56. Waffle House (Kind of Like IHOP without the Pancakes)

15 Jan

Photo by gingher, flickr creative commons

On the ride home from the airport to my dad’s house, I’m always astounded by the number of dining establishments that have cropped up over the years. When I was growing up, you could count the nearby restaurants on one hand (and have fingers left over.) If I recall correctly, there were three: Sonic, the locally owned Chuck Wagon, and Waffle House. For some reason, we never went to Sonic. Perhaps Baptists are offended by girls delivering food wearing roller skates, seeing as roller skating could be a gateway to dancing.

On many a Sunday evening after church, the congregation would re-congregate at the Waffle House. I reckon Baptists are in favor of breakfast for dinner, but who isn’t?

Don’t let the name fool you: the menu at Waffle House isn’t limited to waffles. But in general, my advice is to order whatever food the restaurant’s named after. That’s probably your best chance for a decent entrée. But, hey, you’re a grown up. Order whatever you like. I’m not the boss of you.

The cool thing about Waffle House was that it was the first place I ever encountered a jukebox. To this day, I still get a little goosebumpy when I happen upon a working jukebox. Unless said jukebox is in a 50’s themed establishment, because I have a hate-hate relationship with 50’s music. Hello! I’m nostalgic for the 80’s! Hint, hint, restauranteurs.

Waffle House was an occasional treat as a kid, but when I hit college, I developed a deeper relationship with the place. Two reasons: it was cheap, and it was close by. Also, did I mention it was cheap?

Yep, pretty much how I remember it... Photo by Angela Layana, Flickr Creative Commons

When “dining” at Waffle House, I always enjoyed hearing the ancient waitresses hollering out orders for hashbrowns that were “scattered, smothered and covered.” I’m going to have to look up what that means. Ok, according to the Waffle House site, the options have expanded from the original “scattered” (spread on the grill), “smothered” (with onions) and “covered” (with cheese) to include: “chunked” (with ham), “diced” (with tomatoes), “peppered” (with jalapeño peppers), “capped” (with mushrooms), “topped” (with chili) and “country” (with sausage gravy). You can even order them “all the way” (with all available toppings) though I imagine that would have you running all the way to the bathroom.

I seem to recall ordering chicken fried steak and eggs, but sadly that’s not on their current menu. You can still get t-bone, rib-eye or NY strip, but really, what’s the point of steak if you’re not going to deep fry it? Just kidding. Sort of.

One other distinguishing feature of Waffle House is that they used to offer a slice of pecan pie topped with your choice of A. cheddar cheese or B. a scoop of butter. Do y’all remember that? Or was it a nightmare induced by watching Paula Deen before falling asleep?

8 Responses to “56. Waffle House (Kind of Like IHOP without the Pancakes)”

  1. melinageekly January 26, 2011 at 5:23 pm #

    Oh, my gosh, Waffle House is the greatest. After moving to Seattle from Alabama, I haven’t had any for three years.
    I’m so deprived, I was drooling at that picture.
    Color me pathetic.

    Great blog (:

    • girloutofdixie January 28, 2011 at 12:45 pm #

      Glad you like my blog! Sorry to dangle a carrot that’s impossible to deliver!

  2. tryined January 26, 2011 at 8:29 pm #

    My partner and I were fortunate enough to locate not one, but TWO Waffle Houses on our way to a beach several years ago in Delaware. We have been hooked ever since! EVERY time we take that annual trip, we stop on the way down and on the way back. The “All American” meal with the eggs, meat, the hash browns are amazing and the waffles taste like NO others in ANY diners I know. Southerners have no idea how lucky they are! Thanks for the post!

    • girloutofdixie January 28, 2011 at 12:49 pm #

      Glad you found a way to get your Waffle House fix!

  3. Henrietta January 26, 2011 at 9:25 pm #

    You have *got* to listen to Truckstop Honeymoons Waffle House Booth tune: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sg6Z5LaqoeY

    • girloutofdixie January 28, 2011 at 12:56 pm #

      That’s awesome!

      My favorite lines:
      “Don’t know what keeps us comin’ back
      cause it sure ain’t the food.
      Maybe all that yella upholstery
      just puts us in the mood.”

      Thanks for sharing!


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