One More Bite

The WacoFork Blog

Last week the Hippodrome held a premiere event for their very own launch of a new upscale dinner menu to be available in the restaurant dining section of the Hippodrome. We had been invited the week before and were excited to try a tasting and were not disappointed in the least.

A couple of weeks ago I headed out to a pub gathering at The Dancing Bear, knowing I was going to multitask by gathering info on an update on The Crazy Horse Grill.

Back at the end of last year, we told you about Crazy Horse, the barbecue-fusion-esque food truck in the back garden of The Dancing Bear. With the new year, chef Nabor Leal introduced a new menu, so that particularly piqued my interest.

TSTC Let us know last week that they are starting their lunch service training program. I ventured up to the TSTC Waco Campus Culinary Arts center at Campus Drive and 8th Street to explore this weeks theme of West Coast USA cuisine. Each week has a new theme and the students in the program rotate around to cover all duties. While most are studying for back of the house (sous chef/line cook/Food Service Manager) with this program they get to experience and know how the front of house wait staff and servers deal with the customers. This helps them in the long term to know the front end staff concerns and problem resolution techniques and how they need to keep them informed and supplied from the kitchen.


If you enjoy Mexican foods and don't know of Rufi's Cocina, you are missing out on a hidden gem here in Waco. I was told of Rufi's in early January and dined the next day. I then returned again on 'Tamale Friday' and thoroughly enjoyed the freshly made tamales of savory chicken and pork, as well as sweet dessert versions which are rare to find. Cocina, for those of you that do not know means 'Kitchen' and is a perfect name for Rufi's, because it is quite like stepping right into their family Kitchen cooking up Michoacán(Mexico) style foods sometimes with a modern fusion twist for specials. Nestled along the north central area of Waco at the intersection of N 25th Street and Lasker Ave it can be a bit hard to find the first time you go, but not a place you will forget once you have experienced.
I have since tried several dishes and while they may not have the familiar names you will see on the local Tex-Mex menus their food is authentic and flavorful. Step up and ask if you have a specific request or question about a dish, the family staff will gladly help you and explain the dish. Since every dish is cooked only after you order, if there is something you don't think you would like in a dish, they will gladly change it, tone down the spice, heat it up to extreme heat, or other changes you may desire.

On Tuesday afternoon, I suggested to a friend that we meet up at The Elite Cafe for happy hour as I remembered they had good deals last time I was in there.

Little did I know the restaurant was in its last days.

I noticed yesterday that the Texas Food Truck Showdown released its truck lineup for this year's event, which will be held April 2.

We'll obviously roll out more articles on this as the event gets closer, but just wanted to share the list of food trucks with you today. Here's the link.

Listen to your (goat) heart

January 20, 2016 | Chad Conine | Around Town | Comment

As I began the year ready to write about college basketball and sustain myself with an endless parade of guacamole tostadas and chicken burgers, I needed to be challenged but wasn’t going to do it myself.

And then my friend Dr. Shawn Skeen asked me to come to a dinner hosted by The Grape chef Jason Rolf and event coordinator Michelle Henkel.

And they put a goat heart in front of me, albeit on a bed of farmers market ragu and beside watermelon radish and Bibb lettuce salad, so it seemed less threatening.

Last week, a friend pointed out that the new building under construction next door to Zoes Kitchen on Valley Mills Drive is going to be a Chili’s.

“Woohoo!” I said, sarcastically. 

I mean, I like Chili’s. It’s as good a place as any to have a good conversation with friends and eat chips and queso. It’s just not exciting, especially in the current Waco restaurant landscape.

But then I remembered a simpler time here in our humble burg when the opening of Chili’s was exciting.

In case anyone is unaware, I grew up in Waco. I’ve lived here since 1980 with a gap between 1996 and 2003 when I went to college in Lubbock, then worked in Fort Worth. So I’ve been able to see how Waco has evolved and probably most closely observed how that affected the dining options.

So, for your edification and amusement, I present a brief and inexact history of restaurants coming to Waco. 

News and notes: normal turnover

January 7, 2016 | Chad Conine | Latest News | Comment

Alas, it seems our humble burg has once again taken two steps forward and one step back.

It's my sad duty to report that, having visited the mall today to purchase a new belt, I discovered that Hot Topic is gone. For the record, I was not going to Hot Topic to get said belt. But still, where am I going to find a Flogging Molly T-shirt now? 

Bringing in the new (again)

January 5, 2016 | Chad Conine | Around Town | Comment

Happy 2016, WacoFork friends.

If the last couple of years are an indication, this should be another calendar full of new arrivals as Waco continues to level up.