Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Gr-eatings

I am not publishing this story in time for most people to alter their December 31 plans but I am hopeful that 2008 will bring all of us some enjoyable new dining experiences. How far will you go from Waco to get a good and different meal? Temple? Corsicana? Hico? Reisel? Whitney? Is the best food in Waco, really in Waco? Colorado St Grill, Cheeves Bros., or Ama's.

My year-end top five places to eat in Waco are as follows:

135 Prime, 1424 Restaurant, Diamondback's, The Green Room Grill, and Cheddar's.
These are all good choices. They serve good quality food at reasonable prices and have at least adequate service.

Coming in 2008
The abandon Smoky Bones location is being revived as Don Carlos Mexican Restaurant. I could not find a website for the Houston Texas, based restaurant. There are several other Don Carlos restaurants scattered around the country. Several travel sites give the three Houston restaurants by the same name decent reviews.
Houston-area Tex Mex chain known for potent margaritas, sizzling fajita platters and all-day happy hours.

Chipolte Grill arrives on Valley Mills Dr.
Mondo's in Westrock Center has just opened
Basaberu Who knows what this 6th street addition will turn out to be.

Here is a list of the hottest restaurant franchises of the past two years.:

Panera Bread We have a good one
Chipotle Mexican Grill Coming soon to Valley Mills Dr.
McAlister’s Deli Waco Drive location will be the 3rd
Starbucks How many do we have?
Wild Wings Took over for Tony Roma's
Wei Nice addition to Waco
Cold Stone Creamery I am surprised they have survived but I like their Ice cream

The three we don't have
RedBrick Pizza
Moe’s Southwest Grill

Thursday, December 06, 2007

New in Town

A first visit to the new Yoshi Asian Cuisine did not produce great results. I would not tell you not to try this new addition to Waco that has taken over the Marie Callender's building at Richland Mall. You should be prepared to be underwhelmed. I did not find it significantly better than Summer Palace. Yoshi had some new wrinkles and some different dishes - frog legs, baby squid, and bok choy all were a change from the regular buffet line-up. Most of the rest of the offerings tasted about the same as any other Asian buffet in Waco.

Yoshi does have a stir fry station similar to Genghis Grill or B.D.'s Mongolian. You pick the raw ingredients you prefer and load them into a small bowl - heaping them high and skillfully balancing an impossibly large pile of meat and veggie. The chef then cooks it up for you. Not quite enough sauce choices made my companion's dish a bit on the dry side but it is nice to be able to pick and choose.

I was surprised that there was not much of a crowd at this new restaurant. Usually a new opening in Waco draws a nice crowd early on. This may just have been a slower week night but it was not a good omen. At $11.00 for the buffet at night, Yoshi needs to really build some great word of moth. The price tag for two adults came to over $26.00 before any gratuity. I did not feel that what Yoshi offered was measurably better than at other choices. Lunch may be a different story. I will check it out next week.

There are several arrivals in the area. Mi Tequila will try to survive where Trevino's could not.Hondo's Sports Bar and Grill will soon be taking over the Beef O'Brady's space in Hewitt.

Chipotle Mexican Grill is a popular chain of burrito/taco fast food restaurants. A chipotle (chi-POAT-lay) is a dried, smoked jalapeƱo pepper. I have eaten with at one in the Austin area. They are nearing the completion of construction on N. Valley Mills. The chain got its start in 1993 in Denver. There are over 500 of these nationwide. The price for a quick lunch is in the $6-$8 range.