Elvis Ate Here
It’s Tuesday afternoon and I have a busy day ahead of me. I want to go somewhere I can get a quick bite to eat without a big crowd. I drive past a place on the corner of US 41 and Mound Street that peaks my curiosity. A sign in the window says Elvis Ate Here. I’ve never heard anyone talk about it, nor have I seen anyone ever go inside or come out. I decided it was time to check it out.
I park my car in the lot on the side of the building and walk to the front of the restaurant where the metal tube guy is holding a sign that says, Yes We Are Open. The sign on the door tells me to go around to the side door. As I walk through the door, I feel like I have just been transported to an eerie movie set. The place is just like I expected; walls full of Elvis memorabilia, diner like feel with coffee cups placed on top of the menu and rolled silverware. There is one woman sitting at a table alone having lunch. I walk around and take in the atmosphere. The waitress Lee Anne comes out from the back, I ask her if they are open “Yes until 2pm, ” she tells me. I decide a booth is the best way for me to go.
The menu brings me back to the days of going to the diner on Long Island. Breakfast served all day at reasonable diner rates. There are items on the menu that go with the Elvis theme such as, The Burnin’ Love Omlette, Hard Headed Woman, Hunka Hunka Burger, Blackened Blue Suede Burger, Ain’t Nothing But a Hound Dog and of course Jailhouse Rock. I ask Lee Anne what they are known for “our omelettes, breakfast and our burgers.” I decide to go with a cheeseburger, french fries, a cup of coffee and a glass of grapefruit juice.
I notice there is no music playing except the slight sound of the radio coming from the kitchen, apparently the CD player is in need of repair. However, there is an Elvis head that sits by the door that plays Elvis music and I’m told there is a regular impersonator who comes in on occasion to serenade the customers. Elvis came to the diner back in 1956 before he was famous when he was performing for one night at the Opera House, it was a favorite spot of his fathers.
My cheeseburger arrives and it’s exactly the way I expect it to taste; fresh off the grill. A good old burger and fries, you can’t go wrong. Next time, I think I’ll opt for one of the specials to go along with the Elvis theme. For a Table of One, this place is ideal. The food is quick, the service is good, the atmosphere is dripping with memorabilia and you’re never alone with the life-size Elvis statue donated by one of the customers. The Waffle Stop even made number 17 on the 20 Awesome Roadside Eateries. For a Table of One, it’s a lot of fun so be sure to give into your curiosity next time you drive by.
The Waffle Stop, 660 South Washington Blvd. (941) 952-0555. Open Monday – Thursday 6am-2pm and 7am-2pm on Sunday.