One More Bite

The WacoFork Blog

So I was sitting on my couch Sunday evening, basking in the glow of the Dallas Mavericks' sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers. I cranked up a movie on Netflix and settled in when I decided I would like to have a sandwich.

As luck would have it, Jimmy John's, which opened at 4th Street and Franklin Avenue, touted the fact that it delivered. What's more, I heard that Jimmy John's could deliver sandwiches remarkably quickly. I decided to test that out. In fact, I wanted to order the sandwich online and see how quickly I could actually have a sandwich in my hands.

Since posting a blog about Project 254 last week, I've had the opportunity to answer the question "What is Project 254?" several times.

It's pretty straight forward, I think. Waco businesses — Common Grounds and The Olive Branch being the first to get involved from the restaurant community — designate Project 254 items. When customers buy those items, part of the money goes to fund the fight against poverty in Waco.

That's the easy answer. But it seems to me that, when it comes to the fight against poverty in McLennan County, it's difficult to recognize the problem and identify the answer. I came a little closer, though, to understanding Project 254's plan when I attended a reception on Saturday evening at The Olive Branch.

Chilli's chips, salsa and queso. Red Lobster's Cheddar Bay biscuits. Cheddar's Monster Cookie.

This is really all I need to write to defend Waco's assortment of chain restaurants. If at least one of those items — and more likely all three — didn't make you want to change this evening's agenda to include a trip to one of those chain restaurants, then there's nothing I can do to convince you. You have different taste buds than me and perhaps anyone I know.

I've been hearing quite a bit about a worthwhile initiative in town called Project254. My friend Tye Barrett, who works for the AmeriCorps VISTA program, first mentioned it to me on a recent Saturday Mexican food excursion. Then, while the WacoFork team was talking with the good folks at The Olive Branch, they explained it to us a little further.

Essentially, Project254 is a way for Waco businesses to go to bat for those less fortunate in our community.

Chad has been begging me to write a blog post for a couple of weeks (ok, maybe "begging" is a strong word, but he did ask). He's the writer, not me, so I've been content to just let him handle all of the blogging. But today, we got a post on Twitter that brought me out of hiding and into the blog. So for my debut blog post, I'm exploring the question, "Is WacoFork a restaurant discover engine for Waco?"

Today would be a good day to take a walk around Waco's buzzing downtown for two reasons: 1) It's sunny and 70 degrees with a pleasant breeze and 2) there's new stuff to check out.

I personally took a walk downtown just a few minutes ago to drop in on 3 — 3! — new restaurants within a 12-minute walk of each other. (That's according to Google maps. How do they know how fast I walk?). It's definitely an exciting day for downtown Waco, especially because the 3 restaurants fit into 3 distinct categories. Garrett's for fine dining, Jimmy John's for sandwiches and Oso's Oh So Good Yogurt for dessert.

I have good news for the fans of the Mexican seafood cuisine formerly served on Dutton Avenue. While El Siete Mares is absent from the Waco restaurant scene at the moment, it's plotting a return.

I caught up with El Siete Mares proprietor Sergio Garcia on Monday at his new place, El Potosino. He said he opened El Potosino about seven months ago as a place to land while he thought through the relocation of El Siete Mares.

Guest blogger Holland White writes for the food blog "Come And Bake It."

By Holland White, Special to WacoFork

What About Cupcakes? Tasty question.

I know that cupcakes are considered a trendy bakery item, but really, how can a mini cake ever go out of style? It’s good to know that Waco offers a bakery that focuses all their efforts on cupcakes. The sad part is that I had never even visited What About Cupcakes? before Thursday, but I’ll be sure to go back again.

I consider myself to be a cupcake aficionado — I’ve been baking cupcakes since I could read the directions on the back of a Funfetti cake mix box. Also, I should add that even though it’s not really classy or foodie of me to admit, the frosting is my favorite part, and I think that some cupcake bakers tend to forget about that. If the frosting didn’t matter, I would eat a muffin, for goodness sake. (Please note that I am not a muffin hater. I just made some great sweet potato muffins last week … though I did dip one into some leftover cream cheese frosting that was in the fridge. Arrest me, breakfast police.)

I believe in the greatness of days like Thursday because I believe in shared experience and 75-degree days and ordering pizzas for pick up.

Along with hitting golf balls at the driving range and playing basketball outside in fantastic weather, yesterday included a large-group WacoFork meet up lunch at Captain Billy Whizzbang's and another medium-sized group that came over to my house to watch Steve Carell's final episode on "The Office" (while the NFL Draft played on the television in the other room, obviously). And in order to be the good host and provide delicious sustenance for my guests, I did what I always do in such situations — I picked up pizza.

This is going to be a short blog because it's an awesome day outside and it might be completely necessary to go to the golf course and once the sun goes down there's important television to be watched while eating good Waco pizza.

So quickly, we had a fun time at lunch at the first ever WacoFork meet for lunch thing. We need a better name for it. Suggestions? Whatever you call it, we had representatives from all over town, including Wacoboard, KCEN, Curves, MCC and Spenco as we met up at Captain Billy Whizzbang's. Good burgers and nobody threw a drink in anyone else's face, which is always my barometer for whether or not everyone had fun. So everyone had fun. We'll do it again soon.

Now for the weekly blog update of the 4x200 Sweepstakes. We're at 104 registered users, 146 Twitter followers, 119 "likes" on Facebook and 157 reviews. Remember, when we reach 200 of each, we're giving away an iPad2.

And now I have to go buy pizza for tonight's television watching and tomorrow's blog. Tonight, I'm going to hunker down for Steve Carell's final episode on "The Office" along with "Parks and Recreation," while intermittently watching the NFL Draft and Mavericks vs. Blazers Game 6 in the other room. I think I'm going to have to buy another television. I'll write about all of that — but especially the pizza — tomorrow.