Archive | Texas

RSS feed for this section

Celebrating the Holidays with Small Town Texas Style in Granbury

Pin It
 

Sponsored post: I was fortunate to be a guest of the City of Granbury this summer and was delighted to discover this small town Texas gem.

As soon as the Thanksgiving leftovers are packed away, my mind wanders to fitting in some of my favorite Christmas holiday traditions. High on that list is a visit to a small Texas town or two to enjoy the holiday decorations and festivities in a more quiet, quaint environment. I often trek to Johnson City or Blanco to see the decorated courthouse grounds and am happy to add Granbury to the list of places with must see decorations.

Granbury_holiday

Photo courtesy of the City of Granbury

Despite being a lifelong Texan, I had never been to Granbury before this summer. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I received the generous invitation from the City to spend the weekend and what I found was a laid back North Texas town with plenty to keep an avid foodie entertained.

Like many small Texas towns, the square surrounds a historic courthouse and houses a variety of stores, hotels, restaurants and a theater. It would be easy to spend the day popping between shops or wandering down to the lake just a short walk away, but there are some pretty tasty incentives for leaving the square.

EighteenNinety Marketplace on the Granbury square

EighteenNinety Marketplace on the Granbury square

We took a short drive out to Eagle Mountain Farmhouse Cheese to visit Dave Eagle and taste some of his award-winning cheeses.

Eagle Mountain Farmhouse Cheese

Eagle Mountain Farmhouse Cheese

The area is home to several wineries as well, and far be it from us to pass up a winery sign. At Dave’s recommendation we ventured over to Barking Rocks Winery and sampled several of their wines. The 2008 Tannat struck my fancy enough that I bought a bottle to bring home.

Barking Rocks Winery

Barking Rocks Winery

Our final stop on our culinary tour was Revolver Brewing, one of my favorite Texas breweries. Revolver hosts an event every Saturday from noon to 3 pm with tastings, tours and live music. What a fun way to spend an afternoon! Thankfully, they also have vendors selling food and we had some tasty Del Norte tacos to munch on with our Blood & Honey beers. (P.S. You get to keep the glass)

revolver_brewing1_web

Band at Revolver Brewing

Band at Revolver Brewing

We wrapped up our day with a fantastic dinner at EighteenNinety Grille & Lounge. Downstairs is a marketplace packed with gourmet goodies to create your own meal (picnic supplies!) and upstairs is a lovely steakhouse dripping with Texas style.

Gourmet goodies at EighteenNinety Marketplace

Gourmet goodies at EighteenNinety Marketplace

1890_restaurant1_web

A perfect steak with the Montes Alpha Malbec at EighteenNinety Grille

Back at the adorable Heaven Hill Guest House located just off the square, we took advantage of the record player and stash of old LPs and danced the night away to Frank Sinatra and the Bee Gees. There may have been wine and giggling – a lot of giggling.

Heaven Hill Guest House

Heaven Hill Guest House

Patio at Heaven Hil

Patio at Heaven Hil

If you are looking for a great Texas getaway, head to Granbury. It’s cute, fun and everyone was delightful. There are traditional hotels, but check out the B&B’s and guest houses for a more intimate experience. And, if you need incentive to get that trip planned, the city is hosting their holiday Candlelight Tour this weekend (December 4th and 5th).

If you can’t make it this weekend, the square will be decorated through the holidays, the Granbury Theater Company is performing Mary Poppins through December 23rd and Lake Granbury Living magazine is hosting a Mary Poppins Tea on December 19th.

I left Granbury wondering why it took me so long to visit. Don’t make my mistake – plan your trip!

Follow Me on Pinterest

Harvesting Community and Fun at Texas Vineyards

Pin It
 

Most of us have experienced the joy of  sharing a lovely glass of wine with friends and at Texas vineyards, you can take that experience one step further by being part of the harvest.

Messina Hof

Messina Hof

Starting at the beginning of August, vineyards across the state began harvesting their grapes, rescuing them from the brutal summer sun and transforming them into beautiful vintages. Two years ago, I had the opportunity to participate in the harvest at Pedernales Cellars in Stonewall  and this year I joined the crew at Messina Hof in Bryan.

 

My friend Stacey at the Messina Hof harvest

My friend Stacey at the Messina Hof harvest

Harvest is truly a community gathering, with the vineyards relying on the extra hands of friends and family to race the clock of mother nature to ensure that they pick the grapes at their peak.

Family and friends pitching in at Pedernales Cellars

Family and friends pitching in at Pedernales Cellars

The grapes are collected in large bins and then processed through a sorter to remove the MOG (material other than grapes). From there, the the wine making begins.

grape-bins2_web

Grape collection in the fields

The sorter

The sorter

mog_web

Material other than grapes (MOG)

You can participate in grape stomp and harvest events at wineries around the state over the next two weekends. Don’t miss this chance to be part of your favorite wine from the start of its journey from vine to bottle.

Cheers!

(And thanks Lillian for pulling together this list of upcoming events!)

Texas Hill Country Wineries – great website with extensive winery events calendar.

