Waffle House

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WAFFLE HOUSE, Watch me WAFFLE on my opinions of the place,EVERYTHING has Changed

Feb 26, 2004 (Updated Mar 16, 2004)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Some good values, kids menu, and seem to be everywhere down south near interstates.

Cons:inconsistent atmosphere

The Bottom Line: Over the years I have looked forward to going to the Waffle House when on the road. I don't quite have that same feeling now.


I have been in the WAFFLE HOUSE more than any other chain eatery when not with my wife.

My business has taken me down south many times and when I'm on the road with the guys going to a gig traveling the southern interstates I always made it a point to stop at one for my Grits Fix.

This last week for the first time ever I went to a WAFFLE HOUSE with my wife. OH Man, everything has changed!

CONFORMITY

The black on yellow signs are easily recognizable as you approach an exit. The Big capital letters make it easy to see. They are up high and make the spelling of the words clear as a crushed bloody fly on a restaurant window.

The places have the same basic box look to them. Walk into the brightly florescent lighted room and you'll see an open kitchen area with a short order cook, they could be tall, scraping away on the grill. There is a counter and somewhere on it is a register tucked behind some literature, condiments, or a huge guy on one of the stools. There are a couple of rest rooms at one end, generally pretty clean and well lighted, and a series of tables and benches up against large windows on the outside perimeter of the eatery. Yes, I did see that fly on one of those windows. Not a pretty site. I didn't tell my wife about it.

If you want a menu, I've found they have been asking me that question more frequently rather than just handing one to me or putting on the table, expect to get what looks like a plastic place mat. The fact is most times they just put it down on the table in front of you and it is used as such.

The colourful mat will show you pictures of many of the offerings and if you are lucky it won't have a sticky syrupy feel when you lift it up off the table. Don't expect to be lucky. But you know, when I was out with the guys I really didn't give a grit. But, bein' out wit da wife, everything has changed.

WHAT'S COOKIN'?

The WAFFLE HOUSE serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The fact is you can have breakfast in the late afternoon, lunch at midnight, and dinner at 8AM. The full menu is good at all hours, 24/7. Now this tops your McDonald's and Burger Kings that have limited hours for their meals. How many times did you drive up to a window some time around 11AM and they said "SORRY BREAKFAST IS NO LONGER BEING SERVED!! Have you ever noticed that that's the cheeriest thing these people say all day?

So knowing anything can be ordered at any time, you can check out that sticky WAFFLE HOUSE menu and order anything you like.

Here's a breakdown of their meals. Call them what you wish; breakfast, lunch, dinner, supper, brunch, snack or high tea.

BREAKFAST

Last week I had a WAFFLE at WAFFLE HOUSE for the very first time!! Ha, I was with my wife.

I've always went for other items. My favorite, when on the road with the guys, is the T-Bone steak and eggs with a side of grits. The meat is tasty and tender and the eggs are fresh. I used to love their grits. Man, that was the reason I stopped there. I can't get the stuff up north and couldn't get enough down south.

Now I happened to go down to Charleston last week with my wife. Everything changed.

I had grits in about ten different eateries. You know what? The grits tasted different in every single place. Want to know something else? In every place they tasted better than the WAFFLE HOUSE grits. I now realize WAFFLE HOUSE grits tasted little more than an overcooked pastina that I just added butter and sugar to. Now how would I not like sugar and butter for fifteen plus years. I suppose I thought I was having creme brulee every time. But now I've found out the the grits should have a bit more "gritty" consistency than the WAFFLE HOUSE stuff. I liked that feel. Damn, I've been spoiled by going to dinner at all these places in Charleston with my wife and I don't like the WAFFLE HOUSE grits anymore. Everything has changed.

So I had a Pecan WAFFLE and so did my wife. Man it was G_O_O_D !! The waffle was hot, not too soft and not too hard. The pecans were softened by cooking but still had some body to them. They were very tasty. Still, I smothered it with butter and syrup and I was in heaven, until my wife says, "Phil, that's not butter, it's just a substitute spread".

My wife asked the waitress if they had any butter, they don't.

Does that mean I've been making my grits, with lard for the last fifteen years!! and I thought it was soooo good? Now everything has changed.

The WAFFLE didn't seem to taste as good either. Actually, even without the add on spread the WAFFLE really was good. See, I'm WAFFLING again.

My wife had ordered a side of crispy bacon to share. I was thinking that when the bacon would come to the table she might tell me that it's not real bacon but something else. She didn't.

The bacon at the WAFFLE HOUSE is excellent tasting.

The plates and dinnerware were clean. By this time I was checking it all out.

Paper napkins are in little dispensers at the table.

My wife ordered coffee, I always thought it was pretty decent. This cup wasn't. So from my saying that WAFFLE HOUSE coffee is very good I have to WAFFLE and say their coffee is usually good but somtimes it's not.

The floors and tables were pretty clean, they generally are. Somehow they always get the stickiness off them.

They also make omelettes. I've had them with sausage and cheese.....pretty good stuff.

I didn't tell you about something my wife told me and, after going to the WAFFLE HOUSE on my own for the last fifteen years, I had never realized.

They don't serve French fries or Freedom fries or whatever you want to call them.

