We know this may seem unfathomable, but not ALL of our trips are driven by food and drink. Ok, ok, sure, MOST are, but this one was motivated by something entirely different: Kristien’s love . . . no no no, OBSESSION, with HGTV, and specifically, all things Chip & Joanna Gaines.
For those of you that share that passion, you understand why we had to take a 1,600+ mile pilgrimage to their booming Magnolia empire in Waco, TX, but for those of you who don’t (yet) dream in shiplap & giant clocks, let us share with you the glorious allure of America’s favorite farmhouse fanatics . . . and the food they love too!
So, what most of you probably know, whether you’re like us and your house looks like it was decorated with a DVR’ed library of Fixer Upper episodes on pause, or not, you’re probably aware of Chip & Joanna Gaines’s line of home decor products, Magnolia, and their flagship store in Waco, TX aptly named Magnolia Market. But, what even the biggest fans may not realize is the said flagship store is on a beautiful piece of property called The Silos, which features a beautiful lawn to play, Instagram worthy farm-themed nooks & crannies to relax, picnic tables, and a delightful number of nomworthy food trucks serving amazing food just waiting to be explored. Also on the property is Silo’s Baking Co.: Joanna’s beautiful bakery filled with deliciously buttery soft and sweet baked goods. AND, just a little ways away from there is their lovely and charming breakfast and lunch restaurant, Magnolia Table, serving the comfiest of comfort food the South has to offer.
Let us give you the roundup of all that deliciousness. . .
Ok, let’s get this out of the way now: Chip & Joanna are famous. This place is famous. Thus, there WILL be a wait. A long wait. A reeeeaaally long wait. BUT, there are some things you can do to mitigate that. For starters, the earlier you get there, the shorter the wait. We got there around 8:30AM and there was an hour and a half wait. When we left around 11:30AM, there was a 4 hour wait. Second, they take your cell number and give you a fair amount of time to report to the hostess, so you can leave during your wait and check out a nearby shop or two (though finding a parking spot can take a long time, so leave time for that). Three, there’s a little to-go spot attached to the restaurant and a lovely outdoor space with a walk up that serves coffee, baked treats and other beverages, so you can relax, play and enjoy a sneak peak to your meal if you’re just too ravenous to wait. In fact, we did just that. We stopped into the little to-go shop, got ourselves the Silos Baking Co. Bread Basket with some seasonal (pumpkin) and strawberry butter and chowed down on a blueberry muffin (our fave), butter croissant, chocolate croissant, pumpkin bread with chocolate chips, and zucchini bread and chowed down in our warm car like mice in hiding. And then, within 90 minutes as promised, we got the text, the come hither call if you will, to come on in and enjoy. Now, before we get into the food, we will share one disappointment: although friendly (as you certainly hope they would be), the wait staff were easily confused, and not only messed our order up, but also the orders of both tables on either side of us. Kind of a bummer to that magical experience I had hoped for, but we didn’t let it ruin our experience.
One of the most exciting things on the menu that we wanted to try was the Juice Flight . . . and we’re glad we did. We got to try all four juices on the menu, ya know, like a healthier and nutrient-rich version of a beer flight. 😉 We also got an order of Jo’s Buttermilk Biscuits (soft, buttery, flaky) with a side of sausage gravy. Definitely an order not to be missed. By the time we were seated, we actually could have gone with anything on the lunch menu too, so the choices were tough, but Dan went in with the solid and reliable Farm Breakfast with these awesome house-made tater tots that are another must order (think large and in charge with that crispy outside and potatoey softenss inside). Ya just might wanna order an entire side of them, actually.
The Food Trucks @ The Silos
Oh boy, were we overcome with giddiness walking up onto the gloriously beautiful green lawn at the Silos. For a few moments we stood there looking all around us, dizzied by all the delicious options around us, not to mention the smells emanating from each adorably decorated truck. BBQ, Pizza, Hot Dogs, Sandwiches . . . what are two Omnomivores to do? Look, as much as we wanted to try something from each truck, we wanted to be able to fit into the car to get home, so this is what we prioritized:
The first order of business was to get to The Alabama Sweet Tea truck for some sweet Southern love. We got the Mason Dixon which comes half sweet, half unsweet… which is 100% our jam. It’s just $2 for a refill, so you can go crazy all day here! The other amazing truck we hit was Cheddar Box which cooks up some amazing grilled cheese sandwiches and mac & cheese bowls. Kristien got the That’s My Jam, a cheesy, rich, and savory explosion of flavors coming from some smoked gouda, bacon jam, thyme, and a fried egg on cinnamon french toast. Dan got the Guac This Way, which was kinda like a cross between grilled cheese and an quesadilla. The pulled pork was fresh and delicate, playing nicely of the fresh guac, the pico, and the pepper jack to stick it all together. We also got some of Chuck’s Gourmet Popcorn because, well, popcorn. We could have picked Kettle, Salted Caramel, or Homestyle, but we went with the Cinnamon Toast which was seasoned just right for a warm, buttery, sweet and inviting pop.
