The line weaved around the counter and out the door, turned and stopped a few yards down the sidewalk. Not a terrible line, but it took about 45 minutes until it was my turn to order.
This is the start of my first, and so far only, experience with waiting to try a brand-new spot on its first few days of opening. A spot that was so hyped, I saw someone talk about it at least once a day on social media a month out from opening.
I had zero plans to go. It was the opening of Magical Dessert Bar, 907 Westheimer Rd., home of unicorns, cakes and cotton candy. Not really my Instagram aesthetic.
But then my sister-in-law called and asked me if I wanted to go as a surprise for my niece. This is the kind of company I don’t mind waiting with, so I said sure. And that’s how I found myself patiently waiting to try a rainbow cake that would be pinned on top of a vanilla milkshake.
I don’t stress over long waits at restaurants if I’m with the right company. I don’t mind a long line at a popular food truck. I don’t care if I know what I’m waiting for is worth both my time and my money.
Which is why I typically skip hype lines that curve around just-opened places. I’d rather wait a month or two and then try out a new place.
You may have guessed that the magical kingdom hadn’t been worth it, at least for me.
I’m not so pessimistic to think nothing new is worth being one of the first to sink my teeth into whatever they’re shelling out. It’s just not my thing, but I wonder why it’s other people’s prerogative.
“It’s the excitement,” said Karen Fuller, a Heights resident. “I love trying new places right away because usually everyone who’s there with you is just as excited.”
She went on to say it’s not really about being the first, but just having fun while doing something she loves – trying new foods and desserts.
Another Heights resident, Claire Handover, said she didn’t get why people get so hyped for a new place. She likes trying unique concepts, but she’d rather wait for the reviews to come in before going.
“When I was in college I’d do that kind of stuff, wait in lines forever,” Handover said. “Usually I’d leave with less money and even lesser satisfaction.”
It might be my timing, but during the first two weeks after the opening of Voodoo Doughnut, 3715 Washington Ave., I happened to drive by quite often. Each time I saw almost the same: the parking lot was full, the drive-thru line was over-crowded and the people in line were visibly out the door.
I thought, “Good for them, but I’ll wait a few weeks to stop by.”
Last Sunday afternoon, I drove to Voodoo Doughnut with the intention of finally testing out its goodies. It’s been about a month since opening so I figured it would be a good time to drop by. Except the parking lot was full and the drive-thru was still crowded. The line wasn’t bad, I could see that it was contained inside of the shop, but still hit the door.
I happened by one customer with a box full of treats. I asked her how long she waited and while it was only 20 minutes, it wasn’t the kind of day where I had much time to spare.
“Honestly, this is my second time here,” she said. “The first was about a day or two after they first opened and it was way more insane than this. I waited probably an hour, but it went by super quick. I just spent the time talking with my friends. The doughnuts were great, too. They pretty much make my day.”
I’ll make it inside Voodoo eventually.