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Feb 27, 2010 11:22 AM

2 Hours From Austin: Scenic and Delicious

A good friend is visiting Austin from snowbound Ohio in two weeks. I'm looking for some help in planning a deliciousness itinerary that takes into account Texas, in all her glory's, scenic beauty.

Thinking about driving out to Enchanted Rock, Bandera or some other spot that really showcases how glorious Texas is; food, environment, scenery being paramount.

I've already got the barbecue portion of the vacation planned out [ Blacks etc] so no need to weigh in on those options.

Where would you take a pale, wan Ohioan to dine in our great state?

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  1. If you are going down into the hill country the food situation is as bleak as it is in north Austin. Bandera is an interesting place, looking much like a western town of yore. My advice is to do German in F'burg. There are other restuarants there but I would not think of them as being particularly exemplary of regional food. Now 12 miles west of F'burg on 290 is a little family Mexican place called El Gallo. I have eaten there twice and find the food good and fresh tasting. There is something about it that sets it apart from other TMex. No beer available nor allowed though. There is nothing to eat in Kerrville. There is maybe one decent restuarant, Rails, but , again it would be nothing distinctive. There is a wine bar in Kerrville called Grapejuice that is pretty neat. They have some offerings like pulled pork tacos that might be worthwhile to sample while you have a beer or wine. Take a drive on the loop out to the Lost Maples. There you will see some significant scenery. Good luck. (For German in F'burg, my personal favorite is the Rathskeller.)

    1. One other thing, if you should try El Gallo's be sure and get one of their sopapillos. Flaky, crusty,puffy. Very good.

      1. I'd suggest you start out by heading north out of Austin to HWY 1431. In Lago Vista, take Bar-K road north for about 5 minutes. That just goes up and wanders around a neighborhood on top of that hill overlooking town. There are spectacular views up there of the lake.

        Then continue on to Marble Falls.

        You can make a big loop through hill country. There are lots of fun things to do.

        If you get an early start, you can go to lunch at what used to be the famous Y.O. Ranch.