Mike Copeland: Local restaurants in Texas top-100 list; Gas prices; Hokkaido Ramen; Keeping cool | Local Business News

Judith Zeng

Three local restaurants made Yelp’s list of the top 100 places to eat in Texas: Revival Eastside Eatery, 704 Elm Ave.; Cafe Homestead, near the Homestead Heritage community off Dry Creek Road; and Taqueria El Crucero, 2505 Robinson Drive, according to a press release.

“This list covers all restaurants and a wide range of places to eat — from white tablecloth to food trucks to cafes,” the press release says.

The list is based in part on the number and ratings of Yelp reviews for each restaurant between Jan. 1, 2017, and January 31, 2022, Yelp reported.

Cafe Homestead, founded in 1994, is attached to the Homestead Heritage community, where residents practice self-sufficiency in a natural setting that includes raising cattle, making their own breads and cheeses, building furniture, shoeing horses and metalworking. Cafe Homestead serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, with entrees including biscuits and gravy, buttermilk pancakes, chicken dumpling pie, 16-ounce rib-eye steaks, green chili brisket enchiladas, jalapeno cheese grits and avocado toast.

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Revival Eastside Eatery has created a following as public and private investment along Elm Avenue gains momentum. Its website calls it a counter-service restaurant offering Texas-sourced and house-made salads, sandwiches and burgers. Beverages include coffee, beer and wine.

Taqueria El Crucero offers a diverse menu with emphasis on Mexican cuisine. Its breakfast burritos attract rave reviews.

Paper Route Bakery in Austin topped the list. Located on East Cesar Chavez Street in Austin, it used its Facebook page to announce its No. 1 ranking. There it describes itself as an “artisanal small-batch bakery, taking classic American treats to the next level,” and a “love letter to your taste buds.”

Business After Hours

Pivovar, the Czech-themed restaurant, bakery, brewery and boutique hotel downtown at 320 S. Eighth St., will host Business After Hours from 4 to 6 p.m. June 15. Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce members are invited to attend the “casual, friendly and free networking event” serving food and drink.

Gas prices

On Tuesday, the day after Memorial Day, the H-E-B at North 19th Street and Park Lake Drive posted $4.03 per gallon for regular unleaded. By Thursday the numbers read $4.39 per gallon at that same H-E-B.

On Friday, prices had gone up another 10 cents, to $4.49 per gallon. Not to pick on H-E-B, the trend is playing out all over Waco and Texas. AAA reported Thursday the $4.34 statewide average set a new record.

Some are making posts online to the effect they are paying more at the pump per gallon than they once earned per hour at work. Some California residents are paying more per gallon than the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, GasBuddy.com analyst Patrick De Haan reported last week.

Reports showed a station in Los Angeles asking $8.05 per gallon and one in Mendocino asking $9.60 a gallon for regular.

It is bad all over, De Haan said in an email response to questions. Refinery shutdowns due to COVID-19 caused gasoline inventories to fall, and they have not recovered. They are seasonally the lowest since 2014.

He said relief will arrive late summer, and only if major hurricanes keep their distance. De Haan said he is worried the national average for unleaded, at $4.76 on Friday, is two weeks away from hitting $5 a gallon.

Hokkaido Ramen

Activity suggests remodeling at 4300 W. Waco Drive, former home to Pei Wei Asian restaurant that closed about three years ago.

A poster in the window says Hokkaido, and Facebook advertisements are beginning to make the rounds advertising Hokkaido Ramen.

The restaurant’s website lists a Waco location coming soon, to join several in Montana and Idaho, and one each in Indiana, Illinois and McKinney, Texas.

Keeping cool

A local school district and municipality have secured building permits valued at nearly $4 million to keep temperatures at comfortable levels, according to a newsletter from the local chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America.

Waco will shell out $2 million to replace the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems at Waco Regional Airport, 7909 Karl May Drive, while the Midway Independent School District will spend $1.7 million removing old and installing new geothermal heat pumps at its high school.

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