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