Monday, September 17, 2007

...And in the Morning, I'm Making Waffles!

If you ever find yourself lost in Georgia, I guarantee any bit of directions will include the phrase, "...the Waffle House." There are nine within 15 minutes from my home; five on my way to Atlanta. One intersection has two caddy corner from each other. I once asked someone, "Why 2 at the same light?" The response was uttered so quickly as to question my intelligence, "So that truckers don't have to get off their highway route. Duh!" Until then, I didn't realize truckers were incapable of making left hand turns. ...learn something new everyday.

I lived here about a year before I finally ventured inside. I ordered. I ate. I wondered why all the hype. It was just like any other pancake establishment. When I voiced this opinion, I quickly realized just how wrong I was. Waffle House is tradition. Waffle House is the South. Waffle House just is.

If a foreigner came to the states and really wanted a taste of American culture, I'd take them to McDonald's. The meal would be average and certainly wouldn't provide any type of culinary delicacy but McDonald's is as American as Ford. Waffle House is the McDonald's of the South. Eating there won't be the best meal you've ever eaten - trust me - but you walk away with a little piece of southern culture that weighs about 5 pounds and cushions your seat for years to come.

Until you get a chance to enjoy your grits covered, smothered, chunked, and diced, here are some facts to wet your appetite.
  • If you lay all of the Bryan bacon end-to-end that Waffle House serves in a year, it will stretch from Atlanta to Los Angeles seven times! (That's more than 21,000 miles of bacon)
  • Waffle House serves more than 3.2 million pounds of grits each year. That is enough to fill 86 semi-trucks!
  • Waffle House customers consume two percent of the total eggs produced in the United States for food service use. That is more than 185,000,000 eggs every year, 500,000 eggs everyday, 20,833 eggs every hour, 347 eggs every minute and five eggs every second.
  • If you could stack all of the sausage patties served in one day, it would reach the TOP of the Empire State Building! (Did you want grits with that?)
  • Waffle House serves more than 381 tons of country ham every year. That translates to more weight than a fully-loaded Boeing 747 at takeoff.
  • If you lined up all the bowls of Bert's Chili® Waffle House serves in a year, it would stretch the length of Florida's coastline on both the Atlantic and the Gulf coasts!
  • Since 1955, the Waffle House System has served:
    • 495,264,367 Waffles
    • 1,173,838,328 Hash brown Orders
    • 370,545,935 Sausage Patties
    • 786,449,152 Bacon Strips
    • 1,527,602,960 Eggs.
Wait. How many eggs? They need to change the name to Egg House!


Clairissa said...

Ugh...I can't stand Waffle House and there are probably 3 within 3 miles of my home. Seriously?! Why are they so popular? Wait....I know the answer, but it's not appropriate for bloggie world.

Craig D said...

I like the pecan waffles.

The hash browns, themselves, aren't much to write home about, but if you get enough junk added to them (about $4 worth) they can be yummy.

The pecan pie is pretty good, as I recall.

What can I say? I'm a guy who likes to go out to eat at breakfast time...

Craze said...

Damn, now I must visit a Waffle House.

Scribbit said...

WOW. And I thought I made a lot of waffles!

charlotta-love said...

Clairissa: According to my friends, they are popular for 2 reasons: 1. they are open 24/7 and 2. it's cheap. Obviously "It's good" didn't make it to the list.

Craig: I didn't even mention the stats on the pecans. Each year Waffle House customers eat more than 334,000 pounds of pecans in their waffles.

Craze: you better be hungry!

Scribbit: The guys that work there...they must come from big families. One cook can take care of 10 orders in a matter of minutes. It's amazing to watch actually.

Coordination Queen said...

I'll agree wtih Craig... I like the pecan waffles. On Jake's first trip to the south guess where we took him at midnight...that's right, the Awful Waffle. It is just tradition.

Stuckonyou said...

Notice too there is a new IHOP not far from ya'll. I know that's only 2 in your area now, but at least you have a choice of syrup to glue you to the table when you rest your arms in anticipation for them grits.

Dorky Dad said...

Ugh. Waffle House. I'm sick just thinking about it.

I knew a guy who used to do HR for Waffle Houses around South Carolina. He would have to take drug tests of employees and stuff.

Bone said...

Well, if your mission was to make me hungry, you've succeeded.

Though around here, I've always viewed the Waffle House as the place you go to eat when nothing else is open.

Grundir the Implacable said...

Waffle Houses have sprung up all over southern Middle Earth. I love the cheesy eggs and raisin toast.

laura said...

That's too much sausage served if you ask me.

Caddy corner? I always said "kitty corner" Is caddy corner a southern thing? You're too newly southern to be adopting all their lingo. Maybe kitty corner is a Utah thing. Or maybe its just what my mother said.

charlotta-love said...

Laura: so I did a little investigation. Turns out we are both wrong. The actual phrase is "Cater-Corner". I've always used caddy-corner despite only living here 2 years.

Coordination Queen: Awful Waffle. Hadn't heard it called that yet.

Stuckonyou: is your name referring to the syrup on your forearm? :o)

Dorky Dad: I get sick when I drive past them. So, on average, I get sick at least once a day!

Bone: "If nothing else is open...I shouldn't be eating" is my philosophy.

Grundir: Nice new name.

thethinker said...

There are a bunch of Waffle Houses here as well. That's where we usually eat breakfast when we go on road trips. Personally, I prefer IHOP.

Above Average Joe said...

No Waffle Houses up here in WMass. We did have a handful of Denny's.

Burg said...

I don't care all that much for the food, but I love the drunks that show up and the one-toothed waitress who always hates it when she has to screech so many instructions.. "Scattered smothered covered chopped diced and spliced!"

R said...

I've been to Athens. REM.

So, Waffle House, eh? I have one of those down the road too. I hate grits. And black-eyed peas, and okra.

Doc Hayes said...

A couple more statistics:
1. if you laid all the Waffle Houses end to end they still wouldn't come close to anything that tasted good.
2. If you could visit all of the Waffle House restaurants you still wouldn't find a clean bathroom.
3. If a tree fell on a Waffle House would anyone care? And where would all the druggies go at 3am?

Shankar said...

"If you have a Waffle House credit might be a redneck." By our favourite son of Georgia.