I just wanted to give a big, happy Shout Out to the Waffle House in McMinnville, TN. I went there last Monday to have some filling food after spending the past 4 days at Bonnaroo in Manchester TN (a 4-day concert and tent-camping in dry, dusty conditions). When we arrived at the Waffle House, we were exhausted, dusty, and had eaten terribly for the past four days (who wants to camp-cook when it means missing a great band? We'd been subsisting on granola bars, sandwiches, and the like since we got to TN). The staff was great! We knew we probably didn't smell the best, but they provided us with endless coffee, basic eggs, bacon, and their amazing hash browns (scattered, smothered, covered, peppered, chunked and topped). And, of course, waffles. And it was perfect. They understand "over-light" eggs, and they know how necessary hot, strong coffee by the gallon is sometimes. They were fun, friendly, and efficient. And all of this while getting slammed by dusty, dirty, tired, happy hippies (okay, mostly hippie-wanna-be kids, and a few old folks like me and my crew, in our mid 40's). They kept slinging hash, joking with the crowd, and kept the coffee flowing.
Waffle House will forever hold a special place in my road-food continuum because of the way they handled themselves in McMinnville, and if I'm ever in need of fast, hot, diner fare because I can't drive one minute more without it, I'm going to seriously consider Waffle House as a stop.