Pedernales Cellars
Grape Stomp 2014
August 22, 23, & 24  Noon- 5pm

Messina Hof
Harvest Festival 2014
August 22-23, Bryan
August 29-30, Fredericksburg

Becker Vineyards 
18th Annual Grape Stomp!
August 23-24, & August 30

Fall Creek Vineyard
25th Annual Grape Stomp & Harvest
August 23, 11am-5pm

Stone House Vineyard
Time to Harvest! 
August 23, 6:30 am

Follow Me on Pinterest

Twisted X Dripping Springs Grand Opening

Pin It
 

I’m constantly amazed by what it takes to be a food or beverage artisan. The long hours and sacrifices are enough to make the average person go screaming for the hills. Fortunately, there are those among us who are tough enough to make it through, and we get to be the beneficiaries of their delicious dedication.

For the last three years, I’ve watched this process from the inside as my brother-in-law, Shane Bordeau, and his business partner, Jim Sampson, have worked insane hours to build Twisted X Brewing Company.

Jim and Shane hard at work in the brewery

Jim and Shane hard at work in the brewery

For the first two years, they both had day jobs, so brewery business happened on nights and weekends. They missed time with their wives, events for their kids and a lot of sleep.  But, they were living their dream and making great beer, so it was all worth it.

twistedxovallogo2-X

Now, the day has come for them to leave behind the small warehouse in Cedar Park  and open the doors to “the big brewery”  – a 10,000 square foot destination brewery with ten times the capacity they had before. Tex Mex beer for everyone!

twisted x architecture mockuptwisted x tankstwisted x bottle holder lineup

Come join the Twisted X crew for the big grand opening on Saturday, November 23rd. For $25 you get a Twisted X logo string backpack, 2 beer tokens, 16oz plastic logo stadium cup and, if you are one of the first 1,000 tickets sold, a t-shirt.

twistedx_stormbrewing

In addition to the beer, Salt Lick, Phil’s Ice House and Amy’s Ice Cream will be selling tasty treats and there will be water, cola and lemonade for folks who prefer not to imbibe.  The event is kid friendly with fun music, jugglers, magicians and the works.

It’s going to be a great day and you know you want to be there, so I’m going to make it easy for two lucky folks to join us. Comment on this post with the names of three bars where Twisted X delivered beer this week.  I’ll pick a winner of the two tickets at random from the correct entries at 5 pm on Friday, November 15th.

I can’t wait to see everyone in Dripping Springs and, until then, always drink upstream from the herd!

Twisted X Brewing Company Dripping Springs Grand Opening Party
Saturday, November 23rd, 2013 / 11am-5pm
23455 W. FM 150 Dripping Springs, TX 78620
corner of RR12 and RR(FM) 150 – 2 miles south of the Dripping Springs city center

Price: $25.00 includes Twisted X logo string backpack, 2 beer tokens, 16oz plastic logo stadium cup, free t-shirt to the first 1000 tickets sold. Must be 21 years of age to purchase or use a ticket, kids under 18 are free accompanied by an adult

Buy tickets here

Food Trucks, Snacks, Water, Cola, Lemonade are NOT included
Additional Tex Mex Beer can be purchased by the glass to celebrate the new Texas Legislative Law changes for $3.00 per pint

Follow Me on Pinterest

Monument Cafe & Market: Georgetown’s Sustainable Food Hub

Pin It
 
Monument Cafe in Georgetown (500 S. Austin Ave.) has proudly served homemade Texas diner classics for 16 years, but owner Rusty Winkstern wanted to do more than just dish up great victuals from farm fresh ingredients.  He had a vision of incorporating sustainability beyond the kitchen, and two years ago he moved the cafe from it’s original location to a full city block with the plan to create a self-reliant business center.  
They started by creating a restaurant structure that is built to last and all aspects are open to the customer – even the dish pit – making the dining experience transparent to guests.  Everything is made in house except for the breads and they are bringing those in house later this year with the addition of Mark Chapman, formerly of Le Cordon Bleu Austin and the Driskill Grill, as the master baker.
Next, they added the gardens.  The vegetable garden behind the restaurant yields okra, squash, cucumbers and melons to supplement the loads of produce they purchase from area farms.  The garden also hosts a beehive that is tended by a local junior high science class.  The market buys the honey and the bees pollinate the garden – a perfect symbiotic relationship.

This summer, the Monument market debuted, open daily from 8 am to 8 pm, to sell the same farm fresh ingredients they use in the cafe. 

The market features products from area farms, ranches and Texas food artisans. You can stock up on organic Texas dried goods, milk from Texas Daily Harvest, butter from Way Back When Dairy, Gulf seafood from  K & S, Vital Farm broilers, Richardson Farms pork and even yak meat from Texas Yaks.  The market will also be selling wine from five Texas vineyards.
Winkstern and the Monument team have created a truly sustainable food hub in their corner of Williamson County – a place where you can savor your food while feeling good about where it comes from and how it is grown.  I’d say that’s a pretty monumental feat.  
Follow Me on Pinterest