A Walk On The Wild Side
I DID SOMETHING TODAY THAT I HAVE NEVER DONE BEFORE in all my 120 years. It was risky some people told me. A close friend pleaded with me not to even try to do it.
“You may not get out alive.”
Don’t you just love a little Hyperbole? At least I was hoping it was Hyperbole.
I decided to not take any unnecessary chances – so I took my wife, the lovely and ever so courageous, Dawn, with me.
On our first travel day, as we headed off to Georgia, we threw all caution to the wind and – brace yourself – had dinner at “The Waffle House.”
I know. I know. I’ve heard all the horror stories.
“Welcome to the Waffle House. Smoking or chewing? Stabbing or shooting?”
For decades I have been told about The Waffle House. That the dress code called for Black Leather and Scar Tissue. Prison tattoos were optional. That asking for Decaf was “Fightin’ Words” and that you never, ever, said anything about the waitress’s facial hair.
Based on what I’d been told I came to believe that going into a Waffle House was just asking to eventually being called as a witness.
But we were in a good mood, feeling adventuresome and this particular Waffle House looked like it had once housed a Burger King – a peaceful lineage. That and we were hungry and it was across the street from our hotel. I chose to ignore the fellow lurking outside the door, even though he looked like every man ever profiled on “America’s Most Wanted.”
We opted for a booth rather than the counter. It was already crowded with the cast of “Deliverance.”
We had a lovely waitress – “Kirsten” who was a transplant from Indiana, so she took care of a couple of Hoosiers who’d stumbled in.
I took a couple of pictures of my menu – one of three different menus available. I chose the basic breakfast menu even though it was close to 7 PM. I decided to skip the whole waffle thing. I was feeling brave and shunning a waffle at The Waffle House felt like a Walk on the Wild Side. That’s me alright – order two eggs over easy and hash browns and stare down Kirsten from Elkhart, Indiana.
While I perused my menu/placemat I noticed that The Waffle House has taken Hash Browns to a whole new level of specialization.
As I read my Options in Hash Browns I felt like I was reading the list of Shrimp dishes from “Forrest Gump.”
“You can have plain Hash Browns or you can have Smothered Hash Browns or even Covered Hash Browns. You can have Chunked Hash Browns or Diced Hash Browns. If you like you can have Peppered Hash Browns or Capped Hash Browns. You can order Topped Hash Browns or Country Hash Browns. And any of them come in Regular Size, Large Size, or Triple Size.”
All those choices and I had Regular Size Hash Browns with nothing on them. I could only go so far.
It was an adventure and there was no violence – unless you count me having raisin toast with my eggs.
All in all, our trip to The Waffle House in Manchester, Tennessee went well. We walked in, we ate, and we walked out and nobody got hurt – except maybe Kirsten. While taking our orders she confided that she had been working for nine days straight without any days off.
That’s a lot of Waffles.
Love those Waffle Houses! When I go South into beautiful Tennessee that’s what I start looking for around mealtimes. Never had anything at one of them except good food (actually too much food) for a reasonable price, and courteous service. Most of my WH experience has been somewhere around Kentucky Lake. Some have been quick meals and then get the heck out, ’cause the catfish are a-bitten.
Good Monday reading, John. Thanks.
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And a happy birthday at the Waffle House to you!!
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Hash Browns for everyone!