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Road trip: Austin, college station and Waco

  • g

We will be floating around this area for an entire Saturday. Just doing some sight seeing and general wandering. Looking for ideas for break., lunch and dinner. Nothing to fancy, just good. Any good rec's.


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  1. Sounds like a college scouting trip. As for Waco, it is a culinary wasteland. I attened college in Waco and still go back for games ect. I would say to go to George's on 17th for a Cheeseburger Basket and a Big O (schooner of Beer). That is Waco, IMO.

    1. Whup's Boomerang Barbecue in Marlin TX is worthy of a stop. Only a few miles off Highway 6 just 30 minutes south of Waco. Great brisket and ribs. Lamb too! Only open Thurs-Sat though.

      1. Freebird's World Burritos in College Station, in my opinion it was one of three redeeming qualities of that town. No offense to any Aggies, but I just didn't enjoy my time there.

        1. Louie Mueller's BBQ in, Taylor, Texas. You won't regret it!

          1 Reply
          1. re: twinwillow

            second the motion on Louie Mueller's............

          2. Perhaps a little late for OP but hope to help others journeying thru Waco...

            It's been a while since I've lived in Waco/Texas but do still visit parents who live there. Thanks to the advent of foodtv & internet, I sought several well known bbq places in the state but no one's brisket came close to my humble hometown establishment of Uncle Dan's. Sonny Bryan's in Dallas, Iron Works, Salt Lick & County Line, all in Austin...yup, tried them all in the last 5 yrs but sis & I agree, that none of these come close to our Uncle Dan's. Now this may not be the best ever or compare to Louie Mueller's (haven't been) but we think their brisket & sauce is quite tasty & may be the best eatin' Waco has to offer. Just thought I'd add my two cents as it's T minus 5 days 'till I start bakin' :-)


            15 Replies
            1. re: ceekskat

              If there's one thing I've learned during my many years on this earth, it's that nobody has the one true and only right opinion about barbecue, but I can tell you that the general consensus among knowledgeable Texas barbecue aficionados is that nobody on that list you mentioned (Sonny Bryan's, Iron Works, Salt Lick & County Line) turns out top tier barbecue. I'm not saying your Uncle Dan's isn't great, but instead of comparing it to that second-tier (and worse) list you gave, you should try places like City Market in Luling, Louie Mueller's in Taylor, Smitty's, Kreuz, Black's in Lockhart, Cooper's in Llano, City Market in Giddings, Snow's in Lexington, New Zion in Huntsville.

              I'd be interested to hear what you think of Uncle Dan's after making a comparison to some of the best the state has to offer.

              1. re: Jaymes

                Jaymes, I was merely answering the question of "What to eat in Waco?". I stand by my statement that Uncle Dan's has some of the best food that this city has to offer. This could be the most love Waco has ever received on this board :)

                I would love to try some of the other places but unfortunately due to time constraint, kids, grandparents, not always possible to drive to out of the way places. If there's anyway to try Mueller's on this or future trip, I will. BTW, I saw Bobby Flay & that Ace of Cakes guy on foodtv just TWO days ago touting Salt Lick as "the best bbq they've ever eaten"!!!!

                1. re: ceekskat

                  Yes, but they are Yankees!. Salt like is the Disney land for BBQ tourists. I don't mind it however. Something about the coolers of beer in the hill country after watch UT getting their ass beat by anyone is a good time.(joke, sort of)

                2. re: Jaymes

                  I really don't get how someone becomes less than knowedgeable if said person likes a bbq other than one of the big TX 5 or 6. Some folks may actually NOT care for the central TX style of bbq - albeit it the long time, accepted bbq capital of TX which I applaud. That said, personally, it's too fatty for my taste. So I would respectfully differ on your "best the state has to offer" statement - but that's just me.

                  1. re: CocoaNut

                    Please reread..."the best eatin' Waco has to offer".

                    1. re: ceekskat

                      Please reread.... "personally, it's [Central TX bbq] too fatty for my taste".

