Friday, April 20, 2012

My grandpa was born at the Awful Waffle

Yesterday Karen treated our little family and Katharine's little family to dinner, in honour of Aunt Linda's presence in the area. Aunt Linda had to work the book buy-back until 6:00, though, and we arrived to pick her up a little early so we went for a little drive-by tour to see the places Reid and Karen lived when they first got married. On the way, Karen said, "Oh, let me show you a fun place to eat—The Awful Waffle! It's in this cute little building tucked around behind the gas station."

She directed Andrew there and I recognized it the minute I saw it.

"That's where my grandpa was born!" I said.

My grandpa, Arnold Muhlestein Conrad, was born in Provo, Utah on September 8th, 1915 in the home of his grandparents, which currently houses The Awful Waffle. So basically my grandpa was born in The Awful Waffle.

"We should go there after graduation celebrate!" I told Andrew.

He agreed because...waffles.

So that's what we planned on.

As we were leaving BYU today, my mom said, "Did you make a reservation for us?"

"I didn't," I admitted.

Knowing how busy restaurants can be after graduation I tried to instill confidence that our plan would work.

"This isn't really a place you make reservations at—it's just a little European stand for Belgian waffles and crepes. They don't even have indoor seating. I don't think it's the type of place many people will go after graduation. Now, if we wanted to go to The Olive Garden we might be in trouble..."

"But what if we can't eat?!" my girls wanted to know. They were hungry.

We decided that if The Awful Waffle was busy beyond belief that we'd just go home—but stop at McDonald's for ice cream (or maybe even Happy Meals) but that we'd definitely be trying The Awful Waffle first.

My mom and Josie rode with us in the van and we arrived shortly before Andrew's parents (since they had to go find the car in the parking garage that Andrew had driven to campus) so my mom took us around back to show us where her aunt's apartment used to be.

It was right there (not the shed door, but the door on the house, behind the latticework).

Here's Rachel standing in front of the kitchen window at the back of the house:

It always makes my mom a little sad to see that the trees and lawn and garden have been turned into a parking lot...but that's what happened. Before the house was The Awful Waffle it was a paintball place and before that it was a real estate office and before that it was likely something else. It's been undergoing transformation after transformation the past few decades.

(Rachel is being the Y since we're looking right at Y Mountain from here)

The food was divine, though! I got a Belgian waffle with strawberries and cream cheese icing. The girls got the same, except in a crepe instead of a waffle. Andrew got their "dense" waffle with strawberries and Nutella (which he said was a little too dense, but still good). Grandma and Grandpa and Mom and Josie all got crepes with strawberries and sometimes chocolate sauce and sometimes not and sometimes cream cheese icing and sometimes not. We also tried the Belgian frites, which were wonderful. 

I highly recommend you stop by The Awful Waffle (815 North 700 East, in Provo) and eat one of their delicious, authentic European treats in honour of my grandpa. I'm sure he would've approved of his birth place being used as a cookhouse for crepes and waffles topped with fresh strawberries and cream. Of course, he probably would have approved of it being used as a paintball arena, too...


  1. I am glad you wrote this! I have been watching the transformation of Great Grandma and Great Grandpa Conrad’s house too. I was really disappointed when it became the “Paint ball” hang out. My grandfather (Louis A. Conrad), brother to your grandfather, was born there too! Quite a difference from the 1800’s!
    —Deanna Conrad Scanlon

  2. Actually, they were cousins (Louis and Arnold). But good to know this was the Conrad home. I am glad Deanna knew that. Confusing to me because of the Muhlestein/Conrad multiple connections for our family!

  3. Actually, Deanna is talking about the generation before.

    Deanna - Clarence - Louis/Lewis - Charles and Mary Elizabeth

    Myrna - Arnold - Arthur - Charles and Mary Elizabeth.

    Her grandpa and my grandpa = brothers. Nancy's grandpa is the next generation.

  4. Sorry about the misunderstanding! The house was Charles Conrad and Mary Elizabeth Conrads first (parents to my Grandfather Louis A. Conrad. When Mary died, the house went to the Muhlesteins. Her oldest daughter was Mary Elizabeth (Lizzie) Conrad Muhlestein. When I first read this blog, I had been directed here from Myrna’s FB site, and being in a hurry, I skimmed through it fast
    and didn’t catch that it wasn’t her blog. Thinking that it was hers and in the hurry, I was thinking of Arthur not Arnold. Sorry about that.

  5. Oh, no problem. I wasn't sure who owned the house, either, since both the Conrads and Muhlesteins were in Provo. I'm glad someone know! :)

  6. I do hear the waffles are good though. :)