Upgrade Your Waffle House Grits With This Simple Ordering Tip

Waffle House, that 24-hour pillar of southern breakfast food, was founded in Georgia. So naturally, grits are a staple on the menu, and as a southerner, I'll admit Waffle House grits aren't bad. Especially with the right toppings. So when Waffle House revealed that customers can order grits with any of its hash brown toppings, it changed the game.

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Waffle House offers grits in two forms: as a side which can be topped with cheese, and a grits bowl which comes with cheese, eggs, and breakfast meat of choice. But here's the thing: you can add any hash brown topping to the grits for a small additional charge (roughly $0.65 for each topping, depending on where you live). These toppings are on the menu as options for the grits bowl, but for the grits side, they're off-menu hacks. It's been established that Waffle House hates your TikTok hacks, but luckily this isn't an internet trend gone rogue — the chain said you could do this on its official social media accounts.

You can add any combination of grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, jalapeño peppers, hickory smoked ham, grilled tomatoes, sausage gravy, and even chili. I won't actively condone adding chili to grits, but it's clear you could make a pretty fabulous grits bowl from this topping selection.

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Why grits toppings are so important

It's no secret that southerners can be particular (and defensive) about grits. The ground cornmeal porridge is a staple food of the South, and it's taken very seriously. Though I like to think of myself as unpretentious, I'll admit that as a North Carolinian, I do sometimes shudder at the sight of such creations as cheeseburger grits casserole and cauliflower grits. But I'm no purist — I'll even go for instant grits from time to time. If you cook them right and mix in enough cheese, butter, and spice, instant grits can be a delight. That's because when it comes down to it, the two most important aspects of grits are texture and toppings.

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This is why the revelation that you can order hash brown toppings on Waffle House grits is so powerful — with the right toppings, any bowl of grits can be life-changing. Even thin and watery grits can be thickened to deliciousness with enough cheese (this is true of most foods, to be fair).

Ideas for topping Waffle House grits

When I make a grits bowl, I usually keep things simple: instant grits, a pat of butter, shredded cheddar cheese, two fried eggs, black pepper, and loads of Texas Pete. It's warm, creamy, spicy, and cheesy — all the essential aspects of a grits-based meal. But while I may be a purist at home, the plethora of toppings available at Waffle House does open the door to some intriguing possibilities.

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You could opt for grilled onions, tomatoes, jalapeños, cheese, and hot sauce for a spicy riff on Southwestern flavors. You could add sausage gravy and grilled mushrooms for a biscuit-esque vibe. You could, I suppose, even add cheese, chili, jalapeños, and grilled onions for a chili-cheese dog-inspired creation. While chili on grits still sounds strange to me, I have to admit this would be pretty delicious at 2 a.m. (which is the best time to go to Waffle House).

By letting customers add hash brown toppings to grits, Waffle House has allowed us to get creative, have fun, and be our own grits artists. And I'm not here to stifle innovation. Just please, I beg of you, don't add sugar to your grits.

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