Retro mood comes with food

What happens when you bring a classic restaurant to one of the hippest streets in Waco? Offering a step outside of Waco’s norm, Jake’s Texas Tea House is a family-friendly restaurant with an old-fashioned twist.

The vintage signs and old-school diner feel capture your eyes from the start. With the booths placed between old convertibles and a vibe unlike any other restaurant in Waco, I was always looking around in amazement.

The retro menu includes hubcap burgers, fried chicken, chicken fried steak plates and hearty salads. These are followed by a lengthy sandwich menu and delectable dessert tray. The possibilities are endless, and you’ll never leave hungry.

On Wednesday afternoon, there were more people than expected, but this reassured us that the restaurant is one of the most popular lunch spots in Waco. We were able to people-watch and talk about everything hanging on the walls. We chose to split a grilled chicken salad and a chicken fried chicken plate – and wow, it took me back to eating in deep East Texas at my grandmother’s house.

The wait for the food was longer than usual, but we were OK with it because of how delicious the food tasted. My friend and I shared a huge entree and still had leftovers, but we left room for dessert.

The flavor was incredible, definitely a taste not usually found in the Waco dining scene. The chicken was sweet and savory because of the batter and seasonings. Our green beans and mashed potato side dishes were gone in a matter of minutes because they were so good. A strong flavor cored by crispy bacon on the salad and the creamy gravy paired well with our bottled coke. With each entree, you are able to add and take off any ingredients you want – no cheese, add cheese, no veggies, add veggies.

The “blue plate specials” were enough for two people to share or for one person to have and take home some leftovers for a good lunch the next day.

We followed lunch with an incredible banana pudding that was still warm from the stove, and crunchy wafers on top that were to die for.

The only regret I had after leaving was not having a bigger stomach so that I could try more. Getting to sit back and relax before a meal was something I didn’t know I treasured- being a college student, I usually grab a granola bar on my way out and never sit at the table. I got to see different things on the menu that I wanted to try. The Cheese Lover’s Hubcap Burger and chocolate pie are definitely on my list of things to try when I go back next.

All in all, Jake’s Texas Tea House made me feel like I was having dinner in my grandparents’ small, East Texas town. It felt like it was a step outside of Waco, with a vibe from what Waco used to be. It was a nice change of pace and I will definitely be back.