Magnolia Market and Spice Village
Before we move on, there is also Silo’s Baking Co. on the property as well, but since we had already stuffed ourselves full of Joanna’s baked goodness earlier that day at Magnolia Table, we decided to forgo the sugar overload. But we did stop in to peak, and it was as adorable as you’d imagine. We’re not gonna lie, we almost went for a couple irresistible looking cupcakes, but our stuffed bellies reminded us why we maaaaybe should refrain.
Of course, no trip to Magnolia is complete without some shopping! As I’m sure you can imagine, Magnolia Market itself was packed full of everything you’ve come to know and love about Joanna’s design style, from kitchenware to faux greenery (and real too, in the separate “greenhouse” area), and all-over-the-house decor (plus, yay, we went at Christmas time so there was some holiday decor too). But one other spot in Waco that is a must see is actually not Magnolia, but it’s just as awesome. The place is called Spice Village, and like your trusty spice rack, it’s a little bit of everything awesome, including house decor, toys, jewelry, and clothing, kid and adult. The style is a little Anthropologie (YAS), but without the Anthro prices. Put it this way . . . I bought so many cute things I told the cashier not to give me the total. Um, yeeeeeah.
BONUS reco: Rodeo Goat Burger
Ok, this spot is not in Waco, but as you may be incredibly shocked to know (read: sarcasm), Waco doesn’t have an international airport, so you’re gonna have to fly into Dallas or Houston to take this pilgrimage. We opted for Dallas, and before we headed out we took on a night of Topgolf (SO FUN) and burgers at Rodeo Goat Burger. This place is worth mentioning, because, well, LOOK AT DAT JUICY BURGER THO. Yep, everything was on-point here, from their nice list of local craft beer, to their creatively delish cocktails, their even more creative big ‘ole juicy burgers, and yes, the housemade fries and chips.
See, it’s a big pet peeve of ours to go a great burger spot only to be saddened with soggy bland fries. Well, not here. Those babies came out hand-punched, crispy with a nice outer “bite, and were just salty enough. The chips were also pretty darn good with lots of those crunchy darker parts. Cocktails were also fun, especially the B-L-TX that we had just a few of, featuring blackberries, lemonade, and Texas whiskey. Whhooooeee! Nice balance of flavors with the blackberries really balancing it out. The real highlight were the burgers, though. Kristien got their Sugar Burger (bottom pic) that comes with candied bacon, grilled peaches, caramelized onions, arugula, and jalapeno jam . . . and she had them add goat cheese because, well, goat cheese. Juicy AF and a completely amazing experience with the gentle heat from the jam, the tanginess of the goat cheese, and the sweetness of the peaches. Dan’s burger, The Salted Sow, was also a winner featuring beef and Italian sausage, prosciutto, tomato, basil pesto, fresh basil, and mooz. It was kinda like adding an antipasto plate to a burger, giving the best of both worlds.
Ok, so confession: As you can probably imagine, Dan doesn’t share the same obsession Kristien does with watching white washed walls, wide plank floors and apron sinks come together though the magic of TV. In fact, let’s put it this way, he doesn’t understand how she can watch the same episode of Fixer Upper 32x the same ways she doesn’t understand how he can sit for 45 minutes on the toile . . . errr, ok, we’re not gonna go there . . . but, despite that, Dan fully embraced and appreciated the charming appeal and yumminess of everything Magnolia had to offer. So, don’t worry if not everyone you’d like to take on your pilgrimage shares the same love of TV’s cutest couple. Seriously, though, how can you not? So long as they love and appreciate the tastiness of good ‘ole Texas comfort food, they’ll be perfectly content as you load up your shopping cart with all the farmhouse-y goodness your suitcase can fit . . . though pro-tip, they ship too! 😉