byninjacoco, October 10, 2011
There's really one reason to go to Health Camp, and one reason alone: the malts and milkshakes. They're pretty tasty, plus they have pineapple. Yum.

I'll admit that I'm not the biggest burger fan, so when a burger is only so-so or average, it's just not...memorable. Health Camp's fit into this category.

Add to that that the whole place just feels a bit dirty, and Health Camp really isn't a place I want to sit and eat. Things feel sticky. There are flies. This makes me unhappy.

So, go, grab a shake to go (they have pineapple! yum), have a chuckle at the name, but...don't stay. Well, unless you have extra sanitizer on hand.
byninjacoco, September 30, 2011
The second I heard about the Diablo Taco, I had to try one. So, when I was feeling a tad peckish last night, I stopped in to try one.

The Diablo is packed with meat, onions and peppers--so much so that it came out as two flat corn tortillas with a tower of edible edibles on top instead of folded up like a traditional soft taco. I ordered mine with cheese, but extra spicy to cancel out any potential cooling benefit from adding cheese.

In a half-witted attempt to get the taco down to a foldable mass, I decided to pick off some onions and peppers from the top of the taco and eat them. The sauteed onions are delicious, having soaked up some of the heat and flavor from the peppers and the deliciously smoky habanero (I think it was habanero--it kind of had that barely sweet flavor to it) sauce they put all in the taco. There were a few too many onions on my taco for my liking, though, as I prefer a bit more meat than veggies in my taco, but that's easily rectified by picking them off and eating them.

Popping a pepper into my mouth to get the taco down to a good meat : veggie ratio, though? Bad idea. First of all, I was a moron who picked it up with my fingers. Anything I touched got a bit of leftover capsaicin after that. Let's just say I was glad I was wearing glasses instead of contacts that day! Secondly, those peppers are HOT. They work in the context of the taco, bringing a bit of tangy heat to the whole package. On their own, though, they just bring the pain. And pain. And more pain! Thirdly, this took away the main source of the taco's heat.

Underneath all the toppings, the Diablo Taco is really not that spicy. When you get to the bottom layer of meat, it's downright mild. Sure, the smoky habanero sauce is all over the meat, too, but it's not really all that hot. Most of the heat comes from the peppers on top, so if you're out to tackle the 666 challenge, keep that in mind.

I couldn't have been happier with the meat in this taco, though. It's perfect, flavorful and tender. I just wish they would have worked more heat into the meat somehow, perhaps with an Evil Marinade of Pain and Doom, or by chopping up bits of pepper in with the meat itself.

The tortillas held everything together just fine, although they were a tad soggy. Be careful what you touch afterwards. I tried washing all the spicy juices off, but it lingered anyway.

With my Diablo Taco (extra spicy, with cheese, to go), I got three tubs of extra goodies. One contained crunchy, uncooked onions that had the same tasty kick as the sauteed ones on the taco. I guess these must be stored in some way that allows them to soak up some heat. Another tub contained more of the same smoky, fabulous habanero sauce that's already on the taco. The third tub contained a fabulously limey green salsa that I really enjoyed eating on the onion-bomb Diablo Taco. It's a milder salsa, but it works well with the onions.

I'd love to go back and try the other items on the menu sometime. The counter staff was friendly and the pictures of the other dishes on the wall all looked fabulously tasty.
byninjacoco, September 28, 2011
George's is one giant Texas cliche in all the right ways, from the Baylor memorabilia on the walls to the food on the menu. The wait staff is friendly and always keeps my glass full. I can order a Big O for breakfast. This place is truly magical.

Whoever invented the Big O deserves the Nobel Peace Prize. Someone must have realized that colder temperatures subdue the flavor in beer, and that cheap beer isn't so tasty. By putting cheap beer in an ice-cold schooner that can hold liquid at that lower temperature for a longer period of time, they've made it palatable. A delicious treat. Fine, fine, I usually get Shiner, which is yummy even at normal beer serving temperatures, but the Shinercicle that is a Big O is quite delicious.

The food is consistently awesome, too. I crave George's chicken fried steak. Crave. I'm also one of those oddballs who doesn't like gravy, either, so I love that George's puts it in a little bowl on the side. George's fluffy white gravy doesn't quite taste like gravy to me, though, so I actually eat it sometimes. It's more buttery, with less of that yucky peppery/lardy/nasty? (I can't describe it, but I hate it) taste that most gravy has. Butter is awesome.

