A petition to bring Waffle House to the District of Columbia is more than a third of a way to its goal. Put slightly less optimistically, the petition’s author hopes for 100 signatures, and there are 37 so far. The petition blames “big pancake lobbyists” for keeping a location of “America’s favorite diner” outside the nation’s capital.
DC exists in something of a Waffle House hole: The closest location is in Dumfries, Virginia, near Prince William Forest Park and about a 40-minute drive from downtown if traffic isn’t too bad. But the chain, a Southern institution known for customizable hash browns and excellent disaster planning, has plenty of restaurants north of the city: Frederick, Maryland, is something of a mecca, with three Waffle Houses within an easy drive.
Reached by phone, petition organizer Noah Whitehead explains that he’s a senior at American University who fell in love with Waffle House when he lived in Florida. The idea, he said, came to him when he was having breakfast in DC and realized things could be so much better. He sometimes hits up Steak ‘n Egg Kitchen, but doesn’t feel like it hits quite the same. A true Florida man, he says that when confronted with the choice of how to order his hash browns, “I usually go all the way.”
A spokesperson for Waffle House has not yet replied to a query about whether the chain plans to enter the DC market, or if a petition might help spur such an expansion.
While we wait, some of Washingtonian‘s food experts suggest waffles at Belga Cafe, Tony’s Place, or Bread & Water Company. If you’re in the hunt for a diner-type American breakfast (eggs, choice of meat, hash browns or grits, etc.), their suggestions include the Coupe, the Diner in Adams Morgan, and Ted’s Bulletin. I’m merely a food consumer, but I enjoy waffles from Alexandria’s Waffle Shop, and not only because it has long spelled its name “WAFLE SHOP” on its awning.
“I think this needs to be a DC-wide issue,” Whitehead says. “I feel that most of DC agrees we need a Waffle House.”