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Jul 21, 2004 03:22 PM

Waco/Central Texas

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I am in Waco for the summer/fall with several friends. We are in desperate need of some food -- please advise!!!

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  1. > I am in Waco for the summer/fall with several
    > friends. We are in desperate need of some food --
    > please advise!!!

    Dallas is about an hour and a half north of you.
    Austin is about an hour and a half south of you.

    Good luck!


    5 Replies
    1. re: Scott

      Let's not write Waco off so quickly. Before you go running off to the big cities, check out a few places off the beaten path. If you like Veracruz-style seafood, El Siete Mares on Dutton Ave. is definitely worth a try. Fish with olives and capers, habanero shrimp, oysters en brocheta. Bring your own wine or beer. Also, Cancun Restaurant on N. 17th does shrimp and fajitas quite well.
      1424, a bistro at 1424 Washington, has a good variety of fish, pastas, meats and salads.
      The reincarnated Elite on the Circle is worth a try ...Chicken fried steak remains on the menu, but also cilantro pesto tilapia and filet mignon.
      D's Chicken Delight at Colcord and 15th serves up authentic Lebanese food as well as fried chicken.
      Tony DeMaria's Barbecue on Elm Street is a delicious bargain.
      The Clay Pot on I-35 near Baylor is a funky Vietnamese restaurant where you can sit on cushions on the floor while eating your pho.
      Adriatic Seafood Cafe in Woodway is a nice Northern Italian place; again, bring your own wine. North on I-35 in WEst, Yianni's serves up wonderful feasts of Greek food.

      1. re: wacogastronome

        I second all of your picks (except for Adriatic and Clay Pot, which I dislike--reasons below). Otherwise, I believe 'wacogastronome's (the previous poster) choices to be among the best restaurants in Waco. But I would add 3 more--Michna's, Gratziano's, and Ninfas--which I discuss below my 'blasts' of Adriatic and Clay Pot.

        Adriatic Seafood Cafe in Woodway--sucks--4 out of 4 of their offerings I've disliked. To me, their food has no flavor and low quality ingredients. For example, the tortellini in the "tortellini spinach soup" was clearly the brand that I buy from Sams grocery store (which I no longer buy because I can't stand the absence of flavor)..the 'scalops in a brandy sauce' contains FAKE SCALOPS and the sauce tastes like store-bought soup mix. Furthermore, their prices are far too high for what you receive. I feel guilty stearing people clear of this place because their business appears to be suffering; e.g., last Friday night at 7pm we were their only customers.

        The Clay Pot on I-35 near Baylor--nearly sucks--"is a funky Vietnamese restaurant where you can sit on cushions on the floor while eating your pho"...While I agree with that observation, the food--at The Clay Pot--is, to me, neither authentic nor special. If you're looking for an inexpensive yet funky restaurant, and you're willing to sacrifice food quality, then...The Clay Pot.

        Michna's BBQ on Frankin--BEST BBQ IN WACO--full service BBQ joint but ask for the "all-you-can-eat" option. The meat is SO smokey...the ribs are pink in color because of the think "smoke ring" of flavor. Try the brisket and chicken (I normally would never order chicken at a BBQ joint, but their chicken is the exception.)

        Gratziano's--BEST BUFFET IN WACO--is an italian restaurant on Mary St. serving up a wonderful lunch buffet during the week. Everything on the buffet--EVERYTHING--is made from scratch..includes pastas as wells as various salads and pizza. Higher quality ingredients used. Price: 7 bucks!

        Ninfa's--BEST TEX-MEX IN WACO--a respected chain--(also on Mary St. next to Gratziano's) serves the best Tex-Mex in town (including the best fajitas and margarita's) as compared to the dozen or so other Waco mexican places I've tried.

        1. re: Chris C.

          I tried Cancun mexican restaurant (on 18th st.) for the first time. The food is wonderful--especially the steak and shrimp fajitas. We received samples of their soups at no charge and without asking. This is an example of the wonderful service, including handshakes from the owner along with an offer to cook us off menu dishes. However, let it be known that they do not serve tex-mex! This is authentic mexican food--the most authentic I've eaten in Waco.

          1. re: Chris C.

            gooo gratziano's! i used to work there while i went to school at tstc in waco. i was a cook:) it was fun. i loved the garlic cheese bread:) yum. i still make it at home sometimes:)

            1. re: erin

              I went to the new Gratziano's last night and didn't like it at all. Won't go back. I miss that garlic cheese bread!

              Erin, can you send me your recipe?

              Gratziano's Restaurant
              217 Mary Ave, Waco, TX 76701

      2. Downtown there is a huge Ninfa's which is really pretty good. Much better than the usual ones.

        1. Go to George's. Have a few ice cold Big O's. Plan your trip to Austin.

          1. I was in Waco for several months a year or two ago, and there definiately are good things to eat there.
            The Rudy's in Waco is excellent - way above average barbecue. Uncle Dan's is prettygood, too. The Health Camp has good burgers and milkshakes that are to die for.
            Katy's may be the best frozen custard in the world. Go to West and get some kolaches.
            I second Sieta Mares. And Ninfa's is dependable.
            Waco also is a good springboard for travel around the state - Austin, Ft Worth, San antonion, Houston, Dallas, Lexington, Luling, Taylor, Plano, Lockhart.....