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The WacoFork Blog

Waco Fork Rumor Mill: 10/30/14

October 30, 2014 | Melissa Rowland Whisnant | Latest News | Comment

Here at The Fork we hear a lot of rumors. We love rumors and food and especially rumors about new food coming to town. Normally we don’t like to get hopes up until ground is broken, but rumors from the past few months are too good to keep to ourselves. Feast your imagination on this tasty gossip:

Bronc's swings open its gate

October 30, 2014 | Melissa Rowland Whisnant | Latest News | Comment

The soft opening at Bronc’s was two weeks ago, and business has steadily picked up ever since. I spoke with two of the four owners, Jeff Cook and Andy Lella, who explained that the 1,500 square foot restaurant has been a labor of love built on a long tradition of Lella family restaurants. To create the interior, each piece of cedar was selected from the owner’s ranches, the metal work was hand-crafted by Gatesville artist Randy Patterson, and Cook can tell you about each piece of art on the walls. It’s rustic, y’all, and it was obvious throughout our conversation how deeply Bronc’s owners are invested in their product.

This is not new-fangled food: most of Bronc’s chefs have been with the Lella family for 25 years. The flavor profiles were developed with love and attention to detail. Two main themes emerged as Cook waxed lyrical about Bronc’s menu:

One of the most anticipated new arrivals in downtown is almost upon us as the Hippodrome has announced its Grand Opening Week to be held November 14-19.

Actually, the Hippodrome isn't new, it's classic. But it's new remodeled form after $2.6 million in renovations is as worthy of new-stuff celebration as anything. On Friday, the Hippodrome released its plans for opening week, but we learned some additional specifics today.

The new Kim's on Waco Drive will hold its grand opening Saturday afternoon, swinging the doors ajar at 4 p.m.

I just spoke with Woody and Darla Page, who have poured a lost of elbow grease and money into renovating Kim's. They were a mix of excitement, nervousness and determination after holding a soft opening on Thursday evening. They seemed hell-bent on getting the kinks straightened out.

The new Chick

October 15, 2014 | Chad Conine | Latest News | Comment

Heads up, friends, tomorrow is kind of like Christmas and the moon landing all on one day.

Tomorrow, for the first time ever, you’ll be able to look an out-of-towner in the eyes and say, “Yeah, we have three Chick-fil-As — the one in the mall and two freestanding stores.” And then you just sit back and watch their amazed expression.

Among the many things I love about fall, sweet potatoes are high on the list. Baked in bread, simmered in stew, thinly chopped fries with rosemary, roasted and slathered in butter and cinnamon….they’re delicious and nutritious and pair well with chicken.

You can imagine my excitement when I read the menu for Café Homestead’s fall farm dinner, which includes sweet potato rolls with sorghum butter and sweet potato pie (YUM!) for dessert. The Café’s staple sweet potato jalapeno soup is near and dear to my heart, and I can’t wait to taste what else they make with my favorite fall vegetable.

I snooped around the new Kim's on Waco Drive on Tuesday afternoon and ended up speaking with co-owner Darla Page for a few minutes.

Page said they're hoping to reo-open the historic Waco restaurant by the end of the month, tentatively targeting Oct. 18, but she expressed the usual misgivings about setting an opening date. Since we've been publishing WacoFork the last three years, we've noticed there's usually significant lag time between when restaurateurs hope to open and when all the necessary documentation is finished and they actually open.

I stopped into Firehouse Subs this morning to check on their status and learned, in more ways than one, that they're close to opening.

For one thing, the inside of the restaurant already looks like an operational Firehouse (the restaurant, not the municipal service dedicated to putting out fires, saving lives and getting cats out of trees). And, of course, I spoke with the a gentleman who looked as if he was working hard to get the sandwich shop closer to opening for business.

Kuma is open and offering sushi in a swanky environment downtown.

We received the heads up earlier this week that Kuma would be launching with a soft opening, so, naturally, we were all over it. I landed at Kuma about 8 Tuesday night and enjoyed the scene while the staff found its rhythm.

A new family-style restaurant called Bronc's and serving breakfast, lunch and dinner is planning to open in October next door to Cavender's in the Valley Mills-Waco Drive shopping center.

My friend Tate Barrett reminded me of this place today. I'd seen the sign and figured it would be a bar, but Tate asking about it prompted me to go inside and learn more. I'm glad I did as co-owner Johnny Miller gave me the inside scoop.