Last weekend I went to visit my friend Keith in Dayton, Ohio, since he was interviewing at one of the hospitals there for the week. Keith graciously allowed me to stay at his luxury accommodations:

I'd rate the room one step above a Motel 6 and one step below a Knight's Inn. Keith is definitely the best-looking item in this photo.

So, Dayton. What does one do in Dayton? The answer:

Until last Saturday, I'd never been in a Waffle House. I've logged many hours in various Denny's and IHOPs, but not once have I taken advantage of the 24-hour waffle availability of this particular chain. Waffle House staff are insanely friendly. I'm used to surly waitstaff plunking down my food with dispassionate lethargy before they go hit their smoke break for 20 minutes, leaving me high and dry on orange juice refills. Not so at the Waffle House! We walked in and were greeted by every employee on duty. A leathery old regular strolled in after us and was welcomed with a resounding "Hey, Oscar!" At Waffle House, you're fucking family. I felt secure that my OJ cup would runneth over.

The menu was basic but satisfactory. Waffles, eggs in various permutations, hash browns, burgers, the ubiquitous steak breakfast (I've never witnessed steak being ordered for breakfast anytime, anywhere), soup, sandwiches, and something called "Bert's Chili™" which I did not order although they seem rather proud of it. I'm sure Bert makes a wonderful chili, though.

Drew and Keith ordered waffles:

Drew's blueberry-goo whipped cream presentation got top marks for artistry, while Keith's was lacking a little in execution, mostly because he insisted on mixing the whip and the blue together until it formed some sort of smoothish light-purple gesso on his waffle canvas. I forgot to take a picture of it which I regret now because it looked pretty goddamn nasty.

Joanna ordered the Waffle House hash browns:

Yes, those are hash browns with jalapeno peppers in them. Joanna is hardcore. Also, note the "Casa de Waffle" Picante Sauce, which is so very amusing on so many levels.

I, the lone breakfast renegade, opted for grilled cheese:

You're currently thinking "what the deuce is on that sandwich?" Waffle House provides a smorgasbord of condiments on each table, amply fulfilling my every slathering need. The featured topping is a mixture of ketchup and A1 sauce, which if you never tasted before, then you've never truly experienced how delicious life can be. Trust me.

My OJ also got refilled promptly every time. These people are pros.

Famous people who have been seen eating at a Waffle House, from their official site www.wafflehouse.com:

- Beyonce Knowles
- Reese Witherspoon
- Former President George Bush
- Emmitt Smith
- LeAnne Rimes
- Pete Sampras
- Usher
- Jay-Z
- Billy Bob Thornton
- Ludicris
- me

On a side note, I noticed this as we were leaving the Waffle House:

I've never eaten at a "Japanese Stake House" either. Dayton: two thumbs up!

1 comment:

Cassandra said...

I LOVE the Waffle House! I had a relative in jail for a couple years(don't ask), and we'd always stop at Waffle House on the way to see her...OK, not the happiest story of my life, but still...glad you had a good 1st experience.