Arlington, Nagodoches, and Waco eating recommendations?
I'm on a business trip next week, and looking to experience some local flavor. We'll be eating all of our meals out, so a great breakfast place recommendation would be as greatly appreciated as a good place to get some honest to goodness Texas cooking. We're all definitely interested in catching some of the local flavor, and since I'm the resident foodie, they've put me in charge finding some great places to eat, so I knew this would be the place to go!
Thanks ahead of time!
First off....are you limited to only those locations? For example when you are in Arlington are you able to travel in the Metroplex (within reason)? Just a cautionary note Waco is going to be slim on recs, I pratically grew up there (grandparents live there) and there wasn't much.
Waco recs - http://www.chowhound.com/topics/461803
Sidenote - Kaska's in West (on the way to Waco) has closed since my post now Gerik's just down the main road that leads to downtown West is the best for kolaches. Czech Stop is a bit touritsy for me, most people go there though. I go for quality over convenience and in this case Gerik's has better quality.
I can now give a hearty recommendation for a great place to eat in Nagodoches: Delacroix Cajun Seafood. It's crawfish season in east Texas and we started our meal with some excellent crawfish, my first. We all ordered something different, and everything was incredibly tasty. The rice and beans were home style, with just the right mix of heat and seasonings. The hush puppies had great flavor, though some were a little undercooked. I had some fried gator that of course tasted like chicken, but I'm glad I tried it, though I would have enjoyed the blackened mahi-mahi more, which some of my colleagues tried. I also had a cup of crawfish ettouffe, and enjoyed that immensely.
The atmosphere is a lot of fun as well--the restaurant is in an old gas station, and it's covered with corrugated steel sheathing inside and out, and all in all it has a very down home feel.
I highly recommend it though for some good, unique dining in Nagodoches.
Waco - Really, the only place I would go that fits what you are looking for is Georges's Bar. It's on 18th street on the w. side of I35. It's a Texas Beer joint that's been there 60 years or so. They are famous for the BigO (schooner of beer), chicken fried steak and cheeseburger baskets. You will see everything from college kids, families, drunks, locals, ect.... Sit in the original section which is where the bar is, if you don't mind smoke. It adds to vibe.
I'm happy to report that the meal I enjoyed the most on my trip to Texas was in Nagodoches, which apparently is pretty much a culinary wasteland. The locals suggested we go to Delacroix, a great Cajun restaurant on the main strip in town. It's BYOB and is housed in an old gas station, and lined inside and out with corrugated steel. Nothing fancy here, just great food, all the way around! We started with a crawfish boil, my first time eating it the Cajun way, including sucking the juices right out of those things after eating the tail meat. Very tasty! I ate some fried gator, but the blackened mahi-mahi was absolutely fantastic. The rice and beans were some of the best I've eaten, and the hush puppies passed muster too. Crab etouffee rounded out my meal, along with some deep fried corn on the cob, something completely new to me. It was small pieces of corn on the cob, presumably from the crawfish boil, that was then dredged in a corn flour batter. An interesting take on corn on the cob that most everyone at the table enjoyed immensely. Other people at our table ate fried oysters, crawfish stuffed tilapia and fried okra. All of it was excellent, and the price was right. If you're ever in Nagodoches, do yourself a favor and eat Cajun!