Dining | Food Matters: Happy 60th anniversary to Marie Callender’s 

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My apologies to the nice gal behind the counter at Marie Callender’s, whose ears might be still burning after my recent tirade. It all began when my wife said she’d prefer a lemon meringue pie for her birthday over a traditional cake. As it turns out, lemon meringue is the most popular pie at Marie Callender’s. So, I stopped in and ordered one the day before the wife’s birthday saying I’d pick it up “around noon.”

Well, due to a DirecTV cable guy living up to the cliché of being late for an installation at my place, I didn’t get over to Marie Callender’s to pick up my pie until a bit before 2 p.m. After waiting in a long line of folks buying pies two, three and four at a whack, I was informed that my lemon meringue pie had been sold, since I didn’t pick it up on time. No one at Marie Callender’s had informed me that there was a time limit on my pie purchase. “We’ll have some more made in half an hour,” I was told. I didn’t bother to ask how it was that they could run out of their single most popular pie in the first place. Instead, I killed some time at Barnes & Noble and returned to Marie Callender’s after my allotted half-hour wait, only to be informed that it would be another half-hour before my pie was available.

That’s when I lost it and said, “But I’ve been trying to buy a g-damned pie from you for the past hour already!” When all was said and done, the manager refunded the pre-payment for my pie and gave me a freebie. I appreciated that, but not so much that I’ll ever set foot in a Marie Callender’s again.

And, by the way, what’s with charging extra for the tin, which probably costs Marie Callender’s a couple of cents each? I have plenty of pie tins at home; can I bring my own? Oh yeah, happy 60th anniversary to Marie Callender’s.

Quote of the week: Our lives are not in the lap of the gods, but in the lap of our cooks. —Lin Yutang

Send Food Matters info to TedS@xmission.com.

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