                      1. re: CocoaNut

                        LOL, Cocoa. LOL....BBQ is a very personal taste for everyone, I have had better BBQ up in the Dallas area than farther south, so i would PERSONALLY agree with Cocoa. IMO

                        1. re: CocoaNut

                          Thankfully, Uncle Dan's offers lean in addition & this is what we always order.

                      2. re: CocoaNut

                        I honestly don't get your statement that "central TX style of bbq...it's too fatty for my taste."

                        Every single place I've been to, and I've been to them all many, many more times than once, will happily give you your slices lean, off the flat. They're all serving brisket, you know. And brisket has fatty parts and lean parts, no matter in what part of Texas they're being cooked and served up. Brisket is brisket. As I said elsewhere, my nearly 90-year-old former cattleman father always orders his brisket lean and he has no trouble whatsoever getting his brisket lean in Central Texas or anywhere else.

                        I understand that you might prefer one certain place or style over another. That's part of the fun of BBQ, after all. But saying that "central TX style is too fatty" just doesn't make sense to me. Who's doing your ordering?

                        1. re: Jaymes

                          Oh - now it seems you're just being defensive as I was most careful to say "too fatty - For.My.Taste". If you're going to quote me, please get it correct. And even if looking for the central TX style of bbq, in the whole of Texas w/250,000+ sq miles, there certainly has to be more than 5 or 6 *quality* bbq joints.

                          I guess my largest peeve is when out-of-staters come to parts of TX which are hours from Austin, and receive admonishments to ANY bbq other than the "Big 5". Nevermind that their time and mobility or DESIRE to furthur travel may be limited. I see the whole bbq thing akin to someone arriving in San Antonio and being told the only good Mexican food is in Laredo. That's just wrong.....

                          I'm happy that central TX is well know for smoking up some of the best judged bbq in the state. Truly I am! But reality check - outside the judging arena, flavor and texture preferences are truly subjective and different people have many different opinions and expectations.

                          I also said "that's just me". I'm not attempting to convert anyone to my way of thinking. But one thing for sure you can trust about me - I speak my own mind and I don't expect you to always agree. Peace brother.......

                          1. re: CocoaNut

                            I absolutely agree with all your points and don't mean to be defensive. Nor, for that matter, obtuse. But I seriously, genuinely don't understand how it is that if you order lean at any of the Central Texas barbeque joints, you don't get lean meat For. Your. Taste.

                            Of course I realize that not everybody has to understand every thing and that it's no big whoop to you if I don't. But I always order my brisket half and half - half moist and half lean - and I've never had anybody tell me, "Oh, we have only fatty - we ship all the lean to Kansas." And what I get and what my father gets is definitely lean.

                            So I'm truly puzzled by your statement.

                            Is all.

                            1. re: Jaymes

                              Why do you need to order half-n-half?

                              1. re: CocoaNut


                                I don't guess I "need" to order half and half.

                                I just prefer some moist and some lean. The brisket has both, you know. The point and the flat. I prefer a little of each.

                                Some folks like all moist. Some, like you and my father, prefer all lean. I prefer a little of each.

                                And, like I said, all of the Central Texas joints to which I've been, and I've been to them all, in fact do have a little of each.

                                So, I repeat, I'm just not sure why you can't get lean.

                                But whatever...


                          2. re: Jaymes

                            I'm with Jaymes on this one. I don't see how "too fatty" can be a complaint. Unless an establishment is using USDA select instead of choice for brisket, fat level should be fairly consistent, or at least have the same disparity as any other bbq joint.

                    2. Stop at the Czech Stop in West, it's in a shell station off I35, their kolaches and sausage rolls are exceptional. We always buy a dozen when we go to Austin. Next door, there are savory items, I had a decent turkey sandwich, that was about 5 years ago, can't say what it is like today. But definitely get some sausage rolls and Kolaches.

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: joanna.mcmaster

                        Good call on the Czech Stop. It's still great. Love me some sausage and cheese Rolls warmed up in the micro.

                        1. re: J.R.

                          Yep!! Goes nicely with cold beer, LOL.

                        2. re: joanna.mcmaster

                          I guess I'll try it again but never really liked them before (been a while). Found it dry...

