If you look at most of the other Season 5 episodes of DS9, then you will see that they are not "dessert." They tell human stories about politics, religion, crime, war, regret, and plenty of other topics. DS9 is just as much in the spirit of the original series as "Darmok."
As has been said before, these episodes were attempting to do vastly different things. A much better comparison would be "Unification" and "Trials and Tribble-ations."