Sean Brock and Danny Bowien were supposed to serve 40 free burgers at the Waffle House on Savannah Highway tonight, according to an announcement broadcast via social media a few hours prior. Potatoes weren’t part of the plan.
But Brock was stationed at the grill when Brian Tillman placed an order for hash browns, covered and chunked, so the James Beard award winner handled the frying. “I think Sean Brock just made your hash browns!,” Tillman’s friend squealed.
Brock is a vocal Waffle House devotee who last year filmed a scene at the same Waffle House for Anthony Bourdain’s show, Parts Unknown. He and Bowien yesterday came up with idea to dole out plates featuring one-half of a Husk burger and one-half of a Mission Cantina burger, made with feta and fermented green chiles.
“We haven’t done something this spontaneous before,” Waffle House spokeswoman Kelly Thrasher said. “They were pretty much like, ‘we want to cook burgers.’”
Thirty minutes before the 6 p.m. start time, Waffle House staffers were still devising a crowd control plan. “We didn’t knew how big this was going to be,” Thrasher admitted. Brock’s Instagram post announcing the impromptu takeover received more than 1000 likes.
Grant Eagon, who arrived at 5 p.m., scored the last booth: Thrasher said everyone in the restaurant was there specifically for the event. “We’ve been to Husk a couple of times, but I think this is going to be interesting,” Eagon said. Eagon’s grandparents were Waffle House fans, but he never patronized the chain until he saw it on Parts Unknown. Now he regularly stops by the restaurant for a waffle smothered with syrup.
A short line formed around 5:45 p.m., but most people gave up after counting how many people were already seated.
“We love it when people with a lot of followers say great things about us,” Thrasher said.