                          1. re: ceekskat

                            Uh oh, you may have gotten a not so good batch. I've gotten them before that were dry, and then the next time we go they're awesome. Worth giving a second shot.

                          2. re: joanna.mcmaster

                            A better stop in West is Gerik's. Cezch Stop has always been a fan of those who are looking for convenience over quality. Back when I was a kid Czech Stop was not around and it was only Village Bakery in downtown just past the tracks on Oak St.

                            There was also another stop which no one ever hits these days, Nemecek Bros. The West Specials were their specialty, which are actually now the weiners. The Czech Stop renamed that in their demand for a Spicy Sausage to put in the Kolbasnek/Koblasniky. Nemecek Bros. I believe they still supplies most of the bakeries in town with their sausages and they are also avaiable in Waco at HEB iirc.

                            Technically there is a large difference in Kolache and Koblasniky. A sausage roll is different also. The difference is the bread. In the case of sausage filled pastries they serve in West are Koblasniky because the bread is the same used in Kolache. I am just educating the public here not being snarky. I am of Czech heritage and proud of that. I am also proud that everyone supports West they way they do.

                            Gerik's has a wide variety of Kolaches, cinnamon rolls, pecan rolls, breads of various sizes and flavors and other baked goods. They also have a nice butcher next door. Gerik's kolaches and koblasniky's are both larger than Cezch Stop they also have a deal after a certain time (noon I believe) they go on sale.

                            I still prefer the Nemecek Bros. meat selections though over Geriks. Nothing could be better than the weiners (West Specials) wrapped with a fresh loaf of Mrs. Bairds.

                            1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                              Lewisvillehounder's post amply illustrates why I read Chow every day. Great,informative writing with lots of details.Makes me want to pull up stumps and hit West running wide open.

                              Hey Lewisville:Ever head down to LaGrange and hit Weikel's? What are your thoughts?

                              1. re: scrumptiouschef

                                First off some links with pictures from the RoadFood guys. Not a whole lot of insight into West but pictures, address and phone to Geriks. I guess since they always make tours down to Lockhart et al for BBQ they stopped in West. Unfortunately they didn't drive more than two blocks from the highway to explore the rest of "Downtown" West.


                                Nemecek Bros. Meat Market
                                300 N. Main
                                West, Texas 76691
                                (254) 826-5182
                                Hours: Mon-Fri 7:30am-5:30pm CST; Sat. 7:30am-2:00pm CST

                                Pictures from Scott at DallasFood.org of Nemecek Bros

                                I have not been to LaGrange but Calvert...Zamykal. Zamykal has a Koblasniky that you will not see anywhere else a sweet bacon. From Austin it is a much shorter drive than from Dallas. The owner Jody Powers was a former apartment property manager in the DFW metroplex before she got burned out. Her story is on the website and an interesting read. Kolaches are probably on par with Czech Stop but she has some different fillings and if you have driven that far it is hard not to give in to buy some of the unique flavors. You could sit and talk to her for hours about her business and her life before it. She is a true Texas gem all alone in Calvert perfecting her craft.


                                Tangent: Jody was also featured on Texas Country Reporter (I guess no one in the Austin, San Antonio, Houston market has seen it) recently. It is quite a popular show here in Dallas and if I were to move out of state I would buy a copy of the whole series. Unfortunately the YouTube videos don't have Judy's story but many other great episodes. The show is really touching and makes me proud to be a Texan everytime I watch it.


                                I will give Weikels a try if I an ever in the remote vacinity. I follow all of your posts over on the Austin board on your quest for those rural Travis county taquerias, many of which have shuttered. You also possess some great insite into the Austin scene, in other words I respect your recommendations.

                              2. re: LewisvilleHounder

                                ABSOLUTELY agree with you about Gerik's. Damn shame that the Czech Stop is so close to the highway and gets all the traffic and publicity, as it's not the best the town has to offer. And I've been going to Nemecek Bros for years. Always pick up some of their ring baloney. We love that place.

                            2. If you are looking for some fun and really good inexpensive food in Austin Try Shoal Creek Saloon. Food is excellent and inexpensive. Go on a Sunday during fotball season but go early the parties great