Waffle House, All the Way!

Over the last year and a half, I’ve taken a liking to the Waffle House. While in Athens, GA last summer, Meagan insisted we try it since she had heard it was a southern staple. While Waffle House wasn’t my first, second, or third choice, I reluctantly went along with it. By the end of our meal, I was glad she had insisted.

While I had a feign awareness of the chain and had recognized the logo, I incorrectly thought we had them back home. The closest Waffle House to Chicago is three hours away by car in Indianapolis. Once passing downtown Indy via southbound I-65, they suddenly exist in high numbers. You can find one at seemingly every other exit!

I would love to know why there aren’t any within the Chicago area. It just seems so arbitrary that Indianapolis is the cut off point. There does happen to be at least one Waffle House in Illinois that I am aware of, down in the St. Louis suburb of Collinsville. That one is about four hours from home.

Each Waffle House has a distinct unimpressive look resembling that of an old and dirty diner. Each time I’ve been to one, it’s always been while traveling so the occasions have been associated with adventure.

On one of our recent road trips, I introduced Waffle House to my friend Dan. As I was eyeing the menu towards the safe and reliable combination of eggs, sausage and bacon, Dan had his eyes set on their “all the way” hash browns. Simply put, these are hash browns grilled and melted with onions, cheese, diced ham and tomatoes, jalapeño peppers, mushrooms, chili and gravy. It sounded absolutely gross, but somehow, Dan had heard that this combination was a winner. That’s what he was going to order and he successfully talked me into doing the same. Reluctantly, I followed through, except I ordered mine without gravy.

He was right. The all the way hash browns were absolutely amazing!

This upcoming Friday, he and I are heading to Minneapolis for one of our road trips, even though we are flying instead of driving. Unfortunately, there isn’t a Waffle House in the Twin Cities.

Sunday night, he texted me asking what I’m doing this Thursday night. Nothing that I was aware of besides packing for the trip. He responded back with just two words. “Waffle House.”

Since our Louisville road trip earlier this February, we have talked about randomly driving out one night to Indianapolis for a late night Waffle House run. We just haven’t gotten around to making that happen.

Dan’s idea for this Thursday night is to drive down to Indy, make our Waffle House stop, and then drive all the way back.

Our plane on Friday to Minneapolis leaves from Midway sometime after 11 a.m. My thought was if we leave straight after work, we can do all this and make it back to his place not long after midnight. When he said he had a few things to take care of after work, I wasn’t expecting him to follow up with the suggestion of not leaving until 9 p.m.!

With that startling revelation, I re-estimate how this might pan out. A three hour drive gets us to Indy by midnight, and at best make it back to his place by 4 a.m. After crashing there for the night, we wake up at 8 a.m. and get ourselves over to Midway.

While I probably wouldn’t have had the gull to suggest such an idea, I’m glad he did. As much hesitation as I have, I am even more excited. Driving to Indianapolis late Thursday night for a one hour visit at a crappy diner to then drive all the way back overnight and be lucky if we get a few hours sleep so that we can fly out later that morning to Minneapolis is absolutely insane!

We are only young once. Hopefully this makes for an interesting story way down the line.

I have no doubt the journey will be well worth the effort. All the way!

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