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Waffle House Shout Out

I just wanted to give a big, happy Shout Out to the Waffle House in McMinnville, TN. I went there last Monday to have some filling food after spending the past 4 days at Bonnaroo in Manchester TN (a 4-day concert and tent-camping in dry, dusty conditions). When we arrived at the Waffle House, we were exhausted, dusty, and had eaten terribly for the past four days (who wants to camp-cook when it means missing a great band? We'd been subsisting on granola bars, sandwiches, and the like since we got to TN). The staff was great! We knew we probably didn't smell the best, but they provided us with endless coffee, basic eggs, bacon, and their amazing hash browns (scattered, smothered, covered, peppered, chunked and topped). And, of course, waffles. And it was perfect. They understand "over-light" eggs, and they know how necessary hot, strong coffee by the gallon is sometimes. They were fun, friendly, and efficient. And all of this while getting slammed by dusty, dirty, tired, happy hippies (okay, mostly hippie-wanna-be kids, and a few old folks like me and my crew, in our mid 40's). They kept slinging hash, joking with the crowd, and kept the coffee flowing.

Waffle House will forever hold a special place in my road-food continuum because of the way they handled themselves in McMinnville, and if I'm ever in need of fast, hot, diner fare because I can't drive one minute more without it, I'm going to seriously consider Waffle House as a stop.

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  1. I had been taken to a Waffle House on road trips and Spring Break. I found that they turn out decent eggs. (Though once I asked for an egg white omelette and they gave me what appeared to be an omelette made from one egg white!:} ) Their hash browns also are pretty good. However, maybe it's just my personal preference but I do not like their waffles- I prefer deep, crusty Beligian style waffles and theirs just do not do it for me. Also, looking at my experience with the "egg white omelette", this is not a place to find anything healthy. Yes, it's called "waffle house" so the customer should know what to expect, but when you're on a long road trip on I-95 with very few options, it would be nice if they could offer some healthier choices. (Same goes for Dennys and the like). At least their food is edible:} (I cannot say the same for many other places on I-95!)

    1. We've also had very good luck with our local Waffle House.
      The food is always very good (love those hash browns), cooked quickly and even though they are always packed, we have yet to have bad service. I admit though, that I always get the same thing: bacon, eggs, cheese on texas toast with hash browns scattered, capped and covered.
      I think we got lucky and got one of the cleaner ones, because I have heard some of them can be real dumps.

      1. I have a lot of fond memories of road trips and waffle houses. There was one in Columbus OH in particular that I would stop at all the time in college that refered to as having "dinner theater" ambiance. The waitresses never wrote anything down. When you told them what you wanted, they would turn around and shout it at the kitchen. It had this cool "diner" flair. The food of course is simple breakfast food, nothing outstanding. But I stopped there every time I was passing by.

        1. This place is absolutely delicious! Really sweet, salty, greasy, and friendly! I don't think you could eat it every day - but it hits the spot sometimes.

          1. Being in a Waffle House at 6:00 in the morning is like being in an Edward Hopper painting. Its what makes America great.

            1. WH thoroughly rules, in a scattered, smothered, diced, chunked and double covered kinda way.

              One of the highlights of my life was finally getting my snooty-palated better 3/4 to go to one after years of extolling their virtues in a HomerSimpon-ish way (mmmmmm....Waaaaffle House) every time we passed one.

              She was totally blown away, and I had a hashbrown-eating grin on my face the entire time.

              1. It is pretty amazing and impressive that there is unanimous praise, so far, on Chowhound for a chain. I'll join. My Waffle House experience is very limited -- none here in L.A. -- but visiting mom in Ft. Myers, Fla. we had a fun, tasty, satisfying breakfast. They invariably get the orders right, the hashbrowns crisp, and the prices are very reasonable.

                The only other chain that rivals almost universal praise is In'n'Out Burger.

                1 Reply
                1. re: nosh

                  I once visited a Waffle House in Gainsville, Florida at 5:30 in the morning. The street light in front had attracted swarms of Florida bugs. (So many so that your feet crunched when you walked.) Even at that early hour, the humidity was high and the short walk reduced the effects of my morning shower. Inside, the blue hair of the waitresses glowed under the neon lighting. It was then I knew I was about to experience Americana at its finest. And so it was.

                2. I too had a great WH experience driving back from B'roo - I was the only customer at the one I was at somewhere in Tennessee (definite dinner theatre with the cook and wait staff flinging toast at one another!) and had a pecan waffle and hashbrowns (scattered,covered,diced,chunked) - for those who have yet to experience the glory of WH - ask for your waffles/hash browns 'crisp' I find it makes them just perfect! mmmmm

                  1. I have to say I love eggs. And Waffle House makes the best omelettes. Almost like a lighter french omelette. No burned edges and extremely fluffy. Has anyone ever found a recipe? I saw one on the Food network site, but I always thought there was some type of dairy product inorder to get them so fluffy. Anway, great eggs!