Ha, I thought that with burgers, sandwiches, chops, and steaks on the menu she had to be wrong. I picked up my sticky menu and studied it. I was going to show her she was WRONG. And so I studied it and yes, I studied it some more and studied it one more time after I thought I was finished studying it. Alas, no fries on the menu. She was right.

What the WAFFLE HOUSE does have are Hash Browns. As their menu says you can have them "7 different Ways"..."Scattered, Smothered, Covered, Chunked, Topped, Diced, or Peppered." That's smack in the middle of the menu. They must be a hot item. I've had them scattered on the grill with my steak, eggs, and side of grits. I never before missed fries. Now I have the feeling that every time I enter the place I will have a longing for them. Everything has changed.

Though I have never had one, I can say the burgers and melts look good. You see I love watching the short order cook when they are really busy. I really admire them when I see their skills in making ten different orders ten different ways at one time. These guys and gals are good. The grills are kept clean and the kitchen area is pretty tidy.

Now when the cook opened the stand up fridge to take some bacon slices out for another order, the door did not close. It was right across from my wife and me. What I saw were some bacon strips just hanging between the open shelf grills. It looked pretty gross. Now I'm hoping that my wife doesn't look that way and see them hanging there. One of the waiters walk by, they didn't close the door. Another walked by they didn't close it either. I was watching my wifes eyes, they didn't wander over to it. The same waiter walked right by it again. Finally the cook went over to it took something else out of the fridge, closed the door and thankfully those hangin' bacon strips were now out of sight. At this point my wife was relaxed and enjoying her food. I'm so glad she never got a look in that fridge cause everything would have changed.

BREAKFAST vs. DINNER

One thing I learned about a breakfast and dinner item was that if you serve the same size T-bone steak and take away the eggs and add a salad you now have a dinner item. That's the way it is on the menu.

Look at the Porterhouse 10 oz T-Bone Steak and eggs, it's listed under all the breakfast items on the left. Now go to the right and see the Porterhouse 10 oz T-bone steak under the heading of "Big Deal" Dinners. See, basically the same price, a little higher, but no eggs!. Pretty cool.

The difference is that with the "Big Deal" dinners you get double Hashbrowns and double toast along with a salad. This double offer is also with grilled chicken, country ham, chop steak, and a sirloin dinner.

KIDS MENU

You don't have to ask for a different sticky menu for the kids. The one you have will do the trick along with the stick. On the bottom of it is the Menu for kids 10 and under. It's a good thing I never took my kids on the road with me. I'd still have the 21 year old saying he's 10. They have quite a bit to offer; WAFFLES and Bacon, Grilled Cheese and Hash browns, cheeseburger and hashbrowns, and quite a few other items priced much lower than the adult meals.

The LIGHT CORNER

Yes, the WAFFLE HOUSE is looking out for you. No law suits against them for getting you fat! They offer the Salad Supreme, Chef's Salad, and Soup and Salad, and LOOK!! You can get those hash browns an 8th way, Steamed!

THINGS TO KNOW

Prices are quite reasonable in the WAFFLE HOUSE. I have noticed that the prices also vary from place to place. I was at one in Pennsylvania Dutch Country, just east of Lancaster on RT 30, a couple of times. This one is a bit larger than most others and the prices were about ten percent higher too. Even so, this is a particularly good one to go to.

Coca Cola brand soft drinks are served along with an assortment of ice tea, chocolate milk and Minute Maid orange and grapefruit juices.

When it comes to help at the WAFFLE HOUSE I have had wonderful attentive servers and I've had some that didn't want to give me the time of day. Depending on location, everything changes.

It's hard to find conformity when it comes to what the clientele is like at any given WAFFLE HOUSE. I've been to places that have a quiet calm atmosphere with families stopping in for something to eat while driving long distances and at other places I've seen gangs of locals hangin' out and I have to say that even this big guy in the company of a few other big guys didn't feel very comfortable walking in and out of the restaurant. There have been some pretty sleazy lookin' characters hangin outside some of these places and when they are around everything changes.

I have gotten off interstates down south, that's where most WAFFLE HOUSES are, pulled into the parking lot, looked around, didn't like what I saw and pulled right out again.

I suppose I would not have gotten all the same kinda stares etc if I hadn't been wearing my Yankees are #1 t-shirt all the time.

IN CLOSING

So that's it, there are some very good things about the WAFFLE HOUSE and some NOT very good things about the WAFFLE HOUSE. So with my rating I am also going to WAFFLE. I gave the place two stars, yet I am still recommending it. You just gotta pick and choose. If you don't like the first impression as you get to the place turn right around and go down the road a piece to another WAFFLE HOUSE or you can go right next door to Shoney's or Stucky's or Huddle House or Waffle King or Cracker Barrel or maybe even McDonald's or Burger King and help make their day by driving up to the window at about 11.00AM so they can say "SORRY, BREAKFAST IS NO LONGER BEING SERVED!"

You see at 11AM everything has changed.


More chain eateries by popsrocks

Romano's MACARONI GRILL
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OUTBACK Restaurant
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Checkers Burgers
The White Castle
Charlie Browns
Burger King
TGI Friday's
Red Lobster
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Cozymel's
Friendly's
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KFC



South of the Border Motel On the South Carolina, North Carolina border on Interstate 95





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