I suppose that the most surprising thing about George's is the wide variety of stuff that they have on the menu. Unlike most hole-in-the-wall/comfort food places, there's a ton of stuff to choose from. Even the list of sides is extensive, so much so that even picky people like me can find two that I'll eat. One of the most surprising things I like here is their Caesar dressing, which I love because it's more like a vinaigrette than the thick, globby stuff that most places carry. Yummy salad. Here. Who'd have guessed?

Granted, the layout kind of forces you to compromise a bit. The smoking/bar side is more fun, but you end up reeking of bar stank once you're through, and it's a pity that it closes at 12 instead of 2. It can get pretty loud on the deck, but that's part of the charm, haha. The non-smoking/restaurant side is tame enough to bring your parents to, though, but it gets packed during certain big Baylor events.

All this being said, I don't think I've had a dinner here that I haven't loved, be it breakfast, appetizers or whatever.
byninjacoco, September 28, 2011
This is the Schmaltz's to go to. It's open later, it's cleaner than the downtown location and it has always seemed more laid back, like I can take a little time pondering whether I can devour a cup of soup in addition to a huge sammich or not.

Now, let's talk about that sammich. The Schmaltz has pretty much everything I want in a sandwich, just with a couple things I always ask to leave off (tomato and olive--no thanks). The bread is fantastic. It's substantial enough on the outside to keep your sandwich from falling apart, yet soft enough on the inside to soak up all the different flavors of the sandwich like a sponge. The garlic butter and combination of cheeses make it truly divine.

They never skimp on the mayo when I ask for lots of it, too, and they actually put it on the sandwich when it's being made. Sandwich shops can always point you towards the bin of extra mayo packets when you ask for a condiment that's not usually on the sandwich, but let's be honest, it's a serious pain to disassemble a pile of meat, cheese and other treats that has been oozing and melting together into one solid mass of food. Reconstructing a sandwich after breaking the mortar-like bonds of the cheese that's holding it together is near impossible. Your sandwich can never be as tightly-packed together as it would be if you hadn't had to take it apart to add mayo. It's the little things like putting enough mayo to drown Quebec on in the sandwich construction phase that count, dude.

Consequently, the Schmaltz (add lots of mayo, take off tomatoes and olives) in all its gooey, buttery, mayonnaisey glory is the best dang sandwich in Waco.

I love their soups as well. The Wisconsin Cheddar soup usually rounds out my cheese-and-mayo-fueled laugh in the face of artery-clogged death. It's basically a big, creamy bowl of cheese, and best eaten with a bit of hot sauce mixed in. They usually have at least the regular and the jalapeno Tabasco on hand, too. Like I said, it's the little things that Schmaltz's doesn't forget that makes it awesome.
byninjacoco, September 28, 2011
I have a bit of a confession to make: I'm not that big of a Chick-Fil-A fan. I'm just not. Worse yet, I'm the only person I know who just doesn't rave about how wonderful Chick-Fil-A is.

Maybe it's the soggy breading they use on their chicken. It always seems like it should be crispier. I just don't like breading, especially when the other chicken joints use a perfect, crispy batter instead. Chick-Fil-A's breading reminds me of some kind of Shake 'N' Bake entree gone wrong. Yuck. The spicy chicken has a decent flavor to it, but it'd be infinitely better with a crunchy batter.

I think the peanut oil makes everything taste saltier than it should, too. I know it's supposed to be healthy, but blecch. Luckily, it's not overwhelmingly salty like a lot of fast food, but it's still a tad worse than I'd like.

I must admit that they do a few things right. The sausage breakfast sandwich is pretty tasty, so I suppose the adorable ad cows should say "Pork iz yummy too." They offer a variety of delightful sauces for their chicken nuggets (Raising Cane's, take note). Polynesian sauce is concentrated win in a little plastic tub. The waffle fries are an ingenious way of ensuring there's enough fry coating on each fry to cancel out that icky "potato" flavor that I don't like. The party platters are awesome if you have to feed a bunch of people in a pinch, too.

