Recently I had the unpleasant experience of giving the Waffle House another chance. The last time I was in one was somewhere in the neighborhood of 1994-95. I don't remember the visit much, except that I always had this nagging urge to vomit a little when we passed one every time since then. Imagine my surprise when Mr. Farmer suggested we eat there again, all these years later.
We were trying to choose a place for dinner out, and when he said the words "Waffle House?" I replied, "Really? *choke* I mean, you are in the mood for breakfast for dinner?" He was, and when I asked him if he remembered how I liked it last time he said, "You were not impressed." Well, not impressed isn't the worst thing in the world, I thought, and we went inside.
The entire kitchen was in plain view behind the dining counter. I could see the waffle iron had not been cleaned and was dripping with batter. The stainless was not exactly shiny, and the place had all the feel of a greasy spoon restaurant. The grill was manned by a pimple-faced teenager, and the waitress didn't look happy to be there at all. There were very few patrons, and it was the heart of dinner hour.
All of these things are forgivable of course, so long as the food is delicious, which it was not. Each piece of our meal arrived separately. First my runny eggs and paper-thin steak arrived. Then came my undercooked, flavorless, instant grits. My cold toast followed, and we had to wait another minute or two for Mr. Farmer's hash browns. We decided to stop waiting and eat when his flour-and-water-wallpaper-paste-covered biscuits arrived.
The meal gave me cause for so many questions. How do you mess up instant grits? Why did she even bother to ask me how I wanted my steak cooked when medium is clearly not an option for a steak so thin? Who makes cream gravy without any pepper in it? What were we thinking?
When the waitress returned to the table to ask how things were, I quickly shoveled a bite of tasteless food in my mouth so I wouldn't have to answer. If you can't say anything nice, you shouldn't say anything at all, right? I was in no mood to send it back, mostly since I had no confidence whatsoever that any of it could have been done better. I mumbled under my breath, "I cook better than this."
I have repeatedly assured Mr. Farmer that I forgive him for taking me to the Waffle House, but I assure you that it will be another 15 years or so before I give them a third chance.