Thursday, October 26, 2006

Going, Going, Gone

I saw the news in the Waco Harold’s Tribune that two fine food establishments became ex-Waco restaurants last week. The giant Waco Steak and Seafood suffered from schizo consistency and quality. The times I ate there the food was acceptable but many of my friends recounted horrible service and food tales. I gave up on them months ago. If this was your favorite place, you will need to drive to College Station to get your seafood fix.

Talk about an idea that is past its prime…. Krystal, White Castle, Sliders, what ever you call them, no longer has the following to survive in this market. I found the food at Krystal to be very ordinary. I thought “What a great place to take the younger kids in the family. This will be just right for their appetite.” Think again. They were not excited to go there. Lack of a good kids marketing campaign I guess.

Are there others that should be on this list?


1. Smoky Bones – no cars, no people, no money!

2. Backyard Burgers – we needed two of these?

3. Rosati’s – Who pays this kind of money for pizza? Even if it is good.

4. Trevino’s – had a good business on Hewitt Dr.

Post any additions to this list.

Eatin’ in the Bunkhouse

I am going to go out of my way to publize what I consider to be a very fine barbeque choice that is a bit off the beaten path. You will have to drive 35 miles west of Waco on Highway 6 to Clifton, Texas to sample the tasty ribs. The dark finish and texture on these beauties make these some of the best in this region. The Bunkhouse (254.675.8409) sits on the south side of the 6 just before you get into Clifton. There is a sign about a mile before get to the dirt driveway.

The restaurant is furnished with many country paintings, curious old farming tools, saws, a guitar, horseshoes, and much more hanging from the walls. To enhance the central Texas atmosphere, country music is played in the background and the owner wears a cowboy hat, wranglers, and boots while he cuts the meat in front of you. His line of patter and country customer service is among the best in the west. Also interesting were the TV sets that seem to be a part of some strange performance art or broadcast from space. If you figure out what they are doing, let me know.

Tuesday thru Friday there is an all you can eat lunch buffet from 11am - 2pm that includes salad bar and dessert. Each day sliced brisket, chopped brisket (in sauce), and sausage are served along with alternating fourth meat. Be advised that the regular orders are large and are served with some decent sides. The onion rings are frozen but OK and the fries are also tasty. The sauce is average. The special rib sauce/glaze is a bit sweeter. The prices here are very reasonable and the serving size make this place an exceptional value.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

See and be scene

Dining in Waco is like the soft drink industry. You can eat with relative certainty with the big guy chain restaurants or you can look for something distinctively different and out of the ordinary. The food scene here in Waco is fairly static. The opening of a new chain restaurant or nationally famous donut shop might cause a few ripples in the media stream but most small/family/chef owned operations struggle for attention and then disappear. A few build a clientele and set themselves apart from the others by providing consistent quality or at least a reliable value. Mexican food, Barbeque, and burgers dominate the landscape in Waco. Steaks, Chinese, and Italian can also be found in limited quantity and quality.

This past month I ate at an old favorite
the Park’s Family Buffet at Hwy 84 East in beautiful Pellmead. Park’s is a great place to pig out on some good homestyle cooking. It is one of the true "real bargins left in Waco. Two look-a-like brothers (on in back and one at the register) are responsible for keeping the steam tables full and overflowing. This food is not for anyone with a heart condition or worried about what they might look like next week. Heep eating those Healthy Choice frozen lunches if things like calories and fat grams bother you. Crispy fried pork chops, catfish, meat loaf, and baked ribs in sauce make frequent appearances on the rotating daily buffet. I enjoy the bread pudding dessert that is surprisingly tasty.