Overall, meh. Y'all can wait in that excruciatingly long line. I'm going somewhere that has better chicken.
byninjacoco, September 18, 2011
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Back when I lived near Seattle, I did a lot of volunteer work helping distribute free lunches to low-income families. There were a lot of Russian immigrants who lived in the housing projects we'd serve and there was one condiment they just didn't quite understand: barbecue sauce. It wasn't something they really had in Russia. It tasted an unpleasant way. They didn't really "get" the appeal.

Well, that is my reaction to the Raising Cane's sauce. I don't get it. I love mayonnaise, taste the mayonnaise and I'm intrigued by the creamy, almost familiar texture of it, but at the same time, the other stuff in it just ruins the aforementioned mayonnaise. The seasonings don't blend together well at all. Is that...ketchup? Worcestershire sauce? Who thought up this hot mess and decided it was acceptable? Not I. Nope. I do not understand this bizarre condiment or why I would want to stick it in my mouth.

I wanted to like it due to its high mayonnaise content, but it just has an strange aftertaste once you get past the mayonnaise and Worchestershire. Now, they do have honey mustard on request, and it's okay, even if it is a tad heavier on the honey than I'd prefer. Still, that's...two sauces? What? From a place specializing in chicken tenders? The owners of this chicken franchise should know that chicken tenders are typically dipped in something, and that not everybody is going to like the only two they offer. C'mon, at least give us some dang barbecue sauce.

This "lack of variety" theme doesn't stop there. Take one look at the menu, and, well, you can order chicken tenders! You can order more tenders, less tenders or tenders in a sandwich. To go with it, you can get Texas toast, cole slaw or awful crinkle fries that look like they're straight out of a bad elementary school cafeteria. I've only been there a handful of times and have the whole menu memorized. It's absurd.

As for the chicken tenders themselves, they're fantastic. They're the only thing saving this from a one-star review. The coating is light and crispy, and the chicken is quite tender. These would be perfect in some sweet and sour sauce, but wait! Raising Cane's doesn't have that, either.

May I suggest going out for Chinese the night before you're headed to Cane's, then? It really does remind me of Sweet and Sour Chicken without the sauce.
byninjacoco, September 16, 2011
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Clay Pot
You know what this place is? Home. A home away from home, complete with the ability to eat on a coffee table with my bum on a pillow. And the Clay Pot staff? Family.

I came here so often that Phong knew my usual, which changed from time to time, but eventually I'd fall back into a rut of ordering something I really, really liked over and over again. He'd usually ask, "The usual?" and I'd stubbornly refuse, only to order my usual anyway once Phong returned to take my order.

This is what I love about the Clay Pot. I've been coming here since Quang was running the restaurant on a daily basis, and no matter which Le is running the show, they always take time to get to know their regulars. This place is Cheers, but with spring rolls and awesome tea.

The food here, of course, isn't all authentic. One of my friends and I dubbed the Pasta Pot the "Gringo Pot" accordingly, because even though Quang could talk at length about Marco Polo came to Vietnam, Italian noodles aren't typically considered Vietnamese cuisine. I still love the Pasta Pot, though. I've hated spaghetti all my life for being boring pasta with no cheese, and the Pasta Pot fixes that. I always got the Shrimp Pasta Pot, which gave me an excuse to lick my fingers after I was done pantsing my seafood.

My favorite "meat" in most of the hot pot and noodle dishes, though, wasn't meat at all--it was tofu. Clay Pot's tofu is squishy and absorbs all the flavors of whatever it's in. Dishes that are a tad salty with chicken or beef, such as the Pho Xao, are fantastic with tofu.

Forget chicken noodle soup when you're sick. The Chicken Curry Clay Pot was my standby, and they can make it hot enough to un-clog cement from your sinuses if you request. Others used the Clay Pot's Pho as a cure for everything. The Pho as a nice herbal flavor to it, almost like hot tea in soup form. Inhale deeply over your bowl and you won't have to bother with that gooey Vicks stuff. I liked the Bun Bo Hue soup more, which is similar to the Pho, but spicier.

