Magnolia Table


Magnolia Table just celebrated its first anniversary in Waco.  Chip and Joanna Gaines have created a terrific restaurant.  Service is excellent and the food is scrumptious. Joanna’s taste is reflected throughout the décor as well as in the menu.  The food is straight forward comfort and filling.  It was a busy Friday morning when I arrived.  I was seated quickly and Casey, my server, was quick to advise me of the highlights of the menu.  I chose the Farm Breakfast which consisted of eggs, bacon, tater tots and a biscuit.  Everything was delish although I found the tots a bit dense for my liking but the biscuit was light and buttery.  I was chatting with, Mike and Diane from Plano at the table next to me, when Mike offered me a taste of his pancakes.  They were out of this world good!

The Elite became Magnolia Table

Magnolia Table can get busy and has been known to have a substantial wait time, but it’s worth your time and taste buds.  Make sure to stop by when in Waco, I know you won’t be disappointed.




The Waco Mammoth National Monument is the actual site where, in 1978, two local men, Paul Barron and Eddie Bufkin found a three foot bone of a Columbian Mammoth. The Mammoth existed during the Ice Age. Teams were quickly dispatched to the site and ultimately a building was constructed over the site to preserve it. Of the one hundred and seven acres only 2 acres have been uncovered.

Fossil remains

Between 1978 and 1997, twenty-two fossil remains of mammoths were discovered. The best theory to date is that a nursery herd of mammoths drowned in the rising waters of the nearby Bosque River.  The massive creatures were some fourteen feet tall and weighed some twenty thousand pounds with tusks of some sixteen feet.

Jeremy, our guide

Jeremy, Our Ranger tour guide walked us though thousands of years of the history of the area of this unique archeological find.






Homestead Craft Village

Homestead Craft Village is located about five miles north of Waco. This unique craft village is the campus of the Ploughshare Institute for Sustainable Culture.  Here you can learn hands on, the techniques used in each craft area from iron work to pottery.

Brazos Cheese

I especially enjoyed Brazos Valley Cheese.  After a tasting at Brazos, I purchased a wedge of cheese for my friends and I to enjoy.  I understand, from the locals, that Café Homestead serves superior breakfast and lunch menu.


Don’t miss the unique village when in Waco.  It’s well worth the short drive.



Texas Sports Hall of Fame

The Texas Sports Hall of Fame was the brainchild of Sports Editor, Thad Johnson in 1949.  The Hall of Fame opened originally in May 23, 1981 in Grand Prairie but closed in 1986.  In 1990, members of the Waco community devised a plan to relocate the Hall of Fame to Waco.

On April 16, 1993, Texas Sports Hall of Fame held its grand opening in Waco on the Campus of Baylor University. The museum also houses the Texas Tennis Museum and Hall of Fame and Texas High School Football Hall of Fame and Texas’ preeminent college conference, the Southwest Conference (SWC) in this  the thirty-five thousand square foot facility.

Southwest Conference

The Southwest Conference exhibit displays the grand history of college athletics in Texas. Unfortunately, the Southwest Conference was broken up in 1996.  It is a walk down memory lane to review the mascots and famous games of the teams.

The Hall of Fame exhibit is enormous and jam packed with every sport played today.  From Heisman trophies to Nolan Ryan’s no hitter baseballs, there is something here for everyone.  The Tom Landry Theater and the artifacts inside are not to be missed.

The Friday Night Lights exhibit evokes memories of the pain and the glory of the high school football games we attended in our youth.

Texas Tennis

The Texas Tennis Museum and Hall of Fame is a large exhibit about the history of the sport as well as its grand history in Texas.

The Hall of Fame inductees for 2019 were just announced: Tennis Star Maureen Connolly Brinker (deceased), NFL kicker Tony Franklin, Houston Texans Wide Receiver Andre Johnson, basketball star Nancy Lieberman, University of Arkansas Outland Trophy winner Loyd Phillips, MLB pitcher Greg Swindell and Dallas Cowboys Tight End Jason Witten.  The ceremony will take place on March 30th and is sure to be a sellout.



