26 September, 2002
guide to area waffle houses by the
m b y e n j i e
"Waffle on two, out like one." These are the words that I hear from my favorite waitress Kina every single time I walk into the Waffle House on Exit 36. Waffle House holds a special place in my heart and in my arteries.
In high school, I would go to Waffle House every weekend. I really did not fully appreciate this great American institution until I came to college. Since my arrival at Davidson College, I believe I have visited around 8 or so Waffle Houses in the state of North Carolina, and I have been to the Waffle Houses on Exit 36 and 28 an estimated 500 times or so. If I could change my meal plan to Waffle House I would. Some people think that all Waffle Houses are the same. I will argue against such claims for the rest of my life.
Like the typical non-Davidson college student, I stay up till 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning doing absolutely nothing. My freshman year, I was on the most miserable hall ever created in the history of Davidson College. Across the hall from me was a person that I absolutely did not and could not stand. His name is Ryan Carvalho, and he was my sophomore year roommate. I could not stand Ryan, and the only way that we could get along at all was to go to Waffle House.
The first rule about our Waffle House visits was that we could not go there before midnight. We first went to Waffle House after we had a deep philosophical talk about life, (yes, Ryan and I do have deep talks about life). You see, most people don't realize that Waffle House is a place where deep philosophical conversations are held.
mbye & kina
During that first semester of our freshman year, we would only go to the Waffle House on exit 36 because we met the greatest worker in the history of all Waffle Houses there. This man's name was Dwayne. Dwayne had traveled all over the country, but he had been the Southeast working in various Waffle Houses for the past eighteen years.
Let me give a brief description of Dwayne. Dwayne was a short, fat balding black man in about his mid 40s or early 50s. If you know anything about rap, and you know who the rapper Cee-Lo is, then you have seen Dwayne's twin. The funniest thing about Dwayne is that you never knew what you were going to get despite the order you gave him. You could have ordered a double order of hash browns, and somehow end up with a hamburger. Kina, the best waitress that Waffle House has, told me recently that Dwayne had narcolepsy.
There are only a few people on this campus that met Dwayne with Ryan and I. These people are probably the ones that have been to Waffle House with us the most in our years here. All of these people have stories about Waffle House and their experiences with Dwayne. They are Shihab Sugeir, Nicole Tonelli, and Kayleen Hartman. We took a rookie with us one day (Deneille Erickson), and she had the nerve to complain when Dwayne came back with the wrong order. Needless to say, Deneille has not been invited back to come to Waffle House with us.
Dwayne left that Waffle House on exit 36 in the spring of my freshman year and has not come back, but that Waffle House definitely has many other characters. Johnny Ray is a cook at this waffle house. The first thing that is wrong with this brother is that he not only had a texturizer, but he also had a rat-tail.
Now, at the beginning of our sophomore year, Ryan and I had noticed that Johnny Ray was not working that much. So we asked Kina, and Kina notified us that Johnny Ray was in jail for robbing the Waffle House. One can only imagine how surprised Ryan and I were when we went to Waffle House at the end of the year last year, and saw Johnny Ray working at the same Waffle House he had robbed.
These are enough stories about the Exit 36 Waffle House.
The only reason that Ryan and I would go to the Waffle Houses in Statesville, of course, was related to our experiences with the Exit 36 Waffle House. Once Dwayne left the Exit 36 Waffle House, Ryan and I panicked. We had to find out where Dwayne was. The rumors around Exit 36 were that he was a manager at one of the Waffle Houses at Statesville. After going to a men's soccer game at Wake Forest last year, Ryan and I decided that we were going to find Dwayne. We went to the first Waffle House in Statesville, and they, of course, knew who Dwayne was. They told us that he was the manager at the other Waffle House.
Ryan and I drove around some of the scariest back roads to get to the other Waffle House, and they told us that he had just gotten off and went home. We were distraught, but decided it was time to move on. We found out that Dwayne had surgery to help out his narcolepsy and that he has been sick since. I ask everybody to say a prayer for Dwayne. The staffs of both Statesville Waffle Houses are rather nice, but they don't have a Kina or Johnny Ray.
Exit 28 is the worst thing that has ever happened to Waffle House. First of all, there was no big Waffle House sign over it, and it was new and clean. These are all clear warning signs of a terrible Waffle House. The only good things that have come out of the Exit 28 Waffle House have all left. Davidson, do not let the closeness of this Waffle House fool you. This is not a true Waffle House.
They used to have a master chef who was the best cook that Ryan and I had ever met, but he left. We also thought that we had found a new Dwayne in this waiter there named Ray. Now, Ray looked like one of those classic child pornography connoisseurs that you see on TV, and he was crazy.
At the beginning of last year, Ryan and I took a freshman girl that was getting married later on that year to Waffle House (long story, don't ask). Ray found out that she was getting married and decided that she needed to have a bachelorette party there. Ray decides to get on the table and start stripping and dancing for her. Needless to say, that was the last time we saw Ray there.
The only other good thing about this Waffle House was this waitress who was quitting the next day, and gave us everything for free. Besides that, I would advise all of you to stay away from this hellhole that claims to be a Waffle House. You can tell it is not a Waffle House because the prices are way too high. They do not even have a double waffle on their menu. We must boycott until this is changed and until their prices are back to Waffle House standards.
Talking about horrible Waffle Houses, exits 23 and 18 are also very bad. Exit 23 has so much potential because it is in a very sketchy location, but nothing ever happens here, the staff is mean, and they cannot cook. It has not even come close to fulfilling its potential. The exit 18 Waffle House has the slowest service in the world. Their staff is absolutely disastrous. They are lazy, inconsiderate, and have no personality.
The only good experience that Ryan and I had there was on this one occasion when there was a group of gay men there. These men were giving out condoms with directions in Spanish on them, and they were trying to translate these directions for everybody that walked in. The funniest part about this whole trip was that these men were making fun of any attractive or unattractive woman that walked in with a man. Ryan and I left when they started to go into detail about what they would do with the men.
This is a roundup of all the Waffle Houses around the area. The bottom line here is that you should go to Exit 36 Waffle House. We have seen fights and 70 year old drunk women singing before trying to molest Ryan. Dwayne is no longer there, but Kina is. How many other places can say that they have an ex-con who went to jail for robbing them who is working for them again?
If you have any other questions or queries about Waffle House, you can always come and get in contact with me. If anybody ever wants to go to Waffle House--a real Waffle House and not that bush league exit 28 Waffle House--you can always e-mail or call a brother anytime.