Hecho en Waco needs to spice it up

In the newly renovated Mary Avenue Market, Mexican restaurant Hecho en Waco opened Sept. 8. Hecho en Waco is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. This photo is of Hecho en Waco's migas. Liesje Powers | Multimedia Editor

By Kristina Valdez | A&L Editor

Monday morning, I skipped my 8 a.m. class for the second time in two weeks and drove to the new Mexican restaurant, Hecho en Waco, on Sixth street. I ordered one dish from the breakfast menu. One plate of food does not stand for entire restaurant, but will I go again for breakfast? No, probably not.

Hecho en Waco opened Friday night in the newly renovated Mary Avenue Market, a block away from Magnolia Market at the Silos. I parked right in front and walked down the graveled pathway to the front steps of the restaurant.

In front of the restaurant, there is a front porch with string lights. I imagined what it would be like to sit outside under the string lights listening to Mexican music while I forked beef enchiladas into my mouth. But it was 8:20 a.m. and all I really wanted was some eggs.

The restaurant was cool and clean. The stained wooden floors and beige cloth booths accented the main ocean colored wall that curved through the restaurant, separating the main seating area from the bar. Brightly colored Talavera Mexican tiles wrapped around the bar while intricate plates and vases were displayed on the ledges of walls. I like it, I thought. We are off to a good start.

It was empty in the restaurant, but that was because, again, it was 8:20 a.m. on a Monday morning. I was seated by a young, cheerful waitress who happily told me it was her first day.

I sat in the front of the restaurant with a clear view of the street and the Silos poking at my peripheral vision. I brought a book because I was by myself, excited to start the day start from inside Hecho en Waco.

I ordered a coffee, a glass of water and, with a quick glance of the breakfast menu, Huevos Rancheros.

The food came out about five minutes later. I was expecting an assault of colors, spices and steam to rush toward me once the plate was placed in front of me, but I didn’t get that.

I wanted my scrambled eggs to rival the sun with their bright yellows, but they did not. The salsa and Pico de Gallo only amounted to pale tomatoes sprinkled on my eggs. A random piece of bacon found its way to my plate next to my potatoes.

I needed cilantro, flavored eggs and refried black beans that looked a little more appetizing. I stared at my plate while I unwrapped my silverware and decided what to try first.

The eggs needed seasoning. I swiped the pepper and salt sitting at the end of my table and lightly shook some onto the eggs. But, the pepper and salt got lost in the liquid from the beans.

I picked my way through to justify the money I was spending. I also realized that my food wasn’t exactly hot. I am the type of person who likes the roof of her mouth to burn a little when she’s eating, but I don’t think my mouth even simmered. Sigh.

I may not be a renowned food critic like LA Times Jonathan Gold or NY Times Frank Bruni, but I do know good Mexican food.

I was raised on my Mexican grandmother’s love-infused food that would take over her tiny house with smells that would make your heart melt and belly grumble. It may be unfair to look for the tastes of my late grandmother’s cooking in every Mexican restaurant I visit, but Hecho en Waco didn’t even come close.

In the end, I only finished my coffee. I paid the bill, left a tip and walked out. I may try their lunch and dinner menus, but breakfast at Hecho en Waco is a no for me.

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