I'm actually quite sad that the appetizer sampler platter wasn't around when I was a student! I love the steamed chicken dumplings, which come in a slightly oniony broth and come with a sweet dipping sauce. The wings are a tad different from traditional hot wings, but what isn't at the Clay Pot? They're delicious, anyway. The wings are lightly fried and the sauce comes on the side, more like a dip instead of already being on the wings themselves. The Clay Pot wings are slightly spicy, and the Ly Le wings have an almost sweet and sour-like sauce. Both are tasty.

Several of the dishes are fabulous excuses for grown-ups to play with their food. Order Ca Nuong (fish) or Goi Bo (beef), and you're presented with a couple platters of tasty fillings and several sheets of sticky rice paper for you to assemble your own rolls. This quickly devolves into a giant table full of finger food, and trust me, assembling everything into a tight, manageable package is harder than it looks. Even if your roll disintegrates halfway through you eating it, it's still great fun. If playing with rice paper isn't your thing, the Cha Ca gives you a pot where you can cook your own meat. Heh heh heh...FIRE!

So, the Clay Pot blends together Vietnamese, American and a little bit of everything else to make something unique, and for the most part, it works. The Nancy's Special is a delightfully large bowl full of pho noodles, sweet sauce, fruit and meat, and some of that meat happens to be in the form of meatballs. Whatever. It's delicious.

The tea is tied with Beatnix for my favorite iced tea in Waco. There's free wi-fi as well. If it looks like you're going to be there for a while, the waiter usually leaves a pitcher of tea behind to keep your mug full. I daresay I got more done at Clay Pot than I did in Club Moody, all while eating dinner.

Sometimes the Clay Pot gets very busy, but the staff is usually good at handling the crowds. The quality of dishes can vary a little depending on who's in the kitchen as well. Quang supposedly made the best Imperial Rolls, so if he's in town, you know what to get. I love the Pele Salmon because it's rare to find salmon on the menu in Waco, the plum sauce on top is just sweet enough, and the vaguely creamy Italian-ish sauce over the potatoes is so delicious that I eat--and like--the potatoes. (I usually hate potatoes.) However, sometimes it'd be just a little too done, or the size of the piece of fish would vary just a tad. For some reason, the best Pele Salmon was usually later in the evenings. Oh well. I still love their fish dishes because the Clay Pot staff is "on" more often than "off."

Sometimes the spring rolls can be a little tough at the edge if they've sat for a while, or sometimes they're rolled more tightly than others. I suppose this is a good reason to go on Tuesdays, when the two-for-one Spring Roll special ensures a high turnover of rolls (and that I'll inevitably end up ordering extra rolls myself).

There's no doubt that the staff at the Clay Pot wants everybody to be happy. Back when Quang was still there, you could ask the waiter for a "something" and the kitchen staff would make up something for you to try on the spot. I haven't tried that recently, though, because there's so much other great stuff on the menu. I can't wait to try the Banh Mi and some of the other new dishes the next time I'm in Waco. The meals are ridiculously cheap, and every dinner comes with free iced tea and a spring roll.

Finally, just look at the place. It's a little pink box of happiness, complete with a bunch of cool stuff the Les have collected over the years. Sometimes they would even let music groups perform on the "stage" (the elevated coffee table) in the corner.

There are few people nicer than the family who runs the Clay Pot, and it's a must try for anyone looking for good, cheap eats in Waco.
byninjacoco, September 16, 2011
Bangkok Royal
If someone asked me where to go for a nice sit-down meal (say, with someone you'd like to impress) in Waco, I would probably send them to Bangkok Royal. Their new location is spectacularly nice, so much so that it feels like a fancier restaurant than nearby Diamondback's.

Anyway, there's no question that this is the best Asian food in Waco. As a huge fan of spicy food, I love the different curries on the menu. They're even willing to make things spicier if you'd like a three-star dish to be more like a six. They even have tofu, which I love, even though I'm about as carnivorous as it gets.

Even the take-out from Bangkok Royal is nice. Every time I've gotten curry to go, it even comes in an awesome plastic tub instead of the usual "please don't ooze curry on my car seats" styrofoam box that most places give you.

