Over the weekend, Sam’s Morning Glory Diner ran a pair of specials that sold out faster than any dish in the South Philly restaurant’s 17-year history. It wasn’t the ingredients that made them a hit — although they were reportedly delicious — it was their titles, which referenced the Supreme Court’s historic June 26 ruling that the right to same-sex marriage is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.
The “Antonin Scalia is a Douche” special brought eggs scrambled or in a frittata with andouille sausage, tomato, scallions and monterey jack cheese. There was enough sausage to make around 150 of the dish, and it was so popular on Saturday that it sold out by 10 AM on Sunday morning, within two hours of the doors opening.
“The Supreme Court Finally Got It Right” quiches — with tomatoes, prosciutto, spinach and brie or all veg with asparagus, onion and smoked mozz — sold out even more quickly.
Longtime employee Sean Gaittens comes up with the weekend specials every Friday, and he originally suggested the Scalia Douche name as a joke, said Morning Glory owner Carol Mickey. “I don’t see any problem with it!” she told him, and on the menu it went.
Discussing it later that evening, Mickey’s husband did ask her if she was afraid of offending anyone, to which she replied that she was not — if someone was offended, she didn’t need them as a customer (the restaurant’s motto is “Be nice or leave”).
“Not one single person complained,” she told Billy Penn on Sunday afternoon. “The atmosphere in here was really wonderful. People were just loving saying it! ‘I’ll have the Scalia is a Douche, please.’”
The Supreme Court’s ruling came down in a 5-to-4 majority, and each of the justices on the losing side (Roberts, Thomas, Alito and Scalia) wrote their own dissent. Scalia’s was the most overwrought, an apoplectic diatribe in which he called the Court a “threat to American democracy,” called his colleagues’ majority opinion “pretentious and egotistic” and “profoundly incoherent” and — out of left field — suggested that people “ask the nearest hippie” to confirm his case. He was also moved to suggest that “California does not count” as a genuine western U.S. state.
“I wished Scalia would have despaired enough to pick up a gun and remove himself from the court,” said Mickey jokingly. Also a lawyer who specializes in social security disability and workers comp issues, she is personally familiar with the issues marriage inequality can cause.
“I’ve seen people go through so much trouble when they move from state to state if they’re gay or transgendered and married. They lose benefits, can’t get their social security, it’s a mess,” she said. The Obergefell v. Hodges ruling means that no matter what state a same-sex couple lives in, their marriage will be legally recognized, along with attendant benefits.
Mickey took over ownership of Morning Glory Diner three years ago, when her daughter Samantha succumbed to brain cancer at age 44. Mickey adopted not only the brunch favorite at the corner of 10th and Fitzwater, but also Sam’s three children, now aged 10, 13 and 15.
The eldest, whose first name is Mickey, was at the diner on Sunday. She had followed the marriage equality issue closely and was thrilled about the response the Scalia Douche dish had received. Her mother would have been proud.