Texas Hill Country Favorite on a serious downhill slide
Marble Falls, TX has an institution in the Blue Bonnet Cafe that is riding on past reputation and definitely NOT living up to its hype. To a person, everyone we spoke to in town asked if "we'd eaten at The Blue Bonnet yet? It's been here forever." so we figured we'd better skedaddle on over. Often, a crowded parking lot signals good food inside but sadly this was not the case at the Blue Bonnet. When we entered, we noticed a lack of credit card emblems and were told this is a cash-only operation by the same hostess who snarled that we should have used the back entrance because "there's a line back there". We had come in the back door and no, there was no line. She seated us anyway and we looked at our menus. No alcohol is served, so that was disappointment #2 because a beer sounded really good to me by now. A long list of entree selections, with prices, is followed by a listing of "sides" with the instruction to "choose three". I chose fried chicken livers and my husband opted for fried catfish -- frying was the cooking method of choice for most items. To accompany my chicken livers, I selected fried okra, pinto beans and the daily soup special. Turned out the soup was the best of the lot and that isn't saying much. My husband wanted french fries, house salad and green beans. Big mistake on all counts.
A third-rate summer camp would deliver this same food. The pinto beans were strictly institutional and straight from the can, barely warm. Fried okra - in a fried food palace - was frozen, breaded and nuked while the "cream (?) of spinach" soup was passable with the addition of some S&P. The chicken livers were like stones with breading. Ditto for the catfish. His green beans had been on the steam table since Lincoln was president, the salad was limp as were the french fries. Our plates were served almost immediately which told me that all the food was pre-prepared and needed only to be assembled. Bleeeech.
Breakfast is served all day and perhaps, if we'd been smarter, that might have been the best option although the hash browns looked like kin to the flabby fries. Pies are wildly popular here, though I have no idea why because the crust is tough, the filling institutional and the 3" high meringue, while impressive to view, is oddly flavorless.
The good news for this dismal spot is that our bill was under twenty dollars for the evening. Do yourself a favor in this otherwise lovely area and stay away from the Blue Bonnet Cafe.
We had the same experiemce at Blue Bonnet Cafe about a year ago. The vegs served in what looked like grade-school plastic bowls (including the salad) was a joke. The catfish consisted of two very small filets and the CFS was tough and dry. Why people still line up for that stuff amazes me. BTW, Inman's BBQ is also not very good.
Thanks for your post. Because we were traveling without plans, asking for CH input for a specific area was not feasible. We didn't know where we were going and ended up in Marble Falls by pure fluke .......
The Texas hill country was so winning that a return visit is an absolute certainity. I'll certainly ask for suggestions and do some research before heading out.
One bad meal does not a bad experience make, so we've chalked up the Blue Bonnet Cafe up to "Oh, well, better luck next time" and will press on for more tasty delights elsewhere. However, I do hope that my post serves to alert others.