Friday, September 16, 2016

French Fry Diary 719: Hampton Inn, Lakeland FL

One of the great things (or not so great things, depending on your outlook) is the complimentary breakfast providing at some chain hotels. Sometimes it's just some old breakfast cereal and coffee, sometimes an actual working kitchen and kitchen staff, but mostly it's somewhere in between. In between is what we had at the Lakeland Hampton Inn in Lakeland FL while we were house hunting recently.

Oh sure, there was cereal, and a variety of bready things with toasters available, but the real star was the waffle making station, for which there was a long line. Hidden away in a corner of the kitchen area though was a covered hot plate with omelets and breakfast potatoes. I was happy.

The breakfast potatoes were redskin chunks with peppers and onions mixed in. They were quite hot with a spicy and buttery taste, made just right, a little crisp but with a soft but firm center. I got two servings they were so good. I feel like I found the pot of gold under the rainbow. Great breakfast to start a full day of house hunting, hopefully I'll find a house as good as these potatoes.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

French Fry Diary 718: Waffle House

On our most recent trip to Florida house hunting we had to stop for breakfast, and rather than something easy and predictable like McDonald's or Chick-fil-a, we opted for somewhere we'd (or I'd) never been before, and a staple of our new chosen place to live - Waffle House.

My expectation was something franchise-y in line with maybe Denny's or IHoP, but that's not what Waffle House is like at all. It was really more diner-ish than anything else, and filled to the brim with southern charm and hospitality. I loved it.

The menu showed an interesting take on hashbrowns (how they spelled 'em on the menu), disc-shaped, almost as if by cookie cutter or burger maker, but that's not what we got however, and honestly, while I was intrigued by the menu pics, I was not disappointed in what was served.

These were shredded potatoes, well cooked, but still moist and soft within. I got them plain, while The Bride got them with melted cheese. I have to admit they did need something, I at least salted mine. It's a good thing they have a variety of hashbrowns toppings like sautéed onions, chunked ham, diced tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, mushrooms, chili, and gravy. Or in the vernacular - smothered, covered, chunked, diced, peppered, capped, topped, or country.

I also got ham, but before I could order, I had to ask - what is the difference between city ham and country ham? Our waitress Stacy, full of wonderful truck stop charm, broke it down for us. City ham is sweet and country ham is salty. I got the city ham, which was awesome, and washed it all down with some Mister Pibb, mmmm…

The Bride also got a waffle, because really, you can't go to Waffle House and not get a waffle. And I loved ordering with Stacy, it was a great negotiation as what could work as a special or a meal deal. "Just tell me what you want, hone, we'll make it work." I loved it. We will definitely be going back to Waffle House.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Random Tater Pic of the Day #251

As I mentioned when I covered the SJWG surprise party at The Vault, friend and fellow writer Vince Sparks got me a very thoughtful and special gift - a French Fry Pen, to 'make my writing sizzle.' I love it!