve two biscuits, each the size of a newborn baby's head, next to a bowl of sausage-flecked gravy. I'm not crazy about this DIY-style of plating biscuits and gravy. What if I didn't have good hand-eye coordination and cut myself while opening the biscuits? What if my depth perception was off and I ladled the gravy into my lap instead of onto the plate? Think of the physical and emotional trauma that could be spared if only the biscuits arrived pre-cut and the gravy pre-ladled.

Aside from the presentation-as-construction-site, I thought the diner did a fine, greasy spoon rendition of this dish. The biscuits were as fluffy as those little dogs everyone wants to kill and arrived piping hot. The gravy was delightfully non-paste-like and silky smooth, but was lacking a good kick that an additional pinch or two of black pepper could have provided. The Diner could also do a service to the dish by leaving the sausage in larger crumbles. But then again, it costs $2.99 so I really don't have a lot of room to gripe. No, I mean, I really don't have a lot of room. That shit is filling. It sticks to your ribs in the way that only Southern homecookin' -- and triglycerides -- can. With each gloriously gluttonous bite, I could feel myself recovering. Gravy, as it turns out, is a more effective tool for clearing the sinus cavity than a Neti pot*.

So the next time you find yourself under the weather, do what mothers for time immemorial have told sick people to do: feed the cold. Not with soup or mashed potatoes or ice cream. No, feed it with the stuff of breakfast legend. Feed it with biscuits. Feed it with gravy. And definitely, feed it with biscuits and gravy.

*Note to self: try putting gravy in Neti pot

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Kathryn DeBruler
Contact: Kathryn DeBruler

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