Last night, my friend Toph asked me if I cook. He reasoned if I was writing a food blog, then I could cook.
My answer: "No. Not really. But I can order like a champ."
Sometimes I'm simple and quick "I'll have a Whataburger with cheese. Mustard and Mayo. No lettuce, please." Sometimes, like when I recently dined at my folks' country club, I can be much more sophisticated "I'd like the ribeye, but I'd like it prepared steak frites style."
Malcolm Gladwell writes in his book "Outliers" that a person needs 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert in any field. I believe I'm getting close to that number in the ordering department. One of the layers of skill is to be able to listen to your dinner companions and learn from their orders. On a recent Sunday trip to El Charro Tapatio, one of my companions seemed well versed in Mexican culture. He ordered a dish that sounded awesome. But I could not pronounce the name of the dish. So I simply said, "I'll have what he ordered."
What's the best possible text a person can receive at 4:30 on a slow afternoon at work?
"Happy hour at … "
Rosati's was hopping Thursday night.
That's not unusual as Rosati's has carved out a certain Thursday-night niche as the transplanted Chicago pizzeria offered live music on Thursday nights for long while until last fall. Why did they stop? Apparently it had something to do with cover bands and licensing. As ridiculous as its sounds, if a cover band plays, let's say "Satisfaction" then the restaurant would owe royalty money to the Rolling Stones.
Nevertheless, Rosati's still draws a good Thursday night crowd and did especially well this past Thursday as Valley Mills Vineyards offered a free wine tasting.
According to the Facebook page Newk's Waco, TX - Opens, Newk's will be opening at 11 a.m. on April 18 in Central Texas Marketplace.
So finally at long last we will be able to eat a sandwich or a salad or perhaps even a pizza or indulge in a dessert pastry right here in town and specifically at Central Texas Marketplace.
But, wait, isn't that exactly the type of thing we might do at Panera Bread at Central Texas Marketplace? In fact, Newk's is practically in the shadow of Panera or, depending on the time of day, Panera would be in the shadow of Newk's. Seriously, the stores are about 100 yards apart. If Newk's ever played Panera in football, I have a pretty good idea where they would play.
I'm between books at the moment and the book that seems to be screaming at me to read it is "Onward" the Starbucks book.
I first noticed it while working at Starbucks on Tuesday afternoon and then at Barnes and Noble on Tuesday evening and now I'm at a different Starbucks and, of course, there it is again.
Let's just be honest about something, we're all a little territorial when it comes to our favorite spots.
It's OK. As stated previously in this blog, the staff of WacoFork is pulling for every restaurant in town to provide good food, good value and a good atmosphere. The better the restaurants in this town fare, the better we fare, we figure. But I recognize that your favorite hangouts are kind of like new babies — yours is always the best.
One way to gauge expectations for a new chain restaurant coming to town is to listen to its devotees.
Personal example — I preached the gospel of Chipotle for years. Then it comes to town and Bang! lines out the door. Of course, I wasn't the only one promoting Chipotle and dreaming of the day it opened a Waco store, just as I'm not the only one wondering when Freebirds will land in Waco.
The last time a fat ho generated this much buzz …
Well, insert your own punch line if you wish. I'm not touching it. But I'm a little fascinated with the sudden explosion of Fat Ho Burgers on 12th Street. I drove by on my lunch break today just long enough to snap a photo. There's no way I'm waiting in a line that long for a burger, especially with known quantities readily available at Captain Billy Wizzbang's, Kitok's, Dubl-R, Health Camp, Cupps, Griff's, Tom's, Gerik's (do I really need to list more? Because I can).
While Lizzie and Hattie hurtled headlong across the United States, fearless of road weariness and trusting in the kindness of strangers on a six-month journey, they stopped for a moment to see a friendly face.
In Waco, Texas.
I met Lizzie when she attended school at St Andrews (Scotland) University and tended bar at The Dunvegan in that wonderful town. Like with all of the staff at that magical pub in the heart of golf, Lizzie and I became friends. So when she planned a vagabond trip across the United States, she placed visiting me in my hometown on her tentative agenda.
When I say I believe the enjoyment of dining out is universal, I'm not necessarily using hyperbole.
Maybe it's actually a galactic phenomenon.
"The History of every major Galactic Civilization tends to pass through three distinct and recognizable phases," writes Dougas Adams in his epic Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, "those of Survival, Inquiry and Sophistication, otherwise known as the How, Why and Where phases. For instance, the first phase is characterized by the question How can we eat? the second by the question Why do we eat? and the third by the question Where shall we have lunch?"
Let me emphasize that last bit. The ultimate philosophical question a civilization can ask itself is "Where shall we have lunch?"
In Central Texas terms, we think that translates as "Where you wanna eat?"