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When The Only Place Open Is Waffle House

Imagine, if you will, that you have been driving day and night to meet family in a strange city. You goot a late lunch, so you figure there's no need to stop again to get dinner. After all, the place you are going -- it's a college town. There will be something open somewhere. The problem -- a major traffic jam just a few miles from your destination gets you to your Howard Johnson's just a few minutes before midnight.

Your hungry. Your football playing nephew is hungry. Your wife is starving. And the only option. Waffle House!

(To non-southerners -- Waffle House is an icon of the southeast, famed mostly for its dated jukeboxes, its utter ubiquity in Georgia, and its 24-hour a day service.)

Well, if you have a refined sensibility -- or your idea of breakfast is some fresh fruit from the local farmer's stand, and some fluffy biscuits -- this could be a bit of a high carb nightmare. After all, what are the options -- waffles, eggs, bacon, steaks, or half-hearted attempts at lunch foods?

Well, actually, the answer is to order the waffle house's second most favorite dish -- hash browns. And order them "all the way". What comes out is a potato based casserole, with chilie, cheese, jalepenos, peppers, and various and sundry other stuff. And it tastes pretty good. It's filling enough on its own (it even satisfied the football playng teen) and has enough flavor to satisfy the slumming chowhounder.

But, as my wife says, "It's only the sort of thing you want to do once a year."

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  1. Their pecan waffles are pretty darn good. But yes, to maintain health and weight, it is a once a year indulgence.

    1. yeah, and eggs, asteak,and a waffle to go with it!

      1. "to maintain health and weight"

        Screw that! You could die in a terrorist attack later today. I say get them hash browns double covered by golly!

        1. I love waffle house! It reminds me of roadtrips to florida and south carolina.

          1. I guess I have an unrefined sensibility because sometimes nothing hits the spot like a patty melt and hashbrowns smothered and peppered.

            1. Until they opened a Whataburger earlier this year, the only thing open past 11 in my town was Waffle House. The Double Texas Cheesesteak sandwich with hashbrowns w/ ham cheese & chili is awful good at 3am. We always get it to go, and learned very fast to makes sure any leftovers go in the trash because it looks horrible when you wake up the next afternoon.

              2 Replies
              1. re: summeranne

                I love WH. They are the highlight of any trip I take to a place where I can find one. To me, it's a pecan waffle with a side of grits that get me going. Every once in awhile, you just have to let go and get the diner food. We can't eat healthy all the time :-)

                1. re: scabbardgirl

                  The Cheesesteak Omelet is great as well. I've been eating healthy this year so I haven't had one in 2007.

              2. That's not "all the way" that's "scattered smothered & covered+chopped & chunked"
                The best damn drunk chain eats around.

                Their patty melt is decent.

                2 Replies
                1. re: RaleighRocker

                  The chicken melt plate with scattered smothered and covered is a late night standard. Get a pecan waffle on the side and ask them to hold it til you've started your sandwich. Hell, for a $1 more, get two!

                  Check out the jukebox while you wait. "I Like What I See at the Waffle House" is a funky jam!

                  1. re: RaleighRocker

                    Chopped isn't an option on the hash browns. Covered and chunked would be hash browns with ham and cheese. "All the way" is indeed an option, which if said the long way would be "Scattered, covered, smothered, chunked, topped, diced, peppered, and capped" or hash browns with cheese, grilled onion, ham, chili, tomato, jalapeños, and mushrooms.