By Emily Cousins | Staff Writer
Union Hall located on Franklin Avenue has brought many former food trucks and local restaurants under the same roof for community dining. Even with the vast array of choices, everyone has their go-to place.
Houston senior Eric Mejia said his favorite place to eat at Union Hall is Po’boy Place, an ode to his childhood.
“Growing up, my mom and I would go get po’boys. It would be one of our favorite treats to do whenever she was off work,” Mejia said. “I was looking for a place like that in Waco, and I was very happy when I found out about the opening, which was about a year ago now. I went and tried their hot chicken, fries and their lemonade. I just felt that I really liked the flavor of everything. It was nice to get a little bit of home here in Waco.”
Mejia said he always orders the hot chicken with the Mardi Gras Mac, which is mac and cheese with crawfish.
“All the places in Union Hall are good,” Mejia said. “I mean, I love koKo Ramen too, but for me, it’s just different. There’s not really a lot of that in Waco.”
Tyler senior Morgan Koziol said the Dr Pepper barbecue wings combo at Wings of Waco is the way to go.
he Dr Pepper sauce is really good,” Koziol said. “It’s not too sweet, and it’s got enough savory and sweetness balancing it out. ”
Koziol said Wings of Waco has a very personable atmosphere.
“When I order it, I feel like I’m in someone’s backyard, and they’re like cooking for me,” Koziol said. “It’s just a really personal and friendly interaction, and I know that they cooked this based on me ordering it.”
Baylor alumni Gabbi Marchelli, class of 2020, said she was introduced to the Blasian Asian food truck by her Welcome Week leader.
“I’m from Houston, and I’ve never had Cambodian food,” Marchelli said. “And then I come to Waco, which I feel like would have less diversity of food since we’re way more inland, but it has Cambodian food. And it was a surprise. It’s so good. I was so excited for them when they moved to Union Hall.”
Cypress sophomore Gigi Bautista said she visited the original location [on Waco Drive] of Whizzbang’s Hamburgers on a high school choir field trip to Waco.
“We had a burger there,” Bautista said. “Then when I came to Baylor as a college student, I came to Union Hall one day, and I was like, ‘Wait, we got the burgers here, too?’ So then I tried it, and I was like, ‘Yep, that’s a good burger.’ So pretty much now anytime I go to Union Hall with my little vouchers, I’ll get a Whizzbang’s burger.”
Bautista said her go-to order has evolved over time.
“At first, I just got a single cheeseburger, and then I would add bacon,” Bautista said. “But then I was like, ‘Let me try the whizz-pig,’ which is hamburger meat and bacon meat mixed together in a patty. So now I get that. It’s basically the same thing, but you don’t have to pay for the extra bacon.”
Granbury senior Brynn Deger said she first discovered koKo Ramen when it was a food truck.
“I’m big on Brussels sprouts, and apparently, word around town was they have the best Brussels sprouts,” Deger said. “So I used to go there just for Brussels sprouts, and then I started getting their ramen, but I get it spicy. It’s level three. I need something spicy vand reliable.”
Deger said she has tried other places at Union Hall, but koKo Ramen still comes out on top.
“The quality for most of them just isn’t there like for koKo,” Deger said. “They have their own fusion of flavor of barbecue, and that’s hard to find, and their noodles are meaty. They’re good, thick noodles.”
Koziol said it’s easy to go to Union Hall with friends or family because everyone can get what they are craving.
“I like Union Hall because I think it’s connecting Baylor students to more local businesses so that we can support local businesses better,” Koziol said.
Bautista said she loves seeing Union Hall expanding with new local places each time she goes.
“Every time I go, I feel like they have a new little booth starting up,” Bautista said. “I think it’s kind of cool how they have many different businesses. It looks like they get a good taste of all the local businesses around Waco, which is pretty cool.”