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8 Things You Didn’t Know About Waffle House

Sure, it looks like just another American diner. But don't be fooled—this southern gem is full of surprises.

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Waffle House exterior sign and logo.Ken Wolter/Shutterstock

The Original Waffle House Had a Brief Hiatus as a Chinese Restaurant

In what we can only assume was some sort of midlife crisis, the group sold the original Waffle House in the 1970s, and the building housed a Chinese restaurant until 2007. The company repurchased the building and used original blueprints to restore it to its former 1950s glory, and operates the facility as a headquarters and museum, which is available for scheduled tours.

What restaurants make the list as the country’s oldest? The answers might surprise you.

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slow-cooked chunky chiliTaste of Home

Waffle House Names Menu Items After Employees

Bert’s Chili, Lib’s Patty Melt, Walt’s Soup and Alice’s Iced Tea are all named after real Waffle House employees who helped create and perfect their menu items. While Waffle House doesn’t mess around much with their menus, they do occasional debut new items.

Try these Waffle House copycat recipes.

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waffles for Valentine's DayDenis Val/Shutterstock

Waffle House Has Valentine’s Day Dinner

Sure, you could take your loved one on a gondola ride in Venice or witness a sunset from the Eiffel tower. But nothing will ever live up to the magic that is Valentine’s Day at Waffle House. They pull out all the stops, with white tablecloths and candles, heart-shaped waffles and t-bone steaks. Reservations are strongly recommended. If you’re planning a romantic breakfast for dinner at home—here are a few tips to making perfect waffles.

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Vintage Jukebox Selections AngledTu Olles/Shutterstock

The Chain Has Its Own Music Label

Waffle House has been releasing its own music since 1984, with songs like “Waffle House For You and Me” and “There Are Raisins In My Toast.” It’s cheery, it’s weird, it makes you suddenly ravenous.

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A Waffle House open during emergency evacuation just before Hurricane Florence.RedCom Productions/Shutterstock

FEMA Uses Waffle House to Rank Natural Disasters

Waffle House is always open, come rain, come shine, come natural disaster. The chain is so well-known for keeping its doors open during disasters that FEMA has a scale called the Waffle House Index to rank storm damage based on how many Waffle Houses have closed or limited their menus. Here’s to hoping there are still steak and eggs available during the apocalypse.

Are you prepared for a power outage in your home?

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A Waffle House in Jacksonville.Rob Wilson/Shutterstock

Waffle House Pumps Up the Jams

The iconic Waffle House jukeboxes finally got their own awards program. The Tunie Awards, announced for the first time on November 15, 2018, ranked the most-played songs across all 1,900 Waffle House locations. While Khalid’s very smooth “Location” takes the first-place slot, the other hits run the genre gamut, from Keith Urban’s “Blue Ain’t Your Color” to The Weeknd’s “Can’t Feel My Face.”

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Taste of Home

They’ve Obviously Hosted the Waffle House World Waffle Eating Competition

And the competition was fierce. Although Joey Chestnut won two years in a row, besting his 2005 score of 18.5 waffles with an impressive 24 waffles in 2006, he lost the title in 2007 to Patrick Bertoletti, who consumed 29 waffles in 10 minutes.

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Fresh brown eggs on a transportation line on a modern poultry factoryKartinkin77/Shutterstock

It’s Insanely Popular

Okay, you probably knew this one already. But the statistics on the Waffle House website are seriously insane. They serve 341 strips of bacon a minute, and enough coffee every year to fill eight Olympic-sized swimming pools. And, if you laid the number of eggs they have served since 1955 side by side, they would span roughly the distance from Los Angeles to Moscow.

Southern cooking just has that special something. Bring the best tips to your kitchen with these Southern cooking secrets.

Maggie Ward
Maggie’s background in the arts gave her a penchant for collaborative communication and the pursuit of conveying ideas in a clear, striking way. Outside of writing for Taste of Home, Maggie loves playing the piano and writing music, as well as performing with various bands and theatre productions around the city of Chicago.
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