Monday, December 14, 2015

Waffle House

1304 Veterans Blvd.
Festus, Mo.

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Sure, I've reviewed Waffle House before. In my mind, a good place deserves mention and a great place deserves frequent mention.
I'll keep it short.

The Place:
West of I-55 just off Highway A. Just look for the big yellow sign.
Diner style, booths along the wall, stools at the counter. Clean, bright and seemingly always staffed by cheerful and hard working people. In this case, the crew consisted of three young folks, Kelsey, CJ and Josh.
Josh was the grill master, the ladies deftly worked the tables and counter. They all wore matching gray shirts, black pants, black apron and black caps. Our primary server was Kelsey, whose pony tail was pulled through the adjusting gap in her cap.
I cannot recall coming across a bad crew at a Waffle House. Always friendly, always busy, occasionally breaking out in song, though not too loudly. Always welcoming and sincere, always helpful. This trio was no exception.
The Food:
Me: Hash browns, smothered and covered (onions and cheese). Add some bacon, two eggs, over medium, a biscuit, and of course, coffee please.
Angel: Hash browns, smothered, covered, chunked and country. (ham, gravy) add sausage, scrambled eggs, skip the toast, with ice tea.
Adam: All American Breakfast, eggs, bacon, scrambled eggs, toast and hash browns (plain) instead of grits, with soda pop.
Yeah, we all got pretty much the same thing. But that's why we like it there, this is what we want when we go to WH, and  WH is our preferred place when we want breakfast for dinner.
The food didn't take very long, but why should it? It's a pretty simple menu. Not a lot of fancy seasonings and sauces to fuss over.
At one point, KC came out from behind the counter and poked the jukebox. This concerned me at first, I'm not much of a listener to music, especially the kind of music most people poke in a jukebox. But she impressed me with Otis Redding's 'Sittin' on the dock of the bay.' We're good.
She seemed surprised when I complimented her on her selections.
As I said, the food came in good time. I looked over at Angel's blasphemic hash brown concoction. Not that I could actually see any hash browns, they were completely covered by an epic mudslide portion of brown gravy. Angel was quite pleased though. Angel likes gravy, I might have mentioned that before. (That night, she posted on FB:"Went out for gravy tonight. Yeah there was other stuff on the plate too, but who cares when there's GRAVY on the plate.")
The real problem, for me, was the ham. I understand the gravy, but the ham corrupts the subtle purity of hash browns. It's like adding a bunch of exclamation points to a paragraph were they simply don't belong.
The last thing to arrive was Adam's waffle. They make a pretty good waffle here. Don't just take my word for it though:
"Whoa, that's good, that's good! . . . this is better than The French Laundry!" -Anthony Bourdain-
I suppose I should explain a few things about that.
I'll assume you know who Anthony Bourdain is. He's all over TV, all over the world. He's been everywhere, tried everything and isn't afraid to call a dud, a dud, he even does so quite profanely. He's worked in some of the finest restaurants in the country, top tier. Among Restaurant Magazine's Top 50 Restaurants in the World, frequently listed is The French Laundry, located in the Napa Valley in California. Bourdain himself once called that high end eatery: "The best restaurant in the world."
That was before he'd ever been to a Waffle House.
Summary:
The food, every bit of it, was great. Perfectly prepared, cleanly and promptly served.That almost goes without saying. The service was simply outstanding. Every member of that young three person crew checked on us during our visit. They all cheerfully greeted us when we arrived and all three wished us a good evening when we left. My coffee cup never saw the halfway point.
The bill for all that comfy yummy-ness was a modest thirty two dollars. I tipped large.
This is how diners and restaurants should work. Limited menus, simple, fresh ingredients, a crew that truly works as a team. Casual, friendly, relaxed. Dining as it should be.




Waffle House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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