This past Christmas, after Waffle House debuted its black gift card, the popular restaurant firm's CEO, Walt Ehmer, sent Florida-born, Miami-raised Billy Corben a $250 example.
Soon, Corben will be able to use that card at the first Waffle House in Miami-Dade County, which the company announced will open in Miami Gardens.
"I have been campaigning to get one of these in Miami for years," Corben says, "It is very strange that in Florida's largest county, there is no Waffle House. Tallahassee has six. That is the only thing that makes Tallahassee better than Miami."
Corben admits to a Waffle House addiction. Or maybe it's a fetish. "I have been known to pay women to wear stiletto heels and shove waffles in my mouth," he says.
Several years ago, he says, he teamed up with rapper Luther Campbell to try and get a Waffle House franchise in Miami — only to learn the stores are all corporately owned. Several other important things about Waffle House, he says, are: 1) It is one of the top sellers of T-Bone steaks in the country; 2) the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has a Waffle House Index, which it uses to measure the severity of storms; 3) to climb in management, even executives must work the griddle for some time; and 4) servers don't write orders down. They just tell the guy at the griddle what they want. "And they never screw it up," Corben says. "Where else do you get that kind of consistency?"
More importantly, Corben wants the public to know the five best things to order at the new Waffle House, which will open just south of NW 199th Street and U.S. 441 in early 2018.
Though several of them aren't on the corporately posted menu, he assures you can get them anyway. They are, in no particular order:.
1. Pecan waffles, which, Corben says, are "second to none... or maybe just all the waffles."
2. Smothered, chunked, and diced hash browns. "That's what I always order, or maybe the all-the-way hash browns,"
3. Pecan pie, because Corben also seems to have a pecan obsession
4. Vanilla Coke. No explanation needed.
5. The Corben Sandwich, "which is a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich in a waffle," he says. "You have to order it by picture, not by name. I have ordered it all over the country."
Corben believes the new Waffle House will become the background for a plethora of hip-hop videos. "I think it's going to be a madhouse 24 hours a day," he says. "They are going to be on Uber Eats and Open Table. It will be the King of Diamonds of Waffle Houses. Very Miami... I hope not too Miami."
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