I've been in Phoenix three days, and I've done five trips to the Waffle House already. I'm not trying to prove a point, but rather I just think the place kicks ass. The grilled chicken sandwiches are fabulous -- the best I've ever had. The waffles are of course brilliant, and the grilled bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches are nice for the occasional artery clogging delight. The hash browns come with cheese, onions and lots of other choices. In Waffle House parlance this is called "scattered, smothered and covered." They also have chunked, which doesn't sound too good, and I'm not sure what that adds. The coffee, fair warning, is and always has been, the weak link. I'm not a fan of chain restaurants in general, but the Waffle House actually does have good food and it lives up to its motto of "good food, fast and cheap" -- all while being open twenty four hours a day.
Waffle House was a staple of my college days. The main problem is that the House is rather regional -- mostly southern. New Jersey, sadly, is IHOP country. Note the true Mason/Dixon line above. One time I drove four hours or so from Columbia, S.C. to Atlanta, GA on a college trip and amused myself by counting Waffle Houses. Memory said the number was pegged at 45. If I had checked into the regional Waffle House availability, the relocation debate I had would have gone easier. All hail the Waffle House. ***
Randy Steele has a blog called Everybody's Got a Cousin on Saipan. I spent two weeks in Les Penas, Philippines, a section of Manila, and bumped into three Saipan folks. I saw Dennis, the erstwhile drummer from the Big Beats in the local mall, Sam, the one time owner of Sam's, now Wild Bill's, in the Manila Domestic Airport, as well as Richard Waldo, current NMC professor and former PSS chief bean counter.