Sunday, March 02, 2008

WAFFLE _ _ _ _ _

Tam's likely blogging along these lines, too, but this'n's worth it:

We're nattering along and she points out how the "Culinary Capital Of The World" (NYC, per a VFTP poster an' for all I know he's right, if one's got the attitude, palate an' pocketbook) has not got even a single Waffle House, adding that Waffle House is, in point of fact, the pinnacle of short-order breakfasty eats.

Me, I am agreeable, so I nod but remark, "I dunno. Waffle and Steak is better."

Tam: "What?"

"Waffle and Steak," I say, "I think they're local or regional. Way better. Serious diner ambiance goin' on. Majorly good food. Fast. Friendly."

"That is semantically null. It's like saying, 'This chair over here is better than the Platonic Ideal of a chair!"

"No, really. It's better."

"Impossible," Tam retorts, and turns back to her monitor and keyboard. Tappety, tappety, tap, tap. click. "Oh! '...Known as Waffle and Steak only in Indiana, where another firm owns all rights to the name Waffle House.' Hmm!"

Me: "You mean we're actually talking about the same place?

Tam: "Yup."

...Statistically Improbable Predilection #476, or the simple fact the place is just plain good? I dunno.


BobG said...

Luckily I don't eat waffles, so I am spared the anxiety of where to eat.

Carteach0 said...

Long as the onions are fried in, we are in complete agreement. Small issue... the steaks are a wee bit skimpy for a manly man like me.
Luckily, they don't blink if'n ya order two on one plate.

David said...

Okay, so how do these places compare to an IHOP? We have IHOPs in California, but they pretty much suck.

Roberta X said...

They don't suck. At all.

What it is, is standard diner fare of, oh, 40 years ago or more, in a standard diner establishment, neither of wwhich is all that standard these days. No crepes, no frekkin' bizarre hotcake experiments. The plain stuff, competently preprared. There's some soup and salad on the menu but no ferns. The silver is heavy stainless and the china is heavy crockery. You can get bacon, sausgae, good ham and decent hash in addition to a hunk red meat and they're not apologetic about offerin' 'em.

Carteach0 said...

I KNOW what you wrote.... but in my head I'm hearing.....

SPAM spam spam spam spam spam and eggs, with spam.

Roberta X said...

Well, it hasn't got much rat in it, 'Teach!

Amusingly, Tam and I wrote differently-abridged accounts of the discussion, which was a lot more light-hearted than it reads but went on in irresistable force/immovable object fashion for several minutes until we learned it was the same place and each started snickering at ourselves.

og said...

I HATE fast food places, frankly. I am fighting to take off weight that fast food put there. And I always prefer to sit and eat than to eat and run. So if I'm faced with the golden arches and waffle house, I'll always choose waffle house- but I also always prefer a non-chain local place, if i can get it, somewhere you can get actual food. I usually look to where the locals eat, and especially where the local farmers eat. And sometimes, painfully, it's the awful waffle.

Rob K said...

Something somewhere reminded me... if you're ever up here in the Lafayette area, there's the Triple XXX on the hill in Berkley on the Wabash (aka West Lafayette). It is archetypal diner food, though Tam would have to forgo smoking while eating, since that is now verboten west of the river. They sponsor the Purdue Trap & Skeet club. They also run the Route 66 Diner out on the west side of town, just off US52.

HTRN said...

Of course I'm right.

I never said it was CHEAP - A Nice Dinner at Jean Georges will set you back the equivalent of rent money.

But there are alot of good local places as well - I used to eat at a fantastic Cninese place at 86th & 4th in Brooklyn, that cost me like $4 for lunch. Admittedly that was 11 years ago, but even then, McD's was more money.

And I can tell you why there is no Wafflehouse here - the Restaurant industry here is hypercompetitive -there is literally a restaurant on almost every block in Manhattan - Montague st. in Brooklyn, has 40 dining establisments on one block(both sides of the street). How can you compete with that?

Roberta X said...

By settin' rats loose in the competition (oh, remeber the video from Manhattan? -- It was a chain of some sort, KFRat or Taco Yakko) or bribin' the buildin' or health inspector to find evidence of awfulness, is how you compete.

Manhattan is not the rest of the country; that level of population density is pretty rare. Some parts of Chicago have a bit of it but the place has more in common with, for example, Tokyo than it does towns and cities in the rest of the States. Not that there's anything wrong with that but we both err when we extrapolate o'ermuch from our respective locales.

HTRN said...

It was a Chain, can't remember which one..

And really, that was an isolated incident - it's the first I had ever heard of it being done.

And you don't bribe the health inspector to shut down your competitors A)because it's rare for the Health Dept to actually just shut them down(they mostly give fines and do reinspections) and B)You're not competing against 1 business. You probably have 5 or more similar style(Sushi, Italian, etc) restaurants in a coupla block radius.

And no place has a population density like Manhattan - 67,000 per square mile.

Now, Don't get me wrong, there's alot of reasons to hate NYC(Hell, I'm leaving as soon as it's economically viable), but the food is one of the few great reasons to live here.