But I don’t care, Anthony Bourdain got it:
(As long as I live, I’ll think of him every time I see a Waffle House.)
So much of the appeal for me is the nostalgia and atmosphere. My roots are rural and poor, so when I walk into a WH, I feel like I'm surrounded by "my people." I'll sit down at the bar next to an old, chubby man in overalls and a scraggly white beard and be reminded of my neighbor playing banjo on his porch. When I look over at a table with a mom, children, and grandparents, I can easily imagine them as my cousins. I can come in alone, but I'll never feel lonely.
Completely disagree. IMO the hash browns and waffles are better than all fast food chains, most hotel/business breakfasts, and many diners.
It's almost: In N Out is not the best burger, but it is the best burger at what it is trying to be.
But as an operation and an experience, it’s a treasure.
Having said that I happen to agree with the other comments that their meat can be poor quality, but their hashbrowns, eggs, toast and waffles are perfect.
I always assumed that Waffle House’s food is Sysco-sourced. If so, how is it not a chemical amalgamation from a soulless corporation?
The last time I visited a Waffle House, and I ordered fried eggs, I was curious what kind of oil the eggs were fried in (sunflower, rapeseed, whatever). The waitress then showed me some horrible aerosol can that looked totally synthetic and didn’t name any particular source for the oil.
Nowadays, when I travel the American South, I prefer to go to eateries for the local Mexicans and other Central American immigrants (they are there if you look for them); there most of the ingredients seem fresher, less processed.
I haven't actually been to one before... sounds like it'd be fun to try once, but not somewhere I'd go regularly or seek out.
The syrup, for example, is basically high-fructose corn syrup with added flavouring. So is the ketchup. I didn't sample the entire menu but the overwhelming impression was of it being composed of the cheapest edible food-like substances known to science. It didn't feel to me like a time machine back to an era of cheap-and-cheerful diners that served real honest food, but rather depressingly contemporary.
And yet there must be something there. Something that prompts folks like you to genuinely see it as not just a chemical amalgamation, even though by any objective standard it really is. Something that I missed. (The place was deserted at the time when I went, so maybe that was it.) Something that makes me still wonder if I should go back and search for it, even though I don't know what I'm looking for.
“I've always tried to adopt a generic approach to the movies, judging each film in terms of its type and the expectations we have for it.”
This idea is what Bourdain was invoking when he called Waffle House better than French Laundry, since it’s otherwise patently absurd to compare the two.
Maybe this is what you missed.
If only we'd been in the south and not the Midwest, WaHo may have won the title for him and his friends. I probably wouldn't tease him about that one, either!
I happen to like Carl's Jr. (Hardees other name)... although I don't like everything they make, and some locations are better than others.
I think they could improve their cooking in some respects by using microwaves more. I really hate bacon that isn't crispy, and surprisingly enough, a microwave will do that quickly when used properly. I've only ever seen one restaurant do that openly. It's a mystery to me why all of the awful fast food chain breakfast sandwiches don't take advantage of the technique.
don't hurt that they are heavily windowed with lots of bright lighting and always open. after midnight in bar heavy areas can be a good time for people watching
I spent so many nights in college at a Waffle House after midnight I couldn't attempt to count it if I had too. Lots of great memories in that place.