AJC - CNN’s “Parts Unknown” host has made a career out of visiting some of the world’s most eccentric locales and eating whatever the local populace will put on a plate, stick or shingle. The worst thing he’s ever eaten? Fermented shark in Iceland, which somehow beat out maggot fried rice and raw seal eyes. The best? Could it be a pecan waffle from Waffle House? Bourdain visited a South Carolina Waffle House recently with Southern Chef Sean Brock, who said he has visited the roadside eatery since he was a young because he enjoys watching food being prepared. Brock, from Charleston, apparently has the two-sided menu implanted in his DNA and instructs the man who has tasted everything to get a pecan waffle. He then shows him how to slather a butter-like substance into every waffle grid and soak it in syrup. Bourdain’s review? He says Waffle House is “indeed marvelous” but seems as captivated by the late-night lunacy as the food. In the opening of the video, the famous chef (and imbiber of adult beverages) offers up high praise, calling the familiar diner a “yellow beacon of hope” for the “seriously hammered.” Customers of all races, creeds and “degrees of inebriation” seem welcome, he says. “It never closes” and “is always there for you.”
This perfectly sums up everything we already knew about chain restaurants. Whether it’s the wonderful Waffle House, TGI Friday’s, or whatever your favorite is, there’s one constant- the food is delicious. No, it’s not fancy. No, it’s not healthy. But god damn is Waffle House straight fire when you need something that will really hit the spot. And Anthony Bourdain could not be on our side any more if he tried. A guy who has eaten the finest dishes across the world still sits down at “the yellow beacon of hope” and says, yeah, this stuff is amazing as only Anthony Bourdain can. There’s no longer any need to feel ashamed for loving Waffle House (if you ever were). Bourdain gives the House his stamp of approval. Eat your homefries til your heart literally explodes, my friends.
PS: He loves In-N-Out as well. I think deep down inside he’d rather just eat at fast food places all day than exquisite 5 star restaurants.