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It was a quintessential San Antonio dining moment: We had just settled into one of the sparkly red vinyl booths at the Milam Diner. Dining companion ordered a hamburger; I went for The Judge pimiento-cheese sandwich. “And,” I asked, practically drooling, “what desserts do you have today?”


The cook’s been too busy, said our waitress, without a hint of apology (even though the eraser board behind her clearly instructed us to ask about “homemade pies”).

As we exited, two tasty sandwiches (but no dessert) later, we noticed pastry being assembled in one of the booths near the open kitchen. Someone would get lucky.

A-B was at the Milam checking in on chef Doreen Howarth, who won this month’s regional Tillamook Macaroni and Cheese Cook-off, where yours truly was a judge. Howarth’s entry, a pizza-meets-pasta American dream called “Yo Italiano! I got your mac and cheese,” edged out a savory traditional dish and a sundried-tomato and shells version. Light votives for Doreen, who travels to Portland next month to compete against the winners from five other cities.

(Why were we at the Milam for dessert, you ask? Stay tuned. Think coconut.)

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