Scattered, smothered, covered, chunked, topped, diced, peppered and capped

hashbrowns_sm

Bet you didn’t know that Atlanta is the home base of the Waffle House chain of eating establishments.  And that there is a Waffle House Museum in Decatur, GA. And that Waffle House helps predict extreme weather events.

Of course not.  Why would you?

“Plllllease tell us more AGMA!”  I can hear you beg…    I know you want to all become Waffle Houseinistas!

Waffle House is a “restaurant” (I use this word loosely) chain that serves – duh – waffles.

They also have other breakfast offerings as well as pork chops, T-bone steaks, burgers, grilled sammies and Texas melts.

AGMA’s personal favorite is the raisin toast.

Every Waffle House restaurant is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  Every single one. So when you’re on the road on Christmas Day and EVERYTHING else is closed, you can always stop into a Waffle House for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  As long as you’re traveling through the South or Midwest or the lower Eastern Seaboard.  Or southern Arizona.

AGMA and fam did this several times in the 90’s and early 2000’s out of sheer desperation.

This was before I was a Waffle House convert.

Don’t judge me.

Waffle House has 2100 locations in 25 states, with over 15% of them located in the Atlanta Metro area.

They sell 10,000 T-bone steaks a day. Everyday.  And use 2% of all the eggs used in the Food Service Industry. Waffle House is the world’s (and most probably the universe’s) leading server of waffles, hash browns, eggs and cheese, country ham, pork chops, and grits.

Waffle House is a force unto itself.

Who knew?

Because Waffle House is open 24/7, they need to be prepared for really bad weather.  They have something called The Waffle House Storm Center that mobilized during extreme weather and determines if they can continue operations in the area.

Eat your heart out Starbucks…

FEMA (when the government isn’t shut down) uses something called The Waffle House index as part of the criteria in gauging the severity of weather events:

Green: Waffle House is serving a full menu and electricity is on.

Yellow: Waffle House is serving a limited menu, may be low on food supplies, and is likely using an electrical generator.

Red: Waffle House is closed. (Oh sh*t, time to panic.)

When Hurricane Michael slammed into the Florida Panhandle last October, it was Code Red. Waffle House shut down 30 restaurants in the area.

Oh sh*t is right!

But to AGMA, who has grown fond of Waffle House over the 10+ years I’ve lived in Atlanta (don’t judge me), the most fascinating aspect of WH is the way they dish up their hash browns.

Try to follow along…

Order hash browns scattered and your get crispy hash browns.

Scatter and smothered adds onions.

Scattered, smothered & covered adds onions and melted cheese.

Scattered, smothered, covered & chunked adds onions, melted cheese and ham.

Scattered, smothered, covered, chunked & topped adds onions, melted cheese, ham and chili.

Scattered, smothered, covered, chunked, topped & diced adds onions, melted cheese, ham, chili and diced tomatoes.

Scattered, smothered, covered, chunked, topped, diced & peppered adds onions, melted cheese, ham, chili, diced tomatoes and jalapeños.

Scattered, smothered, covered, chunked, topped, diced, peppered & capped adds….yada yada yada and mushrooms.

Or you can go “all the way”…

Now THAT’S what I’m talkin’ about!

Somebody with way too much time on their hands (a furloughed government employee perhaps?) figured out that there are 2,048 possible combinations of the above.

Yum.

Waffle House is quickly approaching legendary status.  It’s had books and songs written about it.  AGMA is pretty sure there were no Grammy winners, but you can play some of the songs on the Jukebox that is in most every WH.

Famous people love WH and WH loves famous people.  Kim and Kanye doubled dated there with John Legend and Chrissy Teigen.   AGMA and Hubs also dine occasionally Waffle House.  Like I said, famous people.

Since LA and Boston have no Waffle Houses, I predict that Rams and Patriot players will be spotted in WHs around Atlanta in the lead up to the Super Bowl on February 3rd. They can eat a whole lotta stick to the ribs (and arteries) food for pretty darned cheap!

