Adventures at the Waffle House

So I’m on vacation for a few days, and I’m really having a great time in Florida.  It’s actually my first time visiting the Sunshine State, and I decided that the best way to reach Florida was to drive there.

Yes.  You heard me.  I drove to Florida.

From New York.

Down I-95.

All the way down I-95.  Eleven hundred miles.

And, to be honest, the first time I was absolutely sure that I had reached the South…

Was when I reached Virginia, and saw one of these Southern beacons of dining excellence.

IMG_20160528_0755491

Yep.

Found me a Waffle House.

Now mind you, all I knew at that time about Waffle House was that they sold waffles and hash browns, and that folk singer Carla Ulbrich had a funny song about what can happen if the guy who changes the lights on the Waffle House sign doesn’t do his job.

So… I’m feeling hungry.  And it’s been a long drive.

Time for some Waffle House food.

I went in and sat at the counter.  A quick glance of the menu and I knew what I wanted – scrambled eggs and cheese, a side order of bacon, some wheat toast, and some hash browns – apparently I needed to order them “scattered” and “smothered.”  This seems to be the way to order food.

So my waitress came over to take my order.

“I’d like scrambled eggs and cheese, a side order of bacon, wheat toast and hash browns – smothered and covered,” I said, trying my best to sound like I’ve ordered this food before.

She smiled, wrote down my order, and told me my food would be ready soon.

A few minutes later, another server approached me.

“What did you order, sir?”

Maybe they have the orders mixed up and they needed to make sure my order was delivered to me and not to the guy who was wearing the Lynyrd Skynyrd sleeve-ripped T-shirt at the end of the counter.  “I ordered the scrambled eggs and cheese, do you have that order for me?”

“Oh no,” she said to me, “I’m sorry, but your server didn’t write down your order.  I apologize.  What did you order?”

Okay… it’s fine.  Mistakes happen.  I smiled.  “I’d like scrambled eggs and cheese, a side order of bacon, wheat toast and hash browns – smothered and covered.”

She took my order.  At least I hoped she took my order, so far I’m 0-for-1 in Waffle House orders.

A few minutes later, another server brought me my food.  Scrambled eggs and cheese, wheat toast, the hash browns – and two sausage patties.

Yep.  Apparently my Noo Yawk accent caused these people to hear me say “bacon” and have it come out as “sausage.”

“Oh, I’m sorry, sir,” the third waitress said to me.  “I can throw out the sausage and bring you some bacon.”

“Don’t worry about it,” I said.  “I’ll eat the sausage.  No sense in letting food go to waste.”

A few minutes later, a fourth server showed up.  Next thing I know, there’s another plate at my table – a small plate with three crispy bacon strips.

“We’re sorry,” she said, “I made you some extra bacon.”

Wow.  At the rate this is going, I’ll probably have every Waffle House employee within a fifteen-mile radius apologizing or bringing me food, or both.

All in all, I ate plenty of food at the Waffle House, the price was reasonable, and I felt stuffed enough after that meal, that I could drive through then next two states without even a single hunger break.

Of course, now I’m thinking it would be great to have a Waffle House in the Capital District.

If nothing else, you could play the game of “how many Waffle House servers does it take to completely deliver a successful meal?”

And at this rate, my over-under is 3 and a half.

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5 thoughts on “Adventures at the Waffle House”

  1. I think staff thought you were one of those “secret customers” sent by the corporate office, and they all wanted to make a good impression. Or you looked like a big tipper and each wanted a share. Or it was a slow day and some wanted to boost their Fitbit total. Or it was good ole southern hospitality and everyone wanted to make you feel special. 🙂 Enjoy your vacation! Ya’all come back now, ya hear!

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  2. It’s nice that you kept it classy, Chuck. Not every Noo Yawker would have been that polite if an order had gotten messed up. Just sayin’… And don’t forget to try some hush puppies and grits and report on those very Southern experiences.

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  3. I just heard Craig Fugate, administrator of FEMA, on Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me. He explained how he created the “Waffle House Index” to gauge the severity of a disaster. Green means they’re open regular hours, serving a full menu, and all is right with the world. Yellow means they’re serving a limited menu, and the community needs some assistance. Red means Waffle House is closed and therefore is an indication that the community needs immediate and continued support.

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  4. I’ve only been to the Waffle House in Charlotte, NC. It’s definitely comfort food. And you need to remember: if you want iced tea, you ask for tea. If you want tea, you ask for hot tea.

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  5. We aim to please Chuck! I worked at a Waffle House in Jacksonville, FL back when I was 18. I love Waffle House – not then so much, but now – I like a waffle with the eggs on top over easy – very yummy. Glad you had a great meal. I do wish we could have one up here as well.

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