The title refers to a heroic couplet penned (I think) by Calvin Trillin's father at the bottom of his diner's menu. At any rate, I recently drove 2,642 miles, from Las Cruces to Chico, CA, and back, and during my drive I was often afflicted by an early-afternoon drowsiness. One day, as I approached Turlock, CA, and feeling needful of a lift, I pulled off Hwy. 99 with a strong craving for a nice slice of pie and cup of coffee. Little did I know that I would soon step into, as a waitress put it, the "Kingdom of Pie".
I hoped to find one of those places subtitled "Family Restaurant". I soon found the spot. Latif's is an increasingly rare example of pure 1960s coffee shop architecture. The waitresses were busy boxing up Thanksgiving pies, but I managed to detain one long enough to order a slice of coconut cream pie and a cup of coffee. It was truly the best pie I've ever had. And yes, that's the pie I ate in the picture.