Wineries and Chow in the Hill Country?
During our stay in Austin,next week we plan to take a day trip or 2 in the Fredericksberg area. Could we please get some recommendations on beautiful routes to fun wineries and good chow along the way? Thanking you in advance. I've had my daughter to have some Live Oak Pale Ale waiting for us and our first stop will be Rositas Tacos al Pastur. Can't wait!
It's not Fredricksburg which does have several good wineries, but myl vote is the Driftwood Vineyard which has a great patio overlooking the vineyards down below and cheap prices on bottles. Then you head just down the road to Salt Lick BBQ which is BYOB with your bottle of wine for some tasty chow.
Salt Lick is cash only but in a great setting and really good food. Lots of posts on this board about it if you want to check it out.
I had a very enjoyable visit to Becker Vineyards, Wildseed Farms, and Fredricksburg several weekends ago. Didn't know they had varieties they sold at the winery only. All the tasting and live music was fun, and a winery tour run by a jovial frenchman started with perfect timing. It was interesting to see the operations of a small winery. They just purchased a new bottling machine from Italy.
Here's the info from my notes:
464 Becker Farms Road, Stonewall TX 78671
P.O. Box 393, Stonewall TX 78671
Fax: (830) 644-2689
Richard and Bunny Becker, Owners
Tours, Tastings, Sales, Gift Shop, Picnics, Events, Bed & Breakfast
In the Texas Hill Country, 10 miles east of Fredericksburg off U.S. Highway 290, the winery replaces an original 19th century German limestone barn and stands beside the 1880s log cabin (named The Homestead B&B). The tasting room features an antique bar originally from the Green Tree Saloon in San Antonio. There are 46 acres of French vinifera grapevines and 3 acres of lavender growing at the winery. Grape growing and wine making techniques follow strict French practices of limited yield, barrel fermentation and aging of red and white wines. The Lavender Haus reception hall and the winery’s covered patio are available for parties, conferences and receptions.
I went to Hilltop based on a recommendation researched here on Chowhound. The appetizer (flaming greek cheese w/ head of garlic) and wine ordered were excellent.
first 2 pics are of menu and the delicious greek cheese appetizer, almost completely consumed
I did not like the Brenda's crabcakes (pic #3) I ordered for dinner at all. The texture was goupy. So many other things on the menu sounded incredible I was really bummed I didn't order something different.
The Chicken Fried Steak (pic #4) bite I ate was good, and the okra was very good.
On the way back I called a greek neighbor I grew next door to. They would make my family a loaf of bread every week, so of course I asked her why they never made us the Kefalotiri Saganaki :-). Turns out, they now run a table at a greek festival each year where that's all they make all day. she said the head of garlic was not traditional, but the rest was.
The place was *packed*. All tables full and bar area standing room only. We made a reservation 1 hour ahead of time, and got the very last table, a cold one in the bar area near the front door. Service was slow, but the people working were clearly doing the best they could with the huge crowd.
** Always make reservations, even if just a couple hours ahead
From Fredericksburg, head west on Main.
When you hit the "Y" where 290W and 87N split,
follow 87N 10 miles to the HILL TOP CAFE!
(edit: it was slightly more than 10 miles, past the deer? processing factory; the front looks like a gas station)