The Mayborn Museum

The Mayborn Museum is also located on the Baylor University Campus.  I made a quick visit to the museum and enjoyed a  look at the Strecker’s Cabinets of Curiosities and the Hall of Natural History.

Mayborn Natural History





The information on the Mammoth National Monument added to what I learned at the Monument earlier in the day. The Historic Village is an interesting look at life in the 1890s. Take some time here, adult and children will enjoy the stories held here.



Dr. Pepper

The Dr. Pepper Museum located in downtown Waco is a look back to when the soft drink was created.  The unique and refreshing drink was created by pharmacist, Charles Alderton at Morrison’s Old Corner Drug Store in 1885.  It is America’s oldest soft drink.

By 1891, the Dr. Pepper Company had been born.  The 1904 World’s Fair would be the drinks major unveiling to some twenty million people. Dr. Pepper would soon become known around the world.

Dr. Pepper Corner Drug Store

The Dr. Pepper Museum is housed in the original 1906 Artesian Manufacturing and Bottling Company in downtown Waco and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the “Home of Dr Pepper.”  While only a small portion of the building opened to the public in 1991, construction continued and the entire building was opened in 1997. The museum continues is mission in preserving the history of this delicious soft drink.  Visitors will now be treated to a taste of soft drink with a ticket purchase. Visitors will walk back in time through the hallways of this iconic building and Waco’s original soft drink.



Magnolia Silos

The Magnolia Silos are a very popular destination in Waco.  Chip and Joanna Gaines took two old grain silos and turned them into a location for food and fun.  The Magnolia Market features housewares and Chips corner will make you understand what ‘Demo day’ is all about.  The Silo Bakery usually has a line out the door but service is quick for the delicious cookies and fantastic cupcakes.



The Silos also feature a number of food trucks.  From Barbeque to sandwiches, you can’t go wrong here for good eatin.



Victory Teaching Farm, Down to Earth Farmraiser, Mobile, AL

Victory Teaching Farm

I wasn’t sure what to expect at the 4th Annual Down to Earth Farmraiser but I discovered on this pleasant October evening, that farming is alive and well in mid town Mobile.

Planting beds






Local chefs from twelve area restaurants and businesses wowed the crowd of hungry guests with their bite sized delectable creations.  The thirty-five dollar tax deductable ticket admitted me to the event along with two glasses of wine and multiple samples of the various chefs’ bounty.



The restaurants included Noble South, Nourish, Haberdasher, Red and White, Pour Baby, Bay Gourmet and Old Dutch.

Pour Baby










Overlooking the plants

Victory Teaching Farm is all about sustainable, clean locally sourced food.  It is South Alabama’s first and only teaching farm located in mid town Mobile on Rickarby Street. While the farm provides ample produce each year for the local area, it also provides internships, volunteer opportunities and fresh pick produce markets for locals.

This event gets bigger and better each year.  Mark your calendars for early October, 2019. You will not want to miss this locally sourced food event. Come hungry, you will not be disappointed!


Spot of Tea-New offerings coming to Mobile’s Landmark Downtown Restaurant

Spot of Tea

Spot of Tea began as a tea room in 1994 at 306 Dauphin Street with seven tables and twenty-nine chairs. Ruby Moore made fruit pizza and her son, Tony Moore served tea. A year later, they expanded into what is now the Carriage room. In the mid 1990’s downtown Mobile was a bit of a ghost town and Spot of Tea has had a birds’ eye view of the rebirth of the downtown area. The two hundred year old building has seen a lot of changes through the years as the restaurant expanded to its present location at 310 Dauphin Street.