In 2016, Anthony Bourdain went on what was probably his most adventurous culinary adventure of his career.  He ate at a Waffle House.  Of the experience, he said, “It is indeed marvelous — an irony-free zone where everything is beautiful and nothing hurts; where everybody regardless of race, creed, color or degree of inebriation is welcomed.”

AGMA’s getting misty eyed…

Hubs and I have seen both Waffle Palace and the sequel, Waffle Palace Christmas; plays based, in part, on actual incidents that have happened at Atlanta area Waffle Houses.

Truth really is stranger than fiction.

True – so true – for the other WH (White House) as well.

Hey, maybe Individual #1 will treat the Super Bowl winning team to WH in the WH. One can only hope…

Finally, you can take the love of your life to Waffle House for Valentines Day!

Waffle House pulls out all the stops and dresses up some of its locations with candlelight, tablecloths and flowers.  Says CEO Walt Ehmer, “A perfect Valentine’s dinner consists of soft music, great food and a welcoming atmosphere.  And we have all three waiting for those who are ready.”

Are you ready?
Let me know how that works out for you…
To learn more about Waffle House (and you know you want to…) click here!

Scone porn

queen-of-tarts

So I’m at my fave coffee shop again.  With few exceptions, it’s where I write most of my posts.  I feel so Hemingwayesque.   Although he actually hung out at cafes in Paris not coffee shops in Atlanta.

Close enough.

My standing order – a large mocha (no whip) and, if I’m feeling particularly peckish (OMG, I love that word!), a scone.  An American scone that is.

American scones aren’t like Irish scones, the one’s I’m most intimately acquainted with.  Irish scones look at you longingly from the plate and beg you with a “come hither” look to slather them with pure Irish butter, fresh fruity jam and thick cream, then devour them.  American scones – the ones that are palatable – just sit on the plate, insolently stare at you and dare you to eat them.  At your own risk.

My name is AGMA and I’m a scone snob.

I’ve developed a fairly sophisticated scone palette from my frequent trips to Ireland. Just thinking about Irish scones makes me want to take a cold shower.  Thankfully, when Ireland got their independence from England and were getting rid of all things English, some wise Irish person declared the scones could stay.  Scones actually originated in Scotland.  So they aren’t technically English which is probably why they were allowed to stay.

Too bad that didn’t happen in the U.S. post-1776.

Our scones are pathetic.  Cakey lumps sometimes as hard as a rock, sometimes soft and biscuit-like.  Most of the time too sweet with the all the wrong textures.  A totally inappropriate vehicle for butter, jam and cream.  It’s so discouraging to us would-be scone sommeliers…

I have a friend who’s half English.  Her mother was a war bride.  Growing up, she made trips back to England from the U.S. to visit her kinfolk.  She still makes regular trips over there.  This woman knows a good scone.  When we get together, the scone snobbery abounds.

I feel so ashamed…  I know all scones are special in their own way.  Each one is unique and they deserve respect for the special individual baked good they are.  It’s just that some of them taste like crap.

If I baked, I would try to make authentic scones.  You know, the ones who want to spend the night with you clothed only in butter and jam with a dollop of cream covering their hindquarters.  Actually, I do bake, but only Christmas cookies and German Chocolate cake – “niche baking” I call it.  But then if I could make yummly tummly scones, I’d probably weight twice what I do now and be one of those people who Richard Simmons has to rescue from their La-Z-Boy with a fork lift.  Niche baking can be a good thing.

My coffee shop’s scones are decent when they’re fresh.  But they’re not like the scones I’ve had in Ireland.  I don’t know if it’s the non-GMO flour or the butter or the milk or the eggs they use over there.  Those Irish cows and chickens are pretty happy running around on the Emerald Isle.  Happy animals = happy scones maybe?

So my search continues for the perfect scone in the U.S.  A scone that beckons to me use copious amounts of butter to cover every square inch of it.  Wants me to smear fresh, fruity jam all over.  Then suggests I load it up with fresh cream that’s been beaten into a silky, white frenzy.  Finally whispers to me to slowly, every so slowly, bite into it, chew with my eyes closed and savor every last, delectable crumb.

I don’t smoke, but does anybody have a cigarette?