Monday, February 17, 2014

President's Day at Waffle House (2014)

Good morning!

Whew, it's Monday! I spent the weekend running around to the estate sales, watching the rest of season 3 Homeland (don't wanna talk about it, my heart is broken), starting the first season of House of Cards (don't tell me about it, I'm only like 7 episodes in), and eating brunch with two lovely ladies at CafĂ© Fundamental on Porter Road (those crepes were ballin', y'all). I almost FORGOT, until I went to work Sunday afternoon, that Monday was a government holiday. No work for this gal; I slept in until the decadent hour of 9:30, then crawled out of bed, sleepheaded, to get dressed for a special breakfast run to Waffle House. This may be the closest you get to an "as it happened" blog from me, so enjoy the immediacy of my Monday morning!

Let's start with what I wore:

Suspend disbelief for a moment, and let me tell you that this is my version of casual wear. I'm serious! When I don't feel like spending the extra fifteen minutes it takes to braid my hair and put on tights/a slip/foundation garments, throwing on these leggings, a dress, hair in a side ponytail, hat, boots, and lipstick takes about ten minutes and I'm do-o-one. Dita Von Teese talks about, in this article on her beauty routine, having makeup and basic clothes that looks polished but take barely any time to apply/assemble, and this is my that. It took me less time to get into this than it would into jeans. The dress is an Edith Martin "California Original" from a vintage clearance sale out at the Tennessee Antique Mall (five bucks, no joke, and look at how cute the label is), the jacket is Gadzooks via Goodwill (and is somewhere between one of those "chubby" jackets from the fifties and Patricia Arquette in the late 90's, a total coup), and that King Tut necklace was MISSING to the point that I thought I may have lost it at some karaoke death march, but  recently reappeared under the bed (I owe my extreme and lasting gratefulness to St. Anthony).

When Matthew and I were first dating in the summer of 2008, we used to go to the McGavock Waffle House (at the Opryland exit in almost-Donelson) ALL. THE. TIME.  I don't know if it was willful nutritional ignorance,  or the rose colored glasses of first love, but oh my God, we had bacchanals of hashbrowns, bacon and egg sandwiches, and chocolate chip pecan waffles. I was eating like I was training to be in a biopic about Kate Smith. Remembering the devastation that a 4,000 calorie meal used to put on these fragile bird bones, I have since been wary to go back to the scene of the crime, but today, WaHo sang its siren's song, and we heeded the call!

Matthew had brought quarters for me to put in the juke box, but they've installed one of those digital kinds of the place of the old cd-slinging machine, which takes dollars and doesn't have nearly enough George Jones on it. ONE SONG. And that song is "He Stopped Loving Her Today"...I don't want to eat hashbrowns and cry, so I gave up my dream of eight credits worth of the Possum. My go-to tracks on the jukebox in the Waffle House I frequented in my Knox County days were, in order, "Crazy on You" by Heart, "Free Bird", "Jet Airliner" by Steve Miller Band, and "Coffee and Cigarettes" by Otis Redding (plus whatever various Motown or old school country songs they might have on a best of). Today, we came in and someone had already put ON "Crazy on You", followed by Otis Redding's "These Arms of Mine" and "One More Day", which was fine with me! I added "When You're Hot, You're Hot" by Jerry Reed, "Sympathy for the Devil", "Soul Man", and something else I can't remember, and looked over the menu, which you can see reproduced in its entirety below (aren't you getting hungry just looking at it?):

I went for a large order of hashbrowns, diced, peppered and capped; Matthew got the same and we split a pecan waffle. Do you know they put the calorie counts on the side of the menu next to the prices now? WHAT KIND OF SACRILEGE IS THIS. I don't want to know, Waffle House menu designers! I deserve not to know!

Fellow bloggers-- do you feel weird taking out your phone to super-extra-cover everything when you're out doing something you want to blog about? I usually FORGET to take pictures, but when I do, I always feel like "THAT girl" trying to Robert Capa photodocument her quotidian little life. I kept waiting for the waitress was going to come over and say, "Seriously, you all stop taking pictures of each other, please." But we would not be stopped! Here's a snap of Bub looking PARTICULARLY handsome (I got him that David Byrne concert shirt at his concert at the Ryman, that same "summer of Waffle House"):

This food looks exactly what it looked like to us at the time in its unfocusedness-- our vision was blurred with hunger and food lust:

And one more of me, stoic before digging into the jalapeno'd, mushroom'd, tomato'd, ketchup'd bunch of potato-y goodness in front of me:

THE FOOD WAS SO GOOD. I might should have skipped the jalapenos, which were at ratio of like 10 to 1 for every other add-on ingredient in the hashbrowns (what were they trying to do to me!), but it was delicious anyway, especially since it had been so long since I'd had a plateful. We laughed and talked about our olden times at this same Waffle House. I was teaching and it was summer vacation, Matthew was just back from touring with a local band all over the US, and our time was all out own! And that's been coming up on six years seems like it was last weekend. It's funny to think of how much you take for granted having large blocks of time like that. It was nice to get a morning to hang out with the husband and just shoot the breeze over coffee, though, I felt like my batteries got recharged just a little bit.

Thank you, Washington and Lincoln, for having a holiday in your honor so I could have such a good breakfast out on the town with my Bab!

Poor Matthew had to go off to work at noon-- and what am I going to do with the rest of my day? Probably transfer some records over on my USB turntable (I have not used that thing nearly as much as I should, and one of my resolutions is to digitize some of my massive record collection from high school), watch some more House of Cards, and read some books from the library that should probably go BACK to the library at some point (possibly, maybe). What are you going to do with your day off? Do you get one? Had a good long weekend? Let's talk!

I've got some vintage finds to show off tomorrow, but that's all for now! Have a great Monday, and I'll see you again tomorrow. Til then!


  1. You are the only person that I know who can make Waffle House look sophisticated! :)

    1. HAHA, you know it!! Classin' up the joint! It's so weird being in there without the hazy cigarette smoke section anymore, wasn't that always the most hilariously tiny "no, seriously, there are two sections" place to have smoking and non?

  2. Replies
    1. SO. DELICIOUS. I hadn't been in a dog's age, so that helped, too! :D

  3. you look fab in your "casual wear"!
    and i have to search the pantry for some fat, tasty food now!!!!

    1. Thank you!! Nothing beats fried potatoes in ANY form for guilty pleasure tastiness!

  4. I used to work at a Waffle House. Learning all that nonsense that you yell at the cook was probably the hardest part of the job.
    We have none here in New Mexico, but I make it a point to eat there at least once when I go back home.
    And oh my gosh... a GADZOOKS jacket! I flipped when they finally put one of those stores in our mall. Ah, high school...

    1. I always hear them say the stuff, and never know what it means! You're an initiate of their secret language...!!

      And about the gadzooks jacket, RIGHT? It was so on the edge circa 2000! Nostalgia for the mall and high school flooded over me like a wave.



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