Those of us fortunate to live in the South know the meaning of the words scattered, smothered, covered, chunked, diced, peppered, capped, topped and country. At least how those words all relate to food or more specifically- hashbrowns. These are all words used to custom order those beloved Waffle House hashbrowns. Waffle House is a true Southern institution though there a few scattered as far north as Ohio and as far west as Arizona. However, down here in the South, especially in Orlando, there is a Waffle House every couple of miles in whichever direction you travel. New Jersey has their diners, we have our Waffle Houses. Greatest place in the world for greasy, cheap and quick grub.
My partner Chad and I recently drove up into Georgia and came across a Huddle House. Both Waffle House and Huddle House were started in Georgia. Both are open 24 hours a day. Both offer breakfast round the clock. Both are mostly scattered across the southern United States. While Waffle House has over 1700 locations in 25 states, Huddle House only has 430 outlets in 21 states. But does bigger mean better?
First of all, Waffle House does have those famous hashbrowns. Waffle House is also popular with the waffle crowd. And they don’t do pancakes.
Huddle House doesn’t really have a signature dish though they do offer waffles as well as French toast and omelets. There are egg platters with bacon, sausage, ham or fried steak.
At Waffle House you can custom build your hashbrowns and just pay for what you order. At Huddle House you can order your hashbrowns all the way which means with ham, onions, tomatoes, peppers and cheese for an extra $1.69. For me, someone who doesn’t eat ham, I can have the ham left off but I still pay the same amount. They do not let you add invidual things to the hashbrowns. At least not at the Huddle Houses I’ve been to. It’s either plain or all the way. At Waffle House you can have your hashbrowns any way you please. And Waffle House offers twice as many toppings.
At Waffle House you can customize breakfast platters. If you don’t eat meat you can substitute at no extra charge with hashbrowns or fruit. We ordered the French toast platter at Huddle House which comes with eggs and meat. We asked to substitute the meat for hashbrowns but they offer no substitutions. So if you don’t eat meat, expect to pay extra for something else.
However, this isn’t all about bashing Huddle House. Huddle House offers items like mozzarella sticks and fried pickles. Waffle House doesn’t. I even ordered fried pickles alongside my Huddle House two egg platter. Both places offer burgers, chili and salads for dinner. Truth be told, I have never eaten at either for anything other than breakfast food. It’s like going to Burger King and ordering the Veggie Burger (I have done that though.) It’s like going to Starbucks and ordering a decaf. (Oh wait…I’ve done that too- well you get my point.)
Both restaurants offer a counter where you can sit and watch food being prepared on the grill. Both places are quick, cheap and greasy. Both joints can be crowded at times and get loud. However…and this is a biggie… where else but Waffle House can you listen to Waffle Do Bop and 844,739 Ways to Eat a Hamburger piping out of the jukebox?
At Waffle House I can order extra pickles with my eggs and not be charged for an additional side. Waffle House lets me order according to my dietary needs while Huddle House penalizes me for not eating meat. Hands down, Waffle House not only has the better food, but they treat you like a person and not a number in the cash register.