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Smothered, covered and trashed?

Waffle House made headlines back in April with the news that it would sell beer at Suntrust Park. This would be a new, second location at the Cobb home of the Braves. There was an abundance of press and media interest for the change to the ballpark menu.

But this menu is completely different than any other Waffle Houses’. The Suntrust Park location serves none of the usual “smothered”, “covered” and “chunked” cuisine Waffle House is known for. Because this time, it only serves Miller, Coors and hash browns. Hash Browns, plural that is, as the item only comes as a double serving. Yeah, they’re serious.

Suntrust Park was a location ripe for a second helping of the restaurant’s signature hash browns, this time with a cold beer to wash it down. The stadium was in need of a pick-me-up as this season, ticket sales fell 1,000 seats from last year’s opening-season average.

From home, Georgia State Panther Baseball’s PR declined to comment on what their players made of the beer sales.

But why so much press for another place selling beer at a baseball game?

“I think it’s the reputation,” Marie Snider said.

Snider is a Georgia State Junior who lives near the Courtland Street Waffle House, near Georgia State’s campus.

For Snider, the Waffle House brand meant a reliable place open after every party-no matter how late, for all students living on and off campus.

“It’s good, greasy, hangover food,” Snider said.

You would be forgiven if your image of Waffle House was also commonly blurry and surprisingly late-night. It’s likely this is the sensational image that brought the press to the southern, diner company’s new, Braves-loving, beer serving locale.

Waffle House as a brand is also known for its deep roots in Atlanta, the former home of the Braves. The founder, Joe Roberts Sr., was a Georgia Tech graduate. The first location, now a museum, was in Avondale Estates in Decatur.

Georgia has the most Wahos in the country, with 430 locations. For perspective, The state of South Carolina has the second most, with 169 locations. The city of Atlanta alone has 132 Waffle Houses, according to data released by the company in 2012.

Waffle House, however, is so regular in its service, FEMA instituted a “Waffle House Index”, where the severity of a weather event is gauged by the closures of Waffle House in an area.

For Snider in downtown Atlanta, much of downtown’s restaurants cater their hours to the office, lunch crowd, leaving residents with little options when everyone else closes up and goes home.

“The other restaurants close, and there’s no grocery stores,” Snider said.

So the next time you’re trashed at the Suntrust Park Waffle House, remember that the party doesn’t have to stop and Walter G. Ehmer, Ceo of Waffle House, has another Coors with your name on it, but maybe this time, not smothered or covered.

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