Seeing a need for breakfast in downtown because of the nearby newspaper, Mobile’s Press Register, Spot of Tea began a daily breakfast buffet created by Chef Patti Culbreth. With daily breakfast going strong, they then expanded the menu to include a Sunday Brunch.

The downtown icon is noted for its tasty Sunday brunch menu but it’s the signature dish, Eggs Cathedral that really put them on the map. In 2000, construction workers were remodeling the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception that stands just across the square from Spot of Tea. While the workers enjoyed the breakfast offerings, they wanted something more.

Eggs Cathedral

Having just received some fresh crab cakes, Tony Moore stepped into the kitchen to create the new dish. He took the crab cakes, an English muffin and scrambled eggs then smothered the dish with the seafood bisque that has been a staple menu item. The workmen devoured the new dish and Eggs Cathedral creation has continued to sate the hunger of many guests. The only complaint they have received about the dish, many guests say they need a nap after eating it.

With its fresh made to order menu, Spot of Tea remains the number one downtown Mobile restaurant for lunch.  Spot of Tea will be making some changes to their menu in November. Don’t worry, nothing is going away but several new tasty dishes are being added, an Ahi tuna salad, Lobster roll and Birdsnest’ egg dish. I was treated to a tasting of these new scrumptious creations as I sat with Chrissi Moore and Ruby Moore to talk about their nearly twenty-five year history of Mobile’s perennial favorite, Spot of Tea. Three new dishes will be making a debut on the refreshed menu in November:


The Birdsnest, created with a grilled English muffin, avocado, tomato, a poached egg and served with hollandaise sauce. This is a much lighter dish than Eggs Cathedral that will complement the new refreshed menu. Guests will appreciate the creaminess of the egg and avocado and the sweetness of the tomato.


Lobster Role

The Second Mortgage Lobster Roll is a complete lobster bite. The lobster claw and knuckle is soaked in butter before it is served on a buttered bun with mayonnaise and celery salt. This is scrumptious decadence. This dish will be a unique flavor treat for guests.



Seared Ahi Tuna Salad

The seared Ahi tuna salad features seared Ahi tuna, feta cheese, mushrooms, cucumbers, avocado, onions and tomatoes and served with raspberry vinaigrette. This is a super light dish and a delicious salad option.

While serving great food and exceptional service, Spot of Tea has much more to offer.

Children’s Afternoon tea

The matriarch of the family, Miss Ruby offers etiquette classes for children aged five to ten upon request. During these afternoon tea parties usually held on the outdoor patio, children learn about a proper table setting, using proper table manners and how to dress for an occasion. For larger parties, the Carriage Room is available. Weddings are a big deal here too. From the engagement dinner to hosting the wedding itself, Spot of Tea can do it all!



With their continuing commitment to the downtown community, Spot of Tea launched Mobile’s Original Segway Tour, two years ago. With Mobile’s recently updated and easily accessible sidewalks, the segway tour is an easy and safe ride. This offers a fun and exciting way to explore the downtown areas museums and attractions. Nine segways available to rent and some three hundred have enjoyed the guided and self guided experience.

Recently, Spot of Tea began offering curbside service for food pickup. They recommend guests call back just as they get to red light at Dauphin and Claiborne, so the food will be hot when it is ready to be handed off.

Spot of Tea is truly an “Aquarium to the World”. People watching is entertainment for guests eating on the front porch or for those seated just across the street to have an up close view of the Cathedral.

Ruby, who is in charge of Public Relations, told me her advice for running a family owned restaurant business is simple, “You have to have a love of people.” Mobile’s number one destination for lunch and brunch offers more than food and drink. It offers a unique view of Mobile’s history and its future. Chrissi Moore told me, “I love it when someone from out of town loves Mobile so much that they want to move here. And it happens a lot.”

Stop in for a meal at this downtown Mobile icon and beginning in November you can sample their refreshed menu and new dishes. You may just discover some new dishes to add to your old favorites. One thing is certain, you will not be disappointed.