At 2 a.m., the food options in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, are pretty scarce. A couple of friends and I had just finished up press night at the local newspaper, and all we wanted was a late-night snack. As we contemplated what might possibly be open at that hour, a fellow editor exclaimed, "We gotta go to Waffle House!" It would be my first time stepping foot inside the beloved late-night diner chain.
Inside, my attention was directed to the hash brown section of the menu. Regular, large or triple, scattered on the grill and smothered, covered, chunked, topped, diced, peppered, capped...these words were foreign to me. (According to Waffle House receipts, there are 3.5 million ways to enjoy the hash browns.) But any true Waffle Houser knows that you gotta come up with your own combination. My colleagues listed off their creations in a singsongy voice, and suddenly it was my turn.
And just like that, at 2:15 a.m., my Waffle House hash brown combination was born from someplace deep inside my own heart. "Regular, smothered, covered, peppered." It would become my go-to order, for years to come, and ultimately we'll grow old together. Me and regular, smothered, covered, peppered. It's like knowing your social security number. Your Waffle House hash brown order is important.
So, what about you? What is your Waffle House hash brown order?
About the Author: Amalia Safran is a recent graduate from Lehigh University where she majored in journalism. She is currently a Serious Eats intern.