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your local "waffle house" -- tell us about the experience

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it is always a little head trip to go in any one of the many waffle houses. for a chain, i have never seen so much "local color" in each unique location. it seems to me that each is a little microcosm of the community -- quite interesting as you travel south on 95 from d.c. to florida!

i was inspired by another hound, flavrmeister, who wrote: "We are blessed with 3 Waffle Houses in Frederick, MD. One features a burly transvestite night manager named "Darla", who keeps the kids at the grill on their toes. Darla hails from (where else?) Baltimore." (i'm changing the name of the person, so as not to get into any chowhound trouble!)

i am looking for your stories of your favorite waffle house characters (please use pseudonyms), and how they may reflect the local community in which the restaurant is located (location is important, obviously).

or do you *never* darken the door of a waffle house? personally, i think their eggs are always very fresh, and i like their grits!

side inquiry: are there any "regional" foods on the menu in some waffle houses that aren't elsewhere in other regions?

i have to add that, several years ago -- maybe 10 -- mr. alka and i sat and sat and sat and waited for service at a rural virginia waffle house (but adjacent to i-95) -- and we were even at the counter!!! i am white -- from the south --, and mr. alka is from sri lanka. how about that!?

ps, is the "chains" board gone? if not, i'm going blind, because i didn't see it on the main menu that drops down.

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  1. No it is still there

    http://chowhound.chow.com/boards/32

    I love the waffle House ,the one in my hometown is super clean.I usually have the grits with a Patty Melt.

    4 Replies
    1. re: LaLa

      lala, thanks for the link. do you see it on the drop down menu?

      1. re: alkapal

        It's under "National" in the regional section.

        1. re: CindyJ

          thanks!! i liked it under "topical." (as i *thought* it used to be).

          1. re: alkapal

            Nope, it's always been under National. We did move the whole National grouping over to sit under the other US regional boards, however, which might be the difference you're noticing. We've also moved this thread over to the Chains board.

    2. My Waffle House Story

      A few years back, my roommate and I would eat at the same waffle house every night. We had our favorite waitress and everyone that worked there knew us. One night we were in a great mood for some reason (perhaps we won our games in our bowling league that night) and we decided to do something special. We told our waitress that we would either tip her 20% or everything in our wallets, but she had to flip a coin and call it in the air. Everyone in the waffle house gathered around to watch, she flipped it up, called heads, and it came down right on heads. We pulled our money out and counted it... 117 dollars. We ended up getting free pie and not paying for dinner for the next six months because of that night.

      We took good care of all the staff at the waffle house throughout that year, even bringing them thanksgiving dinner since they all had to work for the holiday.

      Sadly, it couldn't last. As is common with waffle house employees, they slowly started to quit or get fired and we just eventually stopped going to the waffle house with none of our favorite employees left.

      1. As mentioned in the last Waffle House thread, I wish we had a WH in Northwestern Arizona. Specifically, Fort Mohave/Bullhead City, AZ. I hear mostly good stories about their food and I do love waffles.
        -BnF

        1 Reply
        1. re: Big N Fat

          If you really want to try WH, there are 3 that I know of in Phoenix. You could do a roadfood trip - make the stop in Wikieup for "Eat Joe's" BBQ, too!

        2. Well, we don't have a "local Waffle House" in Wichita right now (although I've heard rumors that they might be putting a franchise here), but we were in KC over the weekend, and one of the "have-to-dos" according to my daughters was "eat at Waffle House". So we hit one in Olathe, south of KC, on the way out of town, and everyone left fat and happy, I more than anyone because I had to finish off some biscuits and gravy and chocolate chip waffles as well as my patty melt sandwich. Both of the waitresses as well as the cook kept a close eye on us and our needs. The place was spotless, the food was hot, the service was quick, and we all left happy. I just wish we didn't have to drive 200+ miles to get to a Waffle House.

          1 Reply
          1. re: podunkboy

            do they shout "welcome to waffle house" when you go in the door? that used to be their modus operandi -- at least in the southeast.

          2. At my last WH visit, 4 years ago in Charlottesville, my 2 sausage patties were like little hockey pucks, not just in shape but in color and texture. And the "butter" (?) on my rye toast was some form of flavorless grease applied with a paintbrush. I would have paid twice the price not to have eaten the meal.
            Oh, and I observed that the average customer was sufficiently corpulent as to have their own measurable gravitational field.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Veggo

              Hah... I have never eaten in a Waffle House.... and this cinches it!

              1. re: Veggo

                Charlottesville, VA?? Where is the Waffle House in Cville?

                1. re: charmedgirl

                  It's set back a bit from 29N, but visible from 29, on the left heading toward Barboursville

                  1. re: charmedgirl

                    from the waffle house locator, http://hosted.where2getit.com/waffleh...

                    there are two in c-ville:
                    Waffle House
                    (434) 975-5860
                    495 PREMIER CIRCLE
                    CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA 22902

                    Waffle House
                    (434) 296-5010
                    1162 FIFTH ST SW
                    CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA 22902

                    1. re: alkapal

                      Learn something new every day. Thanks!

                2. My BF and I ate at one outside of Virginia Beach, both of us having fond memories of past Waffle House meals. Well, this one was dirty, the clueless waitstaff was standing around not clearing tables or counter, food was coming out one item at a time to the tables. So we politely asked to have a table bussed, we ordered and after receiving our food in shifts, watched the waitress take off her apron, get into her car and drive off. When we asked another waitress about it, the answer was, "she had something to do." We still laugh our butts off about this!!

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: mtngirlnv

                    Yeas ago while on a road tripwith a very early start, we pulled into a Waffle House about 5:30 in themorning. The cook was outside, sharpening his knives on the concrete curb.

                    Scattered and smothered please!

                    1. re: Moonpie

                      You guys should watch this.
                      http://www.gwinnettdailypost.com/ftp/...

                      1. re: Samalcious

                        is your screen name read as "sam-a-licious"? just curious.

                        thanks for that fine mini-documentary of the microcosm of gwinnett county, georgia. so many things were going through my mind as i watched...

                        1. re: alkapal

                          Yep, actually should be spelled that way too but I mis-typed when I registered.
                          They need laptop computers with big keys.

                          1. re: Samalcious

                            re-register/switch while the time is ripe (before too many posts).... cause it is cool!

                  2. I love Awful House. Honestly. Scattered, smothered, covered & chunked is the way to go. In college, we used to go to the one in Newport, KY after the bars closed & try to get kicked out.. and no matter how obnoxious we were, we were never asked to leave (never told to leave, either)!
                    My DH & I went to Waffle House 2 weeks ago in Asheville, NC. It's just as good as it was in KY 15 years ago and sober!
                    And yes, we walked in to "Welcome to Waffle House!"

                    1. I read somewhere that they young'un who played the banjo in the movie "Deliverance" now manages a Waffle House in Georgia...

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Clarkafella

                        Sad if true. I would have hoped that he would have royalty checks that would have him stylin' in finer fashion, having been part of one of the greatest movie scenes ever. Dueling banjos to dueling sausage patties is not an uptick in life.

                      2. In college we got stranded with a broken down vehicle out of Atlanta heading home to Wisconsin during Spring Break. We spent the night in the Waffle House parking lot. We went inside for breakfast, and I swear the eggs were foamy. My best friend Sandy berates me to this day for not eating Waffles at Waffle House.