When someone brings a new flavor to town, Waco Fork takes notice. But this time it’s a film festival that’s looking to spice things up.
My name is Louis Hunter. As one of the festival co-directors, and a fellow foodie, I appreciate this chance to tell Wacoans about the Deep in the Heart Film Festival premiering February 16th - 19th at the Waco Hippodrome.
I hate crowds, and I hate waiting in line. I avoid both as much as possible. The only time I will go to Six Flags is during the 2 weeks at the beginning or end of the summer when the park closes at 6:00 pm, because there are no crowds and no lines during those weeks (but that's our little secret, so don't tell anyone).
It came to my attention last week, as I was testifying about our new WacoFork Club campaign while drinking beer at The Dancing Bear, that there's a nice little confluence of those things coming up soon this week.
First of all, happy ninth birthday to The Dancing Bear. Lord knows I've spent many a happy hour there since it opened in 2007. Secondly, we're pumped that two of our new WacoFork Club partners — Milo and Crazy Horse Grill — will be helping to celebrate on Tuesday night.
Shorty's is offering half-priced knots on Tuesdays. A knot is Shorty's pizza dough tied in a knot, deep fried and tossed in Shorty's Italian spices blend. I haven't had them as I always go for a couple of slices off the slice board, but I'm going to have to try them now. So the WacoFork Club is already working for me.
The WacoFork Club will officially begin officially launched on August 15.
My Thursday morning coffee venture took me to the new coffee shop located in the old elevator at The Praetorian. Bru has been roasting coffee for sale for several years and it recently opened up a coffee shop serving the people who work and live in the building at 6th Street and Franklin, as well as anyone else who wants to pop in for a beverage.
I had a cold brew that raised my eyebrows. I like my coffee in the morning, but I'm not particular about it. Still, the flavor caught my attention and I will be back. I would like to be more specific about it, but there are now so many coffee experts in town, that I don't want to embarass myself with a half-roasted description. I'll leave it at this: with three coffee shops/coffee roasters in about a five-block radius in downtown Waco, we have a legit coffee district.
And how's this for a bonus during my morning coffee run? The folks at Pokey O's, who bake their cookies in The Praetorian, brought out a batch of cookies that were a little too crumbled to use for ice cream sandwiches. So I enjoyed most of a free cappuccino chocolate chunk cookie.
Like most of you, I've been watching the Fixer Upper phenomenon a bit from afar even though I live in Waco and have several friends who have either been on the show or are connected to the Magnolia juggernaut in some manner or another. In the months since the opening of the Magnolia silos, we have seen the company grow from (according to my sources) around 40 employees to well over 400 employees. We have watched as they went from a company primarily centered around real estate, home design and remodeling, and home building with a little shop on Bosque to a massive company that does all of that plus a much bigger storefront, a furniture line, a backyard food court for local food trucks, a recent purchase of the historic Elite Cafe, and most recently a brand new bakery.
If you've driven around town lately there is one thing you are bound to notice: Waco is UNDER CONSTRUCTION. Right now all over downtown, the I35 corridor, and Valley Mills are scaffolding, aerial lifts, demolition equipment and other equipment for building on a scale that hasn't been seen in Waco in decades, if ever.
We took a drive around town and took a few pictures, and there were many more available. Several of the places being built are 2nd or 3rd locations of existing businesses in town, like Panera Bread, Raising Canes, and Whataburger-Baylor being rebuilt. Others like Old Chicago Pizza and Dunkin' Donuts will be new entries in the growing Waco market.
I stopped by Pinewood Roasters Tuesday morning to get a cappuccino (amazing coffee, btw), and while I was there one of the owners of Pinewood Roasters, JD Beard, introduced me to the owner of Alpha Omega Mediterranean Grill and Bakery, Dorothy Lentis. Pinewood Roasters and Alpha Omega share a location. She was busy making gelato for the day, so we didn't get to talk long. Knowing that they were making the gelato fresh in the store, I knew I needed to come back soon.
Waco has had murals for a long time, but the debut of the Wacotown mural in 2012 brought attention and excitement to this art form in and around downtown Waco. Now it seems like new murals are popping up all over the place. Either that, or we just didn't notice them before. Kind of like when you get a new car, and suddenly you start seeing that model everywhere. But I digress.
After a friend posted a picture of the Starry Night mural at 10th and Columbus on Facebook yesterday, my wife and I decided to take the kids on a bit of a scavenger hunt yesterday evening to see how many murals we could find and photograph, culminating in a trip to Hey Sugar for some ice cream and candy. Side note: the kids got a little bored with driving around town, but the treats at the end made up for it. Also, I've decided to try all of the root beers at Hey Sugar. Last night's entry, Sprecher, was fantastic. But I digress. Again.
Actually, let me digress one more time. We've sort of hinted at this on Facebook and Twitter, but we're working on something big here at WacoFork, and you're going to want to be a part of it. Help us out by signing up for our brand new newsletter (click here), and you'll be among the first to learn about what we're working on. We're really excited about it, and we think you will be too!
My wife and I stopped by Hey Sugar last night with our kids so we could try out the new candy shop and ice cream parlor on Austin Avenue, and it didn't disappoint. They offer a huge assortment of candy, retro sodas, popcorn, gourmet chocolate and old fashioned ice cream. There's enough sugar in the store to give you a contact sugar high just from entering.