From the moment I walked through the doors into a genuinely cheerful “Welcome to Sascee’s!” with Family Feud and Mint Condition’s “Breakin’ My Heart” both playing faintly in the background, I knew I made the right choice for lunch.

I have a confession to make: I’ve already tried Sascee’s but it was just their catering for an event and the taste couldn’t escape my mouth. I had to get the full experience of Waco sass.

Hidden in plain sight on the corner of 11th St. and Ross Ave., 719 11th St. to be exact, Sascee’s Southern Eatery appears to be unassuming from the outside but within its walls, people from all walks of life come together and set a family-like atmosphere.

As a first time visitor who’s not noisy, but particularly curious, I scanned the interior while stepping into their open floor plan filled with natural lighting. Several tables scattered around with a cash register to the left of a Coca-Cola cooler are there to greet you.

Customers are given the option to seat themselves. So listening to my growling stomach, I sat in a two-person table next to a window diagonally from the food located on the far right side of the restaurant.

After sitting down at the table, I was greeted by, yet another, smiling face asking what I would like to drink. I was then directed to the lunch buffet line filled with food that reassured me I was in the right place.

At Sascee’s the pricing is almost better than the food. The menu is set up you get one meat with two sides for $8, 2 meats with two sides for $10 and 3 meats with two sides for $12.

You can pick from beef, chicken and pork options that switch up like meatloaf or neck bones. In like manner, the sides range from collard greens and broccoli and rice casserole to squash and black-eyed peas.

Before we got back to our table with full plates in hand, waiting for us were two free pieces of cornbread that our waitress, Theresa Martinez-Henley, placed for us. From our drink orders to wishing a good rest of our day, Theresa was nothing but attentive to us and had great suggestions.

My first bite of baked chicken struck the perfect flavor balance. That remained true for the rest of the food. The black-eyed peas and collard greens rivaled my grandmother’s.

John and Marcia Neal, who are Mr. & Mrs. Sascee’s, have been married for 33 years and after Marcia’s catering business took off, she needed to find additional storage space. So when the spot in downtown Waco opened up, they moved in. That area was a bit more than they could chew, so they moved to 11th St. and opened in 2015.

You know that feeling when you’re stuffed to the brim but there’s more food? I couldn’t say no. I ordered desserts. On the menu, they have four for $4 desserts: Butter Pound Cake, Sweet Potato Pie, Banana Pudding and Peach Cobbler. The last two are house favorites, and therefore the ones I ordered.

The peach cobbler was warm, the brown sugar wasn’t overpowering and highlighted the dish overall. And then there was the banana pudding.  Please allow me to be dramatic and hyperbolic momentarily– their pudding is not only immaculate but delicious and one of the best delicacies I’ve had in awhile. It’s served in a martini glass and it’s whipped, light and no flavor overpowers the other. The whole package, with dessert here you can’t go wrong.

Needless to say, I recommend Sascee’s to any and every one to try. It’s a family-based atmosphere that has something for each customer who walks through their doors and the only thing you have to risk is leaving with a stuffed, happy stomach.

Photo Credit: Austria Arnold