Welcome to the second installment in the Radar Diner Dash series, brought to you by Jessica and Zoe. This series focuses on lunch spots accessible to CPS students during our lunch period. Need somewhere to eat and hang out during lunch (or our new 45-minute blocks!) but don’t know where to go? These articles are for you; the two of us will help with your lunchtime runs. We’ll examine four categories: the difficulty of getting the lunch, the total time spent on the excursion, the quality of the food, and the cost of the meals. We’re here to sacrifice our wallets and our stomachs, all in the name of science.
This time around, we ventured to Lois the Pie Queen in Oakland, near where MLK Way merges with Adeline Street. It took us 12 minutes to get from school to the restaurant, given that we spent an entire 3 minutes walking from the quad to Zoe’s car (heavy breathing ensued). The lunch spot sits in a relatively suburban neighborhood, so we found plentiful street parking.
The restaurant itself is pretty unassuming. A simple sign is hanging outside, the windows are a little scuffed, and its front door is plastered with election signs (at least, it was when we visited).
Inside, the restaurant has a homey, classic diner vibe, the exact opposite of what you’d find at a hipster cafe. We could tell that Lois the Pie Queen is an old-timey neighborhood spot.The wait staff was friendly to us, and the dining section was neither empty nor crowded.
We had researched the hottest fried chicken in the Bay Area, so we came to Lois the Pie Queen with just one thing on our minds. The menu had all the diner classics, but fried chicken was definitely the star of many of the specials. Jessica ordered the Southern Fried Chicken, which came with two pieces of chicken, hash browns, two eggs, and biscuits for $16.50. Zoe ordered the classic chicken and waffle combination, for $14.75.
Zoe immediately ordered some black coffee, which was strong and had free refills (she drank three cups and got super jittery).
38 minutes since our departure from school, our food arrived in glorious fashion. Like we suspected, the chicken was (WOWWWIEEEEEE) definitely the star of the show: crispy and salty, perfectly moist, incredibly tasty. The waffle was sweet and salty, though a little on the crunchy side. Jessica’s biscuits were moist, and her eggs were done just how she likes them. The hash browns could be a little more crisp, but she was okay with it.
Finishing our food took some serious dedication. Jessica managed to clear her plate, but Zoe had to take a wing home.
Like every good drama, our diner adventure featured a tragedy: the pecan pie. It was truly a hard-hitting blow to our souls. The pie itself looks beautiful, as you can see, but don’t be deceived. The nuts and crust felt soggy, there was a clear liquid oozing out of the crust, and the filling itself had curdled––you could actually feel the morsels of solidified corn syrup in your mouth.
We were in a food coma when our check came, but the final amount woke us up. We weren’t really paying attention to the prices as we were ordering, and our total came up to $50!!! If you’re on a budget, you could split something and try to negotiate an extra piece of chicken. We would also recommend skipping the pie, even though the restaurant advertises Lois the Pie Queen. Another thing to note: the diner only accepts cash, which we didn’t realize until we got the bill. Luckily, Jessica had a lot of cash on her (for completely legal reasons), so we were able to cover the amount.
We got back to school after a total of 72 minutes spent off campus, devoting a good chunk of the day to fantastic food and steep prices. Visit this lovely institution during the school day only if you have a free period. Maybe don’t go before you have a test; both of us are nodding off just thinking about our meal. This is Radar Diner Dash # 2, signing off.
Difficulty rating: * * * * * (5/5, very difficult)
Food rating: * * * * (4/5, lost a star for the pie)