Home of the Crappy Beer Night
I had great plans to do Korean this week, but a trip to Waco intervened and I found myself reminiscing with The SpyMan over lunch at the legendary Buzzard Billy’s Armadillo Bar and Grillo on University Parks Drive. Before they opened in 1993, The Water Works was the only place in Waco you could get Guiness on tap.
We used to play an open mike there on Sunday nights back 10+ years ago. One night a stranger walked up and asked if he could sit in on fiddle. I was skeptical, even when he whipped out his Texas Fiddle Players Association card. To test his chops, I invited him to jam with me while I tuned up out front by the old black-and-white Andy Griffith cop car. In about 2.3 seconds I realized I was in the presence of incredible talent. He sat in on my set and made me sound better than I knew I could, even on the originals he had never heard. He was passing through from recording a CMT music video and had stopped at Buzzard Billy’s for dinner. Never saw or heard him again. Cajun name. Alan D-something. (Alan, if you’re reading this, drop me a line.)
Also like The Water Works, it was a great place to hear live music. I watched Mike Morgan walk between tables and dancers and out the back door onto the deck while playing a marathon guitar solo. The last time I was in Buzzard Billy’s was for the going-away party the TSTC gang threw in 1996 to launch me on a decade of wanderings. The place hadn’t changed much, which was good. No need to fix something that is working just fine.
The SpyMan made the excellent suggestion of four appetizers in lieu of two entrees. We sifted through the many options on the menu and settled on:
- Armadillo Eggs: Bacon wrapped chicken tenders stuffed with sliced jalapenos and pepper-jack cheese. (Based on South Texas dove camps recipes.)
- Seafood Stuffed Mushrooms: Large mushroom caps stuffed with a blend of crabmeat, cheese, breadcrumbs, and Cajun spices.
- Mean Green Buzzard Wings: Breaded chicken wings fried and coated with a sweet and spicy jalapeno lime sauce.
- Gator Fingers: Alligator strips deep-fried, with a Creole honey-mustard dipping sauce.
Assuming everything that wasn’t broke wasn’t fixed, the gumbo, red beans and rice, and the FettucciniAlfredeaux are worth sampling. I hear good things about the burgers, too. In fact, Buzzard Billy’s is so good, it’s worth driving to Waco to check it out. The buzzards have also opened restaurants in Iowa, Wisconsin and Nebraska. Not sure what it is with buzzards and cold places, but there you have it. If you hit the Waco location, say hi to The SpyMan.
This Korean thing is getting out of hand. I need some kimchee spinach. It's gotta happen this week.