Because of a Naked Man and His Penis, I Went to Waffle House

Because of a Naked Man and His Penis, I Went to Waffle House

I went to a Waffle House, the American staple beloved by truckers and drunks (or drunks and truckers). Waffle House is a late-night legend for the under 25 drunk crowd, also drawing tired truckers, and odd fellows alike, from along interstates across the southern United States. Because of a  recent Blot story referring to a Naked Man’s Penis being exposed at The Waffle House, I went there.

The chain’s crappy and unassuming exteriors do nothing to instill confidence in the culinary abilities therein. However, despite Waffle House’s reputation as a haunt of those who are not of sober minds, it is increasingly receiving recognition from very prestigious sources.

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“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,” Anthony Bourdain said of Waffle House after visiting with Sean Brock, a James Beard Award-winning chef based in Charleston, South Carolina, and a devoted fan of the chain.

On a recent trip I decided to stop by Waffle House to see how it has managed to win over everyone who has stepped through its doors.  Remembering my favorite story of the Waffle House, the one man sausage party piece from The Blot.

Turns out, Waffle House was founded in 1955 by Tom Forkner and Joe Rogers in Atlanta, GA. Today, the chain has almost 2,000 locations in 25 states. As with most Waffle Houses, the outside appearance wasn’t much to look at, but we were not expecting much in that vein.

Inside, Waffle House has a classic diner feel. Subway tiles, vinyl booths, and even a friggin’ jukebox lend a comforting vibe of days gone by. They avoid jumping on any hipster dining trends, no repurposed wood or industrial lighting fixtures in here.

When it comes to hash browns (their #1 menu item), you have options. Feel free to order them smothered, covered, chunked, diced, peppered, capped, topped, or country — or, if you’re feeling really feisty, “all the way.” We went with smothered and covered, and it was incredible, an extravaganza of potato, cheese, and sautéed onions.


Here’s a guide for this lingo:

Smothered = with sautéed onions.
Covered = cheese.
Chunked = hickory-smoked ham.
Diced = grilled tomatoes.
Peppered = jalapeño peppers.
Capped = grilled mushrooms.
Topped = chili.
Country = sausage gravy.

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I almost didn’t order the steak melt, but our damn waitress said it was her favorite and not to be missed. I listened, and thought about this melt every day since. The trance of its harmoniously greasy, cheesy, tender, and toasted creation nearly drove us to tears.


Went in thinking about the same old greasy spoon dining experience. I left certain that we had just eaten one of the best heart attack causing meals this country has to offer. So should you be a weary traveler on a southern interstate and see that blazing yellow sign, do not turn away — go forth and feast upon the smothered, covered, capped, and topped beauty.

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