Every Southern-raised kid has that first memory of a drawl-laced “Welcome to Waffle House” greeting: after church in lace socks and patent shoes with grandparents, maybe a bit tipsy after a football game. Unlike other chains that have an automaton aura, each WaHo is gloriously the same, with slightly sticky, double-sided, laminated menus; a corner jukebox loaded with unexplainable themed songs; stained coffee mugs that are just a bit thicker than any mug you’ve held elsewhere; at least one well-worn regular at the counter; and impressively perky staff that, despite working incredibly long shifts on their feet, have the group personality of a grandmother greeting her family with a flour-covered apron, a fresh-baked pie, and a smile.
Did you spend this whole write-up throwing your crushed Coca-Cola Classic cans at your computer, wondering how I didn’t opt for the the international carbonated monolith? Well, go order one (vanilla diet, preferably, so you can consider how WaHo’s custom syrups improve the secret formula) along with your scattered, covered, peppered, chunked, double hash browns and then think about which brings you back to a long-lost meal with your family or first girlfriend or basketball team after you defeated Spring Garden to win the Regional Championship. But somehow, that waffle is what brings you home.