The downsides? Sometimes the service is a tad slow, and I have a bad habit of ordering the pricier things on the menu. I guess it's the fact that there are seafood dishes and tasty appetizers to order and, well, I can't resist. They have some wonderful inexpensive lunch specials, though, which sort of makes up for it.
byninjacoco, September 11, 2011
Okay, I'll admit it: BaylorFans is my guilty pleasure. Yes, I'm that ninjacoco. If you got the pig* reference, well...I can't help you. We do have a thing for the fabulous javelina on those boards, and the one thing I have in common with the beloved pig* is that we both love to eat cacti. Taqueria Arandas, of course, has nopales. You can order a taco full of delicious, crisp nopales. I think they're sauteed or something (don't ask me--I can't cook), but they're fabulous. There are a ton of taquerias in Waco, and many of them do tacos better than Arandas, but this is the one place I've found that has nopales.

Sometimes I've noticed that Arandas runs out of certain meats or switches up the choices on the menu. The last time I was there, I was disappointed to see that birria was no longer available. Maybe it's back now. Maybe it's not. It's a SURPRISE.

There's no question that Taqueria Arandas is one of the nicer taquerias in Waco, though. There's a drive-thru. They take debit and credit cards. And if you'd like a nice, sit-down meal, you can sit inside and enjoy chips and salsa while you wait on your food. It's a great place to enjoy taco stand food in the comfort of the great indoors.

They have more than just tacos and tortas, too, and it's all delightfully inexpensive. There's breakfast, seafood, fajitas, enchiladas and most importantly, the "El Super California Burrito." Well, I don't know if I got the order of the words right, and there may be some other descriptors like "Gigante" or "Original," but it's the big burrito that makes Chipotle completely irrelevant. More flavor. Less salty. Unless you really like to see diligent worker bees assemble your giant tortilla full of food in front of you, go here instead. The California burrito is massive.

I think they use Taqueria Arandas as a bus stop, so don't be surprised if there are people with luggage waiting for their ride. The whole restaurant reminds me of a Mexican Dairy Queen, complete with tile floors, similar booths and a playground outside. In other words, it's nothing spectacular.

The nopales, on the other hand, are.
byninjacoco, September 11, 2011
There are few things I trust less than the food at Taco Cabana. Maybe commitments from an aggie, but that's about it. Seriously, every time I've eaten at BU's Taco C, I get sick. Queasy stomach ewwww kind of sick.

I hate this because the food always sounds good, and Waco desperately needs more 24-hour eats. Taco Cabana is just nasty, though. It's even pretty dirty inside whenever I've been, but maybe that's because I've gone when they've been swamped with drunk BU kids. They don't have a random cop inside late at night for nothin'.

I will eat at the sketchiest looking roach coach you can find before I'll ever step foot in this Taco Cabana again. Not. Even. Joking.
byninjacoco, September 7, 2011
I have a bad habit of forgetting about Simply Good, even though it tempts me every time I'm shopping there. It never fails: I'll see something that looks super tasty on the specials board and promptly forget that Simply Good exists when I go to lunch.

Whenever I have remembered that SG is there, it's been pleasant. The small space means that it never gets too loud, making it a great spot to meet friends for lunch. The dishes range from comfort food like pimiento cheese sandwiches and grilled cheese to more creative deli fare, like paninis and wraps with many, many ingredients. The soups and salads are delicious and just the right size for a midday snack. It's hard to beat the $5 lunch specials for good, cheap eats, too.

Furthermore, just...look at it. It's such a bright and cheerful spot. Everything about Simply Good's corner of the shops is just happy.

I just wish they were open at dinner! I might remember them for dinnertime instead of lunch the next day.
byninjacoco, September 7, 2011
The Olive Branch
Everything I've ever ordered at the Olive Branch seems fresh and flavorful, from the orchard salad to the quiche. The items they come up with are always somewhat creative and tasty, such as the Italian queso or the goat cheese penne. Anywhere that uses goat cheese and pesto on a regular basis automatically wins a little approval from me. Yum.

I have to admit that I'm not the biggest fan of the sweet stuff, but they've got tons of cupcakes and other treats if that's up your alley.

