By Michelle Powers
David Stoney might as well be welcoming customers to the middle of nowhere – and his patrons might as well respond, “that’s just the way we like it – with a side of hash browns.”
“Great food and the service is just as good,” Stoney tells us.
Sure, the so-called “best restaurants” open up in big cities for a higher chance at big success, but after decades in the business, Stoney says a truly great place only needs a dedicated group of workers and some devoted regulars to keep it going.
Plus, some out of towners willing to make the trek to a place just hours away from the geographical center of the United States. Not only does the Waveland Café serve up nearly three tons of hash browns a month, they also serve them to future leaders of the United States.
That’s because this diner outside of Des Moines has become the spot and a go to campaign stop.
“In 2012 we had all the presidential candidates,” Stoney said.
The Waveland has seated Joe Biden, Ron Paul, John Edwards, and Fred Thompson – just to name a few.
The open sign on Stoney’s door means open for anyone, but Stoney doesn’t caucus and neither do any of his employees.
Still though, they keep serving up the hash browns and the customer service, no matter the party.
“Biden is very nice,” Stoney says.
In fact, they say the Catholic was so friendly, they were on a first-name basis.
“Started calling him Joe,” Stoney continues.
But that doesn’t mean he’ll leave Iowa with the biscuits and gravy. Stoney says we should just be thankful for the opportunity to break bread and talk at a diner in the middle of nowhere – and it doesn’t get any more American than that.