Saturday, December 26, 2009

Czech Plus

I have visited Gerik’s Ole Czech Bakery & Deli twice since they opened at Sixth Street and Franklin Avenue. They moved things around inside the former home of the Olive Branch restaurant. A new small salad bar and some large cabinets go with the rearranged service counter.

I would give Gerik's check marks for effort and value. I think they have some kinks to work out in the counter service and a few tweaks to the menu are needed. Service has seemed a bit disjointed and confused.

As you might expect, the baked goods are first rate. Their version of the Czech bakery classic - the kolache - is one of the best. Gerik's are bigger and fluffier than most. They make great ones.

Some of the food items are strange. Weird and off tasting sauerkraut accompanied decent potatoes and sausage on a very inexpensive lunch special plate. Very good hamburgers and fries are good choices on the menu.

Give them a try for lunch but stick with the simple choices

Monday, December 21, 2009

Muy Chewy

Since my last update there has been a lot of restaurant news to chew on. The major item is the opening of the long awaited Chuy's. Located in Legend's Crossing off of Highway 6, this Tex-Mex chain began in Austin 1982. Founders Mike Young and John Zapp produced a restaurant that sold fresh, tasty, and affordable food.

I have eaten at several different versions of Chuy's in Austin, Dallas, and Round Rock. This one has the same funky look. Old fashioned dinette sets, tropical plants (some fake) and a diverse color pallet. All have some level of Elvis connections.

The light and crispy chips are a great starter along with a variety of salsa frescas that include a creamy jalapeno one that is just spicy enough and perhaps a bit salty. I had a combo - relleno with an enchilada. Each had several options for filling and six sauce options. This means you could have this combo over 500 different ways.

Chuy's features some New Mexican green chile dishes and some with tomatillo sauce. Not something you find just anywhere. Most of Chuy's menu choices are less that $10.00. Not the cheapest but certainly ample portions. Generally good value all around. In spite of some early big crowds, the service was very good.

This is the first of several promised restaurants in the Legends Crossing development. After the famous Waco Rush, Chuy's will be a great place to enjoy a meal and a drink.

In other news, one of the nation's top rated burger chains is coming to Waco. Five Guys - Burgers and Fries has been around since 1986 when the first one opened in Arlington, Virginia. Who are the Five Guys? Janie and Jerry Murrell and their four sons (with Jerry and the sons being the original Five Guys) are the founders. Jerry and Janie had a fifth son two years after opening their first restaurant and now all five sons, (5 Guys) are now involved in the business. They now have over 450 locations in 30 states.

The menu appears to be very simple. Burgers, Fries, and some Dogs, with about 15 different toppings. That means there are over 250,000 possible ways to order a burger at Five Guys. They use only fresh, never frozen, ground beef. Fries are made with fresh potatoes fried in Peanut oil.

We have plenty of good burgers in Waco but these are very very good. Most of there locations are small so expect a line.