Pick any two Waffle House restaurants at random – say, Waffle House #668 (Forrest City, AR), or Waffle House #1894 (Mt. Sterling, KY) - and you will find a cook behind the grill that knows exactly how to cook perfect breakfast food. Regular Waffle House patrons know you will get a great meal at any Waffle House, and these two locations are no exception.
'It's just breakfast food', you might say had you never experienced a Waffle House meal. True, but there is good breakfast food, bad breakfast food, and then there is Waffle House breakfast food.
Several well-known breakfast food chains are found just about everywhere, but I never choose those places first, unless there is no Waffle House within driving distance. Those other chains can be good, but they are hit and miss – unlike Waffle House. I want consistently great food, and I'm not interested in fancy, sugary combinations of stuff piled on my food - I want it simple, basic, and cooked properly.
The answer regardless of where I've been has always been Waffle House. Their restaurants in Forrest City and Mt. Sterling lived up to my expectations – no surprise there.
Rolling down the highway at 6 pm on the hot evening of June 29, 2014, after driving nearly 600 miles and 12 hours, we spotted from Interstate 40 in Forrest City, Arkansas, that familiar yellow sign. After such a long day, it was a no-brainer to stop for dinner (er… breakfast) at a Waffle House.
The man behind the grill in Forrest City may not work in a five star restaurant, but he had exactly the skills required to make the meal I wanted, and it was perfect. The server was friendly, attentive, and she didn't waste any time getting us seated and looking at a menu. The store was clean and comfortable, the staff was efficient, and we enjoyed our meal.
It happened again nearly two weeks later on July 10, while driving west on I-64 in Kentucky. We were headed for Lexington to spend the night, and when we spotted the yellow sign in Mt. Sterling, we relaxed again, knowing another great meal awaited us.
I watched the cook as he worked, and it was immediately obvious he was a professional. Like I said, this may be basic, simple food, but a hack can destroy eggs and hash browns in a heartbeat. The cook in Mt. Sterling – just like the guy in Forrest City – was all business and efficiency. Food for all five of us arrived on our table together; no one waited, unlike in some other restaurants. It's just basic good business, but in my experience Waffle House always does it right, and the people in Forrest City and Mt. Sterling came through like the pros they are.
The beauty of Waffle House is that the man/woman behind the grill is going to cook your food to order, and they're going to do it perfectly, or they won't be employed for long. A Waffle House cook can provide you with the best meal of the day, regardless of the location.
That is exactly what we had at the Forrest City, AR and Mt. Sterling, KY Waffle Houses – the best meal of the day. Both eating experiences proved to me yet again that Waffle House, Inc. pays careful attention in their hiring practices to maintain a high level of standards.
Breakfast food doesn't get any better than that.
Waffle House #668
2340 N Washington St
Forrest City, Arkansas
Waffle House #1894
608 N Maysville St
Mt Sterling, Kentucky
Larry Manch is an author, teacher, guitar player, freelance writer, and columnist. His books include: 'The Toughest Hundred Dollars & Other Rock & Roll Stories', 'A Sports Junkie', 'The Avery Appointment', 'Between the Fuzzy Parts'.
He also writes about baseball for Climbing Tal's Hill, food and travel on Miles & Meals, and music/guitars on The Backbeat.
He lives in Central Texas with his wife and family.