Benton Waffle House — maximum comfort food
When you’re in the mood for some filling, artery-clogging comfort food, it’s hard to beat the Waffle House.
Of course, those are scattered all over the South, but I’ve been a somewhat regular customer at the one here in Benton for a couple of decades now. I say “somewhat regular” because too much Waffle House in the diet could well lead to health problems. We’re not talking about health-conscious meals here. We’re talking about comfort food that is all well and good so long as it is an occasional indulgence rather than the focal point of a diet. To get an idea of the the nutritional value of the stuff Waffle House serves up daily, have a look at this rundown on MyFitnessPal.com.
Bear in mind that pointing out the somewhat detrimental health ramifications of Waffle House is not meant to be a criticism. Rather, it’s important to point out that moderation is important when it comes to the Waffle House. There’s not a thing wrong with heading over there on occasion.
And, yes, there are plenty of us that love heading over there from time to time. Why? Waffle House excels in serving up Southern comfort food by utilizing recipes that have been proven over the years and are wonderfully consistent from franchise to franchise. The franchise specializes in breakfast foods, of course, meaning you’ll find plenty of traditional items such as omelets, sausage, bacon and eggs. Throw in some regional favorites such as grits, biscuits and gravy, and chopped steak and eggs and you truly have a unique franchise.
Ready for lunch or dinner? The Waffle House has you covered there with burgers, sandwiches, steaks and plenty of “after morning” items that are always tempting. The Waffle House may be a great breakfast place, but it is also a diner and the staff strives to cover tastes all times of the day. The place is open 24 hours a day, after all, and not everyone wants breakfast all the time.
Ah, and then you’ve got the waffles for which the place is named. You’ll not find any pancakes at Waffle House, but you won’t much care once you get a waffle. The things are crisp on the outside, smooth on the inside and contain just a hint of sweetness. You can get them plain, get the somewhat more complex buttermilk variation of the classic recipe and throw in some tasty items such as pecans, chocolate chips and (on occasion) butterscotch chips. If you’re feeling truly hungry, make that waffle a double.
The crew at Waffle House also excels at whipping up one of the best batches of hash browns to be found anywhere. By themselves, the hash browns are just crisp enough to add a pleasant texture to them, but no one orders just hash browns, do they? No, Waffle House is renowned for adding items to those hash browns to make them simply unique. My personal favorite is to order them “chunked,” simply meaning ham is diced up and cooked into the hash browns. Splash a little Tobasco sauce on there and you’ve got something great. However, one can order them with cheese, onions, mushrooms, chili (yes, you read that right) or tomatoes. Throw in the combination of ingredients you’d like and you’ve got a substantial meal on your hands.
As for the Waffle House in Benton, it is an ideal stop for travelers as it is located right off of Interstate 30 and, as such, is one of those places that one can stop at quickly when in a hurry. The food is served up fast, the staff is friendly and the atmosphere is always casual and relaxed. It’s kind of like hitting a convenient fast food joint, but the food is better, made to order and you’ll feel better with a big, reasonably priced meal and a cup of coffee than you ever would with a burger and fries.
By the way, you can spread some joy by picking up a few items at the Waffle House shop.
Benton resident. Rogue journalist. Recovering attorney. Email = Ethan@FirstArkansasNews.net.