I was recently training for the Bearathon and ran past 18th street on Lasalle and through the neighborhoods around there. At 22nd street I was chased by a snarling mutt. Two blocks later, two men started following me in their broken-down (but nice rimmed?) car, and kept asking me where I was going. As I began to turn up my ipod, a group of Wacoans smoking marijuana on their front porch caught my eye. All of this within a few minute span. Welcome to Waco…
And this is why the Baylor Bubble exists.
The Baylor Bubble is a zone of Baylor students isolated on one side of the highway closest to campus. The native Waco population and those that attend Baylor (NOT always, but in general) tend to be distinct and recognizably different from each other. So when does a Baylorite venture outside of their bubble? To the other side of the highway even?
Viteks: Gut pak. You will be on the verge of a heart attack and isolated in a food coma for a few hours after eating at this famous destination. Worth it.
Rudy’s: Drive-through BBQ that is attached to a gas station. The key to every man’s heart.
Scruffy Murphy’s: If you find yourself here at the end of the night, you most likely will not feel good the next morning and/or have ridiculous stories beginning with washed off "X"s. Beware of the long island ice teas.
Café Cappuccino: Banana nut bread pancakes. White mocha hazelnut coffee drizzled with caramel and topped with whip cream. Chic environment, usually crowded.
Czech Stop: 20 min drive down the high way, fresh home baked kolaches and every other good thing that the Czech has to offer America all packed into a bakery. A must.
Fat Ho Burger: The next big thing. Hour long waits. Lines out the door. Controversial title. “Offensive” menu that some claim is degrading to women and insulting to cultures. Check this scene out.
Baris, Se Cocina, Shorty’s: All the BYOB places worth knowing about. Home to underclassmen and pretty tasty food.
Sam’s on the Square: The purple marg (limit of 2!) keeps everyone happy and coming back. This is where you want to find yourself on Thursday nights. There’s a beer and taco room downstairs. While it appears to be a restaurant, more drinks are sold than dishes. This is usually seen as a plus.
There are quite a few hidden gems Waco’s depths. A few other honorable mentions include Spice, Buzzard Billy’s, Pink, and Schmaltz’s. Break the bubble, venture out, preferably in the daylight, and check out what Waco has beyond the Baylor community…