I ate at Chip and Joanna Gaines’ restaurant, Magnolia Table. Here are 9 things that surprised me.

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Magnolia Table in Waco, Texas.Erin McDowell/Insider

  • I recently visited Chip and Joanna Gaines’ restaurant, Magnolia Table, in Waco, Texas.

  • I was surprised by how much I enjoyed my dining experience.

  • Special touches like a takeaway station made the visit comfortable and convenient.

I was surprised Magnolia Table was 2 miles from the Silos, meaning you’ll need a car or rideshare to get there from the center of town.

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Magnolia Table.Erin McDowell/Insider

The Silos and Magnolia Market are generally regarded as the hub of all things “Fixer Upper” in Waco.

However, Magnolia Table is located a short drive away. Since I didn’t have a car, I needed to get an Uber from my Airbnb to the restaurant. It was only a short drive, but it did take me slightly away from most other attractions in Waco.

Magnolia Table is located inside a historic building.

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A plaque about the history of Elite Cafe outside Magnolia Table.Erin McDowell/Insider

Before it became Magnolia Table, the building was previously home to the second location of Elite Cafe, a diner that opened in 1919. When Elite Cafe closed in 2016, it was purchased a few months later by Chip and Joanna Gaines. The couple auctioned off the contents of the restaurant and donated the money to Mission Waco’s Jubilee Food Market. Magnolia Table opened in 2018.

I liked that the new restaurant paid homage to its history. As an out-of-towner, I found it interesting to learn a little bit more about the history of Waco.

I was expecting a long wait for a table, especially since I didn’t have a reservation, but I was seated at the counter in about 20 minutes.

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The menu at Magnolia Table.Erin McDowell/Insider

On the weekends, you can usually expect to wait a while to get a table. Reservations can be made online, but there were no spots available when I tried to make one about a week in advance. I also visited during the Silos’ annual Silobration, meaning Waco was even busier than usual.

After walking up to the outdoor hostess stand, I put down my name and said I would be willing to sit at the counter, rather than needing a whole table to myself. They asked for my phone number and told me it would be about a 15-minute wait.

I overheard other guests, who were looking for a table, being told it would be about an hour’s wait. I was thankful it was just me eating, and I was happy to sit at the counter to avoid a longer wait time.

I was surprised that, if you do have to wait, there’s a convenient takeaway window and water station outside.

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Magnolia Table take-away station.Erin McDowell/Insider

Guests who have to wait a while for their table are able to order coffee, pastries, and other small treats to snack on. Guests can also order from the entire Magnolia Table menu and take it away if time doesn’t allow for them to dine in.

There’s also a convenient water station if you go to the restaurant on a particularly hot Texas day and need to stay hydrated. I was surprised by the amenities offered by the restaurant to make guests more comfortable while they waited.

I was surprised by the prices at this popular brunch spot — I thought they were really reasonable.

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The Silos Baking Co. bread basket.Erin McDowell/Insider

In order to try as many Magnolia Table pastries as possible, I opted for the Silos Baking Co. bread basket. For $10, I received a basket with a blueberry muffin, zucchini bread, chocolate-chip pumpkin bread, a butter croissant, and a chocolate croissant. It came to the table in a wicker basket with a cloth towel draped over the pastries inside.

Practically everything I ate at Magnolia Table was out-of-this-world delicious and could rival any high-priced brunch in New York City, where I live. When I paid my check — which came to $35.18 in total, not including a tip — I felt like my meal was very much worth the price.

Though I had heard good things about Joanna Gaines’ biscuits, I wasn’t expecting them to be as mind-blowingly good as they were.

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The eggs Benedict at Magnolia Table.Erin McDowell/Insider

The eggs Benedict at Magnolia Table comes with two poached eggs atop two of Jo’s signature buttermilk biscuits, slices of thick-cut bacon, and drizzled with Hollandaise sauce and chives.

The biscuits themselves proved to be the standout star of the eggs Benedict. I’ve heard a lot of buzz about Joanna Gaines’ homemade biscuits, which diners at Magnolia Table can also order on their own. However, I thought using them as the base of the eggs Benedict was a brilliant idea.

While I was expecting the biscuits to be good, I was surprised by how much I really enjoyed them. While I usually prefer English muffins to be the base of eggs Benedict, the biscuits made the dish even more delicious.

I was surprised to discover that the coffee was also just as good as the food. In my experience, this isn’t always the case at restaurants.

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Pumpkin-spice latte from Magnolia Table.Erin McDowell/Insider

I ordered a pumpkin-spice latte with oat milk. It was perfectly creamy, delicious, and perfect for a fall day. It was flavorful without being too rich, and I was able to drink it throughout my meal. It tasted freshly brewed and made with love.

Despite the fact the restaurant was packed, I received some of the best service I’ve ever had at a restaurant.

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A sign inside the entrance to Magnolia Table.Erin McDowell/Insider

The service was very friendly and my waitress made sure I was comfortable, received everything I ordered quickly, and checked up on me multiple times to make sure everything was what I expected.

When visiting a busy restaurant, I’ve found that sometimes the service can be slower or more chaotic. However, this wasn’t my experience at Magnolia Table.

I was most surprised by how much I enjoyed my experience, and how much I want to go back.

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Magnolia Table in Waco, Texas.Erin McDowell/Insider

When I walked through the doors of Magnolia Table, I wasn’t quite sure if the hype around the restaurant and its famous owners would live up to my expectations. However, I was surprised by how much I really enjoyed it.

I thought the food was delicious and well-priced, while the service was also top-notch.

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