Hill Country Gemütlichkeit

Fredericksburg, Texas, is located in the Texas Hill Country about 70 miles north/northwest of San Antonio.  It was founded in 1846 by 120 German immigrants and named after Prince Frederick of Prussia.  Each German settler was sold a plot of land in town and 10 acres in the vicinity in
exchange for settlement on the edge of the Comanchería, an area occupied by the fierce and brutal Comanche Indian tribe. German was the main language of Fredericksburg until the 1940’s, and is still
used among the old families.  My grandfather, Cy Heard, loved this partof Texas, and used it as a base for his cattle operation.  As such, my mother, and later, all five of us kids, spent a good deal of our
formative years here.  It is a wonderful part of the world, imbued with a strong sense of tradition, family values and patriotism.

Many of the buildings are constructed using the locally quarried limestone


One of Mom’s passions was restoration, and she threw her heart into the restoration of some of Fredericksburg’s historical buildings.  For her first venture, she bought a Sunday House on Main Street.  Sunday Houses are small, in-town homes that the early German settlers used when they traveled from the farms outside of town to attend church on the weekends.  Around Christmastime, Mom loved to open the Sunday House to the public during the Holiday Home Tour.  She had it filled with antique
furniture, toys and quilts, and dressed us up in dirndls (women) and lederhosen (men) for the full effect.

A sketch I have of the Loeffler Weber Haus

For another project, she bought two restaurants on Main Street, The Gallery and Domino Parlor, and and ran them for approximately 5 years.  The Gallery was in a three story building and the Domino Parlor was an adjacent casual dining establishment with a Biergarten.  Imagine my thrill when I heard that the building in which the Gallery was located has recently been lovingly renovated and reopened under the name Vaudeville. As you enter off the street, the first floor features a home furnishings store, with a tasteful and fresh mix of styles.  The bistro-style café is located downstairs and was very warm and inviting on a cold, rainy day.  The lunch menu is small but inventive, and changes seasonally.  They offered a choice of two salads, four sandwiches, a soup du jour, a quiche du jour, cheese and charcuterie plates, antipasto platters, and a daily special.  We were seated at a table surrounded by a selection of lovely vinos.  We settled in by ordering some Côtes du Rhône with a few cheese and charcuterie plates.  Hubby and I split the Marinated Chicken Confit Salad and the Venison Reuben on Marble Rye.  We were spoiled by co-owner Richard Boprae, who made sure our glasses were never empty.  Richard is a French Canadian who shares my love (and taste) for cheese and wine.  He told me that the wine he sells in their market is a selection of his favorites, which happens to include a bottle of Lange Twins Midnight Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.  Lange Twins is a fifth generation family farm and winery out of Lodi, California, whose President, Marissa Lange, is a good friend.  So, Marissa, now you know you have some fans down in the Hill Country!


The bistro can accommodate large groups


Wine selections in the market


The home furnishings store on the 1st floor

On Monday nights, Vaudeville offers a Supper Club, a three course pre-fixe menu with wine pairings.  In addition, there is a gallery showcasing contemporary art.  There is also a courtyard that is designated
for special events and private functions.  In short, Vaudeville is a unique experience to be found in the Texas Hill Country: a perfect mix of shopping, browsing, and – to tie in to my Enchanted Rock post (see
Utterly Enchanting) – eating while enjoying the beauty of the surrounding countryside.

Should you find yourself in the mood for some German food, a long-time favorite of ours is the Altdorf.  I love to sit on the patio drinking a Paulaner Hefe-Weizen beer, then ordering first a sausage sampler (from the local smokehouse, Opa’s), then the Red Baron sandwich (Swiss cheese melted over corned beef with onion, red cabbage and mustard), and for the finale, Mississippi Mud Pie.  Yum, yum, eat ’em up.

When in the mood for BBQ, scoot on over to Llano to check out Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que.  This place first piqued my interest when I heard that some people (evidently those who are pilots and have access to small planes) actually fly here from Austin (of all foodie places!) for BBQ.  I have only been here once, but it was worth the drive.  We tried as much as we could and enjoyed every bite:  the brisket, the giant pork chop, the smoked turkey and the rib eye.  Don’t forget about the beans.  In my not-so-humble opinion, they are always an integral part of any BBQ experience.  I hope this
gets y’all in the mood for some serious eatin’.

It is a true Texas experience to stand over a large smoker to pick out your meal

As a parting gift, I wanted to share with you one of our family Christmas cards that shows you that, notwithstanding the fact that I was 39 at the time, my mother still loved dressing us up in dirndls and lederhosen.  What is remarkable about this photo, is that all the clothes we are wearing came from her collection of German/Austrian clothes.  I now have a few of her beautiful dirndls in my closet, but cannot fit into them as Mom was so tiny.  I wonder if there is such a thing as a dirndl expander?  If you happen to know, drop me a line!  Until then, Malzeit!

“In München steht ein Hofbräuhaus…”


230 East Main St, Fredericksburg
Bistro Hours Wed-Mon 8 am – 6 pm and Saturdays until 9 pm
Monday Night Supper Club 6:30 – 9:30 pm by Reservation

Altdorf Biergarten
301 West Main St, Fredericksburg
Closed Tuesday

Cooper’s BBQ
604 W. Young St, Llano
877-533-5553 (They take online orders)
Just to hear the Cooper’s BBQ jingle, you have to visit their website

All photos by Marci Symington for texaztaste.blogspot.com.  I am sorry I do not have the information on artist of the sketch of the Loeffler Weber Haus.

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