Watch Anthony Bourdain Try Waffle House For The First Time, Fall in Love

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.Bourdain: This is better than The French Laundry, man.

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.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.