Wednesday, September 10, 2008

When Hunger Strikes

So, you are on a road trip, driving down the highway and at some point you get hungry.
The next thing you think about is, "where to stop?" You continue to drive along and the closer you approach an exit for a city or town, you will get the inevitable barrage of bill board signs indicating what lies ahead. The signs you are most interested in though are the ones posted right alongside of the highway, you know the ones. The ones listing all the up and coming fast food eateries just off the beaten path. They often represent little beacons on the long road trip promising refreshments of unhealthy proportion. While you contemplate your "wisest" choice, your eyes scan back and forth along the roadway perhaps looking for that one distinguishable sign, the brightly colored yellow sign that looms high in the sky above the rooftops for all to see.
Ah, the Waffle House.
I suppose you were expecting the "other one"?
This is America and while I do not think that the Waffle House is direct competition for the "other guy", it does seem to be an American icon just the same.

We have been to the Waffle House only one other time previously. Long story short, it was in November, the day after Thanksgiving, better known as "Black Friday".
Rather ominous sounding however it is the day when folks who should be getting their much needed sleep, arise early, very early, too early if you ask me, to line up at various stores in the hope of securing a phenomenal deal. Anyway, this particular morning we were up VERY early to drop off our aunt at the airport and then off to check out some deals ourselves, deals of an electronic nature and thus we persevered but not before breakfast at the local Waffle House.
It was 5:00 am, need I say anymore.

But this time it is lunch time.

Once inside the door you can't help but notice the number of laminated signs framed and hanging about the walls of the restaurant. One such sign read, "America's Best Chicken."
I wonder what Colonel Sanders would have to say about that one?
We decided on burgers. It just seemed the thing to do.
Booths line up along one side of the restaurant and on the opposite side, alongside the window is about 10 chairs for those to have a seat while waiting for a table to come along. I mention this only because there was only about 2' of room between us and the hungry customers in waiting, eyeing our hamburgers.
One the other side of your table is an opening that gives you a view of the kitchen or at least, the aisle where the waitresses continually move up & down taking orders then shouting their orders to the cook just down the way. This is their territory and this is where they stand around waiting for their customers orders to be grilled, fried and slapped on your plate.
Let's say, "Glenda" takes your order. She asks if you want any additions to your hash browns.
No fries here folks.
The ever present cry for "drop down one hash brown" is a recurring theme around here.
Additions include: grilled onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, American cheese or chili.
I can't help but think of my friend Ken and his love for all things chili.
Sitting on our table is the condiment caddy which I always find interesting. As I sit and wait for our order I begin to inspect the various sauces. "Senora Jackies's Casa de Waffle Picante' Sauce, along with the usual offerings of Heinz ketchup, some Heinz 57 sauce and Tabasco sauce.
Normally I am very hesitant to use a communal sauce as I observed my teenage cousin one time, sliding pennies into the ever present, refilled ketchup bottle, something she thought was funny. I thought otherwise and ever since I have always been wary of the red bottle sitting at my table.

Orders and comments are bellowed out, confirmed with a shout back and are met with the odd sarcastic reply of "I love you too." I seem to recall some music playing in the background but now I can only hear the ongoing banter coming from the kitchen.
Burgers sizzle on the grill,
cutlery clinks against white restaurant dishes,
refills are poured and this is just another day in the life of a Waffle House.
We pay our bill or "ticket" as the gal calls them and we make our way back to the car.
On the door is a yellow sign posted at eye level.
"Thanks for coming by.
See you tomorrow."

If not tomorrow, quite possibly the next road trip.
But next time, I think breakfast is in order. Neil really liked their waffles.

1 comment:

Mama Cookie said...

Good to see you back. Enjoying both blogs!