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Waffle House is definitely Southern, I think the furthest north I’ve seen it is Pennsylvania. As for sausage patties vs links - you can get actual breakfast sausage inna skin but it’s less common in restaurants like that for some reason. And I’m not surprised they all taste the same - for all our profusion of food choices, most American restaurants are buying a lot at least partially pre made (truly cooked fresh from scratch in a restaurant is a noted cost difference here) and the various bulk food companies and food distributors have all bought each other until there’s maybe 3 choices left. Also someone decided that all breakfast foods are sweet so then “breakfast sausage” has maple syrup in it. I like it but it’s it’s own thing aside from other sausage.

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Walmart is not the grocery chain I’d visit for cheese selection (that’s Wegmans) but did the one you were in only have prepackaged cheese or did it have a deli counter? There’s a big difference in the cheeses here you find at the deli counter vs prepackaged. A lot of grocery stores also have the cheeses in two separate places by American vs imported. We make cheddar & a few other cheeses here but you can get lots of other cheeses from Europe or some styles are just perceived as “foreign” even when made here. (Although I will not defend the monstrosity that is “kraft American ~cheese~ dairy product” there are American cheeses that are good. My favorite is cooper sharp.)

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