The Smothered Pork Chops at Prince's Diner

When I first heard that Prince's Diner offered smothered pork chops, I'll admit I let out a rather nasty laugh. Because when I hear "smothered pork chops," I picture a piece of pig meat sleeping peacefully in a little bed, a rival cut of meat approaching with a large pillow, and a murder by asphyxiation. (Don't even get me started on the visions I have for "battered chicken.")

Fortunately, I received this recommendation to try Prince's pork chops via e-mail so the sender (a kind friend who does tolerate my sense of humor) didn't hear me cackle.

I had primarily heard of Prince's in the context of its hamburgers, which are of the no-frills, thin-patty, secret-sauce, toasty-bun sort of variety I absolutely love, especially on late-night road trips.

The smothered pork chops, one of seven daily rotating blue plate specials at Prince's, come with two thick pieces of Texas toast, a veritable mountain of milky mashed potatoes and a scoop of peas. At least a ladle and a half of smoky brown gravy (gloopy but in that great way that shows it's homemade) covers the two tender chops and most of the potatoes. Here that Texas Toast comes in handy to sop up the extra drippings.

There were two additional endearing things about Prince's I noticed during my first visit: First, it has terrific homemade root beer that's served in frosted mugs so you can pretend you're a (teetotaling) Viking. Second, there's a drive-up window in the back of the restaurant for picking up takeout orders. I don't know about you, but if I'm ordering takeout from a restaurant, it's usually because I haven't brushed my hair or changed my moo-moo in about three days. The last thing I want to do is shame myself by walking into a dining establishment filled with the more civilized masses. So, thank you, Prince's, for providing me a way to get your comforting food to go without enduring public scrutiny.

That said, your pork chops are good enough to make me put on a clean dress and dine out on a Wednesday night.

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