It seems a little pricey for a place where you have to order at the counter and get your own drinks, but the food is so good that it doesn't hardly matter. Service can be a little slow when it's packed, so perhaps it's good that you can refill your own glass. Like other local eateries, I don't mind the extra wait when I know the food is going to be awesome.
byninjacoco, September 6, 2011
I love D's. I don't think I've ever had anything I haven't enjoyed at D's. The "sandwiches" (more like wraps) with chicken, pickles, lettuce and some kind of cucumber cream sauce are to die for. The stuffed grape leaves are sweet, tart and addicting. The Greek dressing on the side salads is one of my favorite salad dressings in Waco. Hummus--need I say more? I could eat hummus and pitas for days. And there's lamb! Delicious lamb in what's possibly the most unpretentious building in Waco. I can go in there in Nike shorts and a crappy Baylor shirt and not feel like I've brought down the value of everything on the menu.

D's simply delightful. Sure, you have to order at the counter and sometimes it takes a bit for your food to come out, but that's because they have to make it. The people running it are always friendly and always willing to explain the items on the menu to people looking to try something new. There's simply nowhere else like it in Waco.
byninjacoco, September 6, 2011
Although Vitek's regular barbecue is supposed to be quite good, I can't tear myself away from the Gut Pak. I haven't found anything like it anywhere else in Texas. It is, as others have said, a Frito Pie on steroids--a magical concoction of barbecue layered over cheese and Fritos in a perfect, solid heap of food. I like to get mine with some hot sauce mixed in for an extra kick. You can't go wrong with any of the sausages they have, although I typically end up choosing the homemade. If you're a vegetarian, now's the time to stop it. This thing is worth forsaking the little animals to stuff your face with meat.

The Gut Pak comes in two sizes: a full-size take-out box and a small one. Don't write off the small one as the Girl Pak so easily. The Gut Pak is such a solid mass of food that I rarely want more than the small one. The full size Gut Pak is great if you're starving to death, you're just a hungry dude or if you want leftovers. Gut Paks are even great reheated later, as if all the different flavors have more time to meld together in one continuous mass of flavor while it's sitting in your fridge.

Everything else I've tried at Vitek's has been great as well. They were pushing an extra gooey macaroni and cheese side for a while that would put any of Paula Deen's heart-stopping concoctions to shame. The prices are always reasonable enough for even the brokest Baylor kid to enjoy a Gut Pak every now and then. The new seating areas (both outdoor on the patio and inside between the counter and the coke machine) are a huge improvement. Having Dublin Dr Pepper on tap and bottled specialty sodas in the fridge means that you can wash your giant pile of meat down with something just as tasty.
I must admit that I rolled my eyes when I heard that Waco was bringing in another Tex-Mex chain. We have a billion Mexican places to begin with--what's the point?

That was before I knew what Chuy's was. Chuy's is one of the few places where the things listed as spicy on the menu are actually somewhat spicy. I love the green chile and boom-boom sauces. Even the queso has a little bit of spice to it. The chunky salsa that they bring with the chips reminds me more of pico de gallo, but it's spicy, too.

Then there's that fabulous creamy jalapeno sauce. I hate ranch but somehow love that stuff. I think it's secretly not ranch, but love, jalapenos and unicorn farts crammed into a blender. You have to ask for it, but it's well worth asking for (not to mention buying tubs of to take home). It's good on everything--on chips, on top of your enchiladas, mixed in the queso--everything.

Chuy's has a place in Waco because it's different than your average Tex-Mex place. Sure, the service isn't as good as the one they just opened in Tyler, and it's quite noisy inside, but I need boom-boom and Hatch sauce in my life. Yes. Need.
byninjacoco, September 6, 2011
If you want a more authentic alternative to all the Tex-Mex places in town, El Charro is pretty good. The tacos are on par with many of the taquerias in town, but the best thing I've had here has to be the Camarones a la Diablo. I'm always super excited to find dishes that are actually a little spicy without having to drench it in hot sauce to make it so, and this is one of them. The shrimp was tasty and prepared just right.

On top of all that, if this isn't the cutest building on Waco Drive when it's lit up in the evening, I don't know what is.
byninjacoco, September 6, 2011
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sometimes outsiders--people unfamiliar to the stuff that's completely mundane to me--can describe things a lot better than I can. A while ago, Red Bull decided to film David Coulthard running one of their Formula 1 cars running around downtown Austin and the construction site of race track they're building down there. Even though people were posting enough pictures and video of a brutally loud race car and the camera set-ups they were using to film it to cause a serious film grad nerdgasm, nothing warmed my heart quite as much as when someone handed Coulthard a breakfast taco. Of Central Texas' signature dish, the Scottish driver said, "It's almost everything I need all in one."

