Food travel continues to grow, as more travelers than ever search for a taste of place. Perhaps as a result of their German pioneer heritage and culture of farmers gathering in town to socialize weekends, Fredericksburg, Texas, has preserved this welcoming sense of hospitality, gemütlichkeit as it is known in the German tradition.
Eating well and grabbing a refreshing drink, especially when the mercury tops 100-degrees, is a tradition upon which the thriving tourism industry is based here in Texas Hill Country. It’s a perfect side trip if you’re headed to the Mother Earth News Fair in Belton, Texas.
“Fredericksburg offers a complete tour of the diversity of Texas cuisine, from traditional German cuisine harkening back to the original settlers of this area to Southern influenced food,” shares Ernie Loeffler, President of the Fredericksburg Convention & Visitor Bureau. “Increasingly you will find area chefs using local farm-raised fare creatively in anything from tacos to pie.” There’s no shortage of creative cuisine in Fredericksburg, often taking a classic menu and shaking it up with innovative twists and fresh, local ingredients.
For some of the most colorful, mouthwatering and filling tacos you’ll ever bite into, head over to Tubby’s Ice House, owned by Evelyn and John Washburne, the foodie entrepreneurial dynamo duo of Fredericksburg. You’ll find a rainbow of taco options at this casual eatery where gourmet meets street food. Thanks to order window and covered outside seating on picnic tables, it has a food truck vibe.
Check out the tasty cultural mashup as tacos go Korean with a beef bulgogi topped with shredded veggies. Tacos go Indian with the Goat Vindaloo taco, prepared with locally-sourced meats cooked in curry spices and topped with pickled sweet peppers and a yogurt dollop on a crispy corn tortilla. Top it all off with a “froze,” frozen Rose served smoothie style along with homemade paletas, popsicles made in the Mexican tradition with unique flavors such as citrus-based with activated charcoal, adding a deep rich black color yet keeping your teeth white.
Start your day with a hearty breakfast at Fredericksburg Herb Farm, where their Farm Haus Bistro twists a classic eggs benedict into “Eggs Hemingway,” adding smoked salmon, capers and a hollandaise sauce. Of course, many of their entrees showcase the use of various herbs grown on site. The property, renovated in 2008, also includes Nature’s Spa, a 5,000-square-feet spa, and fourteen upscale and contemporary Sunday Haus Cottages.
The Twisted Sisters Bake Shop knows all about twisting dough into specialties like their famous cinnamon rolls. Clear River Ice Cream Deli and Bakery Shop serves up classic breakfast biscuits to start your day -- but be sure to come back for their award-winning ice cream made in house.
Texas is known for big. Burger Burger delivers with some of their burgers reaching a height of six inches. Try the Farmhouse topped with arugula, tomato, grilled onions, bacon, smoked ham, pickles, cheddar. Serious comfort food, their hand-cut fries, sauces and even ketchup are house made.
“Ya’ll have room for pie?” asks owner Tawny Tully, as she greets us with a smile as we enter the Fredericksburg Pie Company that she owns with her husband, Merle. Her warm blue eyes sparkle when you ask her about the importance of pie: “Pie brings together so many memories for people; folks come here and say something we made tastes just like something their grandma made that they haven’t had in years. It’s a humbling business to be in.” Every pie is made from scratch, which is why the place always hopping.
Lisa Kivirist, with her husband, John D. Ivanko, a photographer and drone pilot, have co-authored Rural Renaissance, Homemade for Sale, the award-winning ECOpreneuring and Farmstead Chef cookbook along with operating Inn Serendipity B&B and Farm, completely powered by renewable energy. Kivirist also authored Soil Sisters. As a writer, Kivirist contributes to Mother Earth News, most recently, Living with Renewable Energy Systems: Wind and Solar and 9 Strategies for Self-Sufficient Living. They live on a farm in southwestern Wisconsin with their son Liam and millions of ladybugs.
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