Wandering in Waco!

The last scheduled stop on our journey from New Jersey to San Antonio was Waco, Texas. When I mentioned this to friends and family, two people responded with “What’s in Waco?” and one of those people was my extremely Texan mother! Well, let me tell you…

What’s in Waco? After arriving in the late afternoon on Thursday, we settled in and then went in search of dinner. George’s is in Waco! We discovered that George’s is a college student favorite, for both food and drink! With Baylor University right down the street, George’s has become the “Party Zone” for all Baylor athletics. That’s right – Baylor is in Waco! At George’s you can find anything from fried pickles to crazy wings – chicken wings, Monterrey jack cheese, jalapenos, wrapped in bacon and fried – to catfish prepared three ways to tacos of any kind you can imagine. And don’t forget the “Big O” beers or “Big O’ margaritas – emphasis on the “Big.” You can’t pass up George’s when you get to Waco.

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What’s in Waco? The next morning after breakfast we headed to Magnolia Market in downtown Waco. Now anyone who watches Chip and Joanna Gaines on HGTV’s “Fixer Upper” knows that the couple recently purchased two gigantic silos and turned the accompanying old barn into a store showcasing and selling all of the home décor that Joanna has become famous for. The store was packed and the check-out line reminiscent of a Disney Word queue! The items are beautiful but rather pricey, but that didn’t seem to stop the shoppers! It was actually quite amazing! In addition to the Market Store there is a bakery, Silos Baking Co., on the corner specializing in cupcakes and cookies where the line was literally out the door and around the corner. In the courtyard between the stores and the silos is a wonderful grassy area with corn hole, bean bag chairs, picnic tables and about a dozen food trucks offering all kinds of cuisine. We didn’t realize that Friday was the observance of Veteran’s Day which explained the number of people and children who were enjoying Magnolia Market! No wonder Chip and Joanna are giving up their show – they have too many other irons in the fire, including a restaurant due to open in early 2018 that is located in a 100-year-old café  that they have renovated! Magnolia Market is definitely in Waco!

IMG_0407What’s in Waco? The Dr. Pepper Museum is in Waco! We experienced three floors of memorabilia and history of Dr. Pepper! I remember drinking it as a young person, not in NJ but in Texas when we would visit my mother’s family! It was very interesting as we learned about the production plant being destroyed along with most of the downtown area of Waco during a tornado in 1953 and how the city pulled together to rebuild and move on. 7Up is also produced by the same company and the museum shared art work and commercials as 7Up became known as the “Un-Cola.” Just the number of bottles and bottle caps from around the world was amazing as was the simulation of the old bottling machines! Definitely worth the walk down memory lane!

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What’s in Waco? There is delicious BBQ in Waco; Rudy’s Country Store and BBQ is in Waco! What a delicious culinary experience! You order at the counter and watch them cut your order and weigh it in front of you – then you pair it with any side dish you desire. Bill ordered ribs with creamed corn and potato salad while I feasted on “moist” brisket (as opposed to “lean”) along with coleslaw – and of course you got white bread too! Served only on wax paper, you ate right off the table and believe me when I say it was perhaps the best BBQ I have sampled!

So now when someone asks you, “What’s in Waco?” you will know how to reply and we still think there is much more to do and see in Waco!

Stay Calm and Travel On…

 

 


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