Well, he nailed it. I'm a big believer in the breakfast taco. They're instant happy. Whenever I eat one, it's as if I'm automatically having a better day from that point forward. I can't say that about anything I'd have to eat with a fork. If the rest of the world had breakfast tacos, it'd be a happier, less hungry place. Had Red Bull been filming on Franklin instead of FM 812, there's no doubt that this taco would have come from Lolita's. Breakfast tacos are what Lolita's does best.

Lolita's scrambled eggs are fluffy and moist without being runny. The white cheese adds just enough flavor that's not overpowering or greasy. The sausage is cooked just right, too, without any tough, overcooked bits. I accidentally ended up with a friend's potato, egg and cheese taco, too, and even though I don't like potatoes, the potatoes seemed fresh and chewy so that they weren't half bad.

The warm red salsa they have is a nice compliment to their breakfast tacos as well. It's oniony and mildly spicy, and my only complaint is that the big chunks of onion don't fall out of the plastic salsa containers as freely as the runny salsa juice. Considering that the "taco pee" running down my hand was all salsa instead of egg juice, I'd say Lolita's is doing it right.

I tried the enchiladas there for lunch once and wasn't as impressed with them as I was with the breakfast tacos. They were good, but nothing particularly special. I'd definitely say that Lolita's strength is in their tacos. Perhaps I need to try their lunch elefante.

You get a lot of food for cheap here. The dining room is bright and clean, or if you're too lazy to get out of your pajamas, there's a drive-thru window to order from.

Lolita's is definitely the place to start your day off right: with tacos.
byninjacoco, September 6, 2011
Wow, there's a review page up for Chipotle and nobody's said "we need a Freebirds" yet? All right, then. Let me be the first to say it: we need a dadgummed Freebirds.

Chipotle needs more options and hotter salsas. That cilantro-lime rice that everyone raves about is disgustingly salty to me and does not make up for the lack of actual leafy cilantro to stick on my burrito. Salt is my least favorite seasoning ever, and Chipotle, unfortunately, uses way too much of it instead of actual...spice. The hottest salsa they have is a total disappointment.

Chipotle is okay in a pinch. I like the fact that I can tell them exactly what I want in my burrito, the fact that they have Izze drinks and that the big sizes mean it's like ordering two meals in one. Is it rude to bring in my bottle of Death Sauce, though? Haha. If you want a big burrito, Taqueria Arandas still has the best one in Waco, even if they don't assemble it in front of you.
byninjacoco, September 6, 2011
That's right: they've got all your favorite taco stand fare (elotes, tortas, Mexican cokes and of course, TACOS!), the person at the window usually speaks fairly decent English and you can pay with a card! If you're a bit nervous about being a big white fish out of water, you won't be here.

On top of all that, the food is good. The tacos are delicious, with tender, flavorful meat and just enough cilantro and onion to set it off. This is one of the few places that I've found that puts carne guisada (Mexican beef stew) on a taco, and it's fantastic. Try an elote. I don't even like corn, but these sweet cups full of off-the-cobb goodness that you can order with mayonnaise or sour cream mixed in are pure heaven. Extra toppings for elotes (hot sauce, butter, mayo, parmesan cheese, etc.) are on the counter.

Make no bones about it, though, it's a stand. You either sit on the picnic tables outside (which are always pretty clean and nice on warm, sunny days) or take it to go. If you forgot to bring cash along and want to sit inside, there's Taqueria Arandas, but the tacos aren't as good there.
byninjacoco, September 6, 2011
El Con's food is nothing special, really--just your average Tex-Mex fare you'd find in any town in Texas. It's not overly bland or overly greasy, thus avoiding the two deadly sins of Tex-Mex, but I'd be lying if I said it was a stand out in any way.

Where they set themselves apart from everywhere else in town, though, is with the speed at which they operate. My glass is never empty here, nor do I ever seem to run out of chips and salsa. Dinner arrives at my table at ludicrous speed, as if the waiter goes to plaid on the way.

The dining room is clean and a noticeable improvement from the dark place lit by yellow 70stacular fixtures that they used had when I was a kid.

If you're short on time, this is the place. It's funny how something as simple as keeping my glass full can make a place stand out, but it does.