Brinson’s Breakfast Breakdown

Brinson Mullis, Sports Editor

In my journeys across these great 50 states, I have taken it upon myself to seek out the best restaurants that serve a hearty and fun-filled breakfast. My quest began with some jaunty local fare coming from the well known Waffle House as well as the newly opened International House of Pancakes (IHOP).

My first stop on the hunt for excellent eggs and bacon was the quaint little hut called Waffle House. While the dingy exterior may deter some visitors, I pushed onward into the dining room. I was greeted by several friendly faces, welcoming me in and telling me to please sit anywhere I pleased. A gracious offer to be sure, but one that invites certain risks, such as mistakenly choosing to sit in a booth with sticky seats or picking a chair with a wobbly leg. Keeping these dangers in mind, I selected my seat carefully; A nice booth by the window which provided me with a pleasant view of the scenery while I enjoyed my toast.

I looked at my menu with hope gleaming in my eye. I saw something that quickly lifted my spirits from apprehensive to out-right excited. You must understand that I am a man of considerable constitution, and as such, my favorite meals consist of large volumes of food offered at low prices. I saw that this menu held just such an option.

It is known as the All-Star Special, a name quite fitting for the items it offered. For a mere $7.50, I was brought a platter bearing two eggs cooked to my liking, two pieces of toast, a disc of hash browns, three premium slices of bacon, and their famous waffle. I elected to upgrade my waffle to include a chocolate chip topping for only $.25 more. I paired my selection with a glass of Alice’s Iced Tea, which complimented the flavors of my meal nicely.

As any sane man would, I began my concourse with a swift and merciless devouring of my sunny side up eggs. The eggs were cooked perfectly, a light and beautiful exterior gave way to the delicious yolk on the inside. I mopped up the gooey remains with my toast and exiled them to the eternal prison of my stomach. I smiled with excitement at the next victim of my morning hunger; the hash browns. A circle of shredded potatoes that would cease to exist in a matter of minutes. Oh, how I relished in the joy that the flavorful hash browns brought me. I knew the bacon would be an easy adversary and I swallowed all three slices in a single powerful bite. The taste was excellent, although they were not fried to the gorgeous crisp that I love

Finally it came time to face off against my greatest foe; the waffle. Adorned with a crown of chocolate chips and a thick layer of buttery spread, I knew this would be no easy adversary. I gripped my utensils tightly in hand and grimaced at the task before me. I knew that in order to come out the victor against this mighty waffle, I would need to take action quickly and firmly. I set about dissecting the beast and had it vanquished in 12 strong bites from my snake-like jaws. The waffle was simply delectable. The outside was a perfect golden brown and as I cut inside it gave away to a light and fluffy inferior. It paired well with the chocolate chips and syrup that topped it. I could not have imagined a better way to end my breakfast.

I challenged the best that Waffle House had to offer and came out victorious. It was a very satisfying trip for me. The service was prompt and friendly, the prices fair, and their offering of the All-Star Special kept me busy for the better part of an afternoon.

My trip did not end there, as the next stop on my path of breakfast destruction was just down the road, and the up-and-coming hotspot, IHOP.

After my most exhilarating experience at the Waffle House, I took two days to prepare for my meal at the International House of Pancakes. On the first day I rested, but on the second I spent hours in deep meditation, preparing my mind for the monumental task ahead of me.

I arrived at the IHOP with a coy smile resting on my lips, memories of my previous victory still fresh in my mind. Unfortunately, I had no idea what was waiting behind the freshly painted facade.

When I entered the building I was astonished at the mass of people standing before me, each awaiting a seat in the dining hall. I approached the proper authorities and was told I had a 25 minute wait and that they would call for me the instant my table was ready. While this wait was not ideal, I knew that I must endure it in order to experience everything that IHOP had to offer.

At last my wait was over and I was taken to a table and given a menu with options so bountiful that one could not help but be amazed at the vast catalog of breakfast offerings spread before them. I spent almost 14 minutes staring at the menu in shock before my eyes found the meal that would soon become my enemy, the Breakfast Sampler. Consisting of two pancakes, two eggs, two slices of bacon, two thick cut slices of country ham, two sausage links, and a heap of hash browns, this behemoth of a meal was just what I was looking for. At $9.49 it was slightly more expensive than its Waffle House counterpart, but it did offer an amount of meat that was twice again what I was given with my waffles. I decided that while this meal was rather hearty, it was not enough of a challenge for me. To even the odds I ordered my Breakfast Sampler with an additional two pancakes.

I must admit that when my food was delivered I was weary of the army of breakfast sitting in front of me. But I did not pause long before beginning my battle. I took my scrambled eggs in all of two bites. They were light, they were fluffy, they were delicious, and suddenly they were gone. The bacon, my personal favorite, was spared until the end, which only meant that it had to watch its comrades fall before me. The hearty flavor was so very filling and the perfect sample to bridge the gap between my eggs and my hashbrowns.

The hash browns were no more difficult to defeat than anything before them, and with only my four pancakes left to ingest, I was confident that this would be another great victory for me.

I spread my butter atop the short stack of flapjacks and turned to the armory of syrups in front of me. I surveyed my options; blueberry, strawberry, butter pecan, and of course “Old Fashioned.” I grabbed ahold of my most trusted comrade, “Old Fashioned”. The pancakes quivered in fear in front of me. Their golden brown armor hiding the fluffy interior from my eyes. I cut through the stack with my fork and stuffed the lifeless cakes into my mouth. The flapjacks were delicious, but they did not last long. While perhaps the most difficult part of my meal to swallow, they were still the most enjoyable component.

I sat back in my chair and felt proud that I had defeated yet another mighty adversary. As I reviewed my two recent victories I came to the conclusion that while Waffle House had given me a delectable offering, IHOP was definitely the superior establishment. The food was tastier, the atmosphere friendlier, and the price more fair.

And as I looked over the pile of empty plates before me I wept, for there was no more breakfast to conquer.