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If you’ve paid attention to Anthony Bourdain and his long career, you know that he’s a man with strong taste buds and even stronger opinions. He’s eaten food all across the planet in the finest restaurants and in the most rural settings, but somehow hadn’t ever experienced the glowing yellow glory that is a Waffle House. Check out his first trip below.
For those of us that live in the South where any thrown rocks will land somewhere near a Waffle House parking lot, the 24-hour restaurant is a rite of culinary passage. But even those outside the region know about the crosshatched magic, and I was kind of astounded to learn that Bourdain had never been to one. That all changed thanks to his CNN series Parts Unknown and the Emmy-nominated Southern food mastermind Sean Brock.
Brock didn’t disappoint when it came to laying out exactly why Waffle House is so incredible to its patrons. (Perhaps incredible is a strong word, but I would easily leave this story half-written right now in order to go chow down on an All-Star Special.) He makes Bourdain try the pecan waffle, and positively drowns it beneath butter and syrup, which is obviously the best way to do anything.
And no trip to Waffle House can be complete without a healthy dose of hashbrowns with all the various fixins. In fact, very few trips there should be complete without a selections of cocktails taken in beforehand so that a plethora of jokes can be made about how to create the signature hashbrown dish. I personally like to go with scattered, covered, smothered, brothered, flippered, scampered, differed, trampled, clobbered and schmoozed. Things are funnier with alcohol.
The clip ends with a fantastic bit of dialogue between the two men about standout chef Thomas Keller’s most recognized restaurant.
Brock: You don’t come here expecting The French Laundry. You come here expecting something amazing.
Kind of a nerdy foodie reference there, but a funny one nonetheless.
Parts Unknown just finished off Season 6 with that trip to Charleston, South Carolina, but you can catch repeats on CNN, or just head to the website and watch the episodes there. Here’s hoping they hit up a Checkers or a Dairy Queen next season.