My Waco

By Juliana Mudd

Gretchen Eichenberg

Each year in our May issue, we ask our contributors to submit the specific things they love about living in Waco in our “Reasons to Love Waco” feature. This month we’ve expanded on that piece by asking one of our contributors about a few of the places she enjoys going to eat, grab a drink or shop Waco.

Gretchen Eichenberg is a lifelong Wacoan with 25 years of experience working for magazines and newspapers, including the Wacoan. She currently teaches journalism at Vanguard College Preparatory School.

Waco’s my hometown. This is a great place to have a family. We spend time at our kids’ sporting and theater events, and have people over to our house and sit around the fire pit. There’s no place I’d rather be than in front of a fire at my house with family and good friends and my trusty lab, Luke.

Jimenez Bakery is an authentic Mexican panaderia experience. From cookies to pastries and even flan and tres leches cake by the slice, you will leave with something delicious. You can spend $5 and get something for the whole family. I like to go early on a Saturday morning and pick out a flaky pastry to go with my coffee.

My very new favorite place to go these days is The Blue Dog. It’s sort of our neighborhood pub. It has a cool jazzy atmosphere. They also have great food. They have interesting cocktails. They have a spicy watermelon margarita — it’s really pretty because it has a little piece of jalapeno on the side and the drink is pink.

I love authentic antiques, especially French and German. That’s not something you can easily find in Waco these days. My most treasured pieces have been found by my mother, who now shows some of her things at Cameron Trading Company. James & Reid is another place that pairs authentic antiques with some modern things.

Guacamole Live at Taqueria [El Mexicano Grill] #9, our go-to neighborhood restaurant. It doesn’t sound that original, but you just can’t beat their freshly made guacamole, and I can’t seem to replicate this one at home. It’s best enjoyed with friends on a Friday night!

I think it’s really fun to find clothes at Spice [Village]. There are just a lot of cool and interesting shops there that have different things. I don’t really have an amazing style or anything, but I always seem to be able to find something cute there. One of my favorite pieces is some rose-gold stamped leather earrings in the shape of a leaf.

If I’m ordering cakes from somewhere, I always go to Simply Delicious — they’re my go-to if I want to do a really upscale birthday cake. Then if we’re just going somewhere to get something, one place I’ve discovered recently is Baked Bliss. They have this really yummy pastry called an Almond Blossom.

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