Waffle House: an unexpected home


Annabeth Sarbacker

McDonald shoots a grin across the counter as she calls out her order to grill cook, Daniel Myren.

Annabeth Sarbacker

With graduation and moving to college on the horizon, my life has been in a constant state of change, except for one place: Waffle House #521. One of the perks of choosing a Waffle House is that you know what to expect; they are designed to be the same across the country. While there are across-the-board similarities, inevitably, they are not equal.

This Waffle House has been cited by customers and management as one of the cleanest despite its high volume of customers, and I agree. While spending an evening at the counter, I am able to see the constant upkeep and maintenance of their work stations and food preparation areas. The counters and tables are cleaned the second after someone leaves and dishes are promptly put into the washer. “We do all our own dishes,” said Heather McDonald, a server, when asked about what she wishes more people knew.  

While the food is what you would expect from a trademark of the American South—warm and comforting—the best part about this Waffle House is the atmosphere. I opt to sit at the counter so that I am able to chat with the cooks or servers more easily. McDonald proudly states that “regulars are the light of my day.” The caring and social personalities of the crew and other regulars make conversation easy.

Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, this Waffle House exceeds their commitment to great service. After many long days, without fail, I have been greeted with a genuine smile and friendly conversation. If you have time to stop by in the night you will be lucky enough to meet the night crew gems, like Miss Katie, a server, or maybe Bree, one of the best grill operators at this location. Although it may get busy, I never feel overlooked, as they will check on you and make sure your cup is always full.

#521 is not just a Waffle House to me, it is a home.