Photo by Petesie Lee

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Photo by Michael Amador

Dining

 

 

There’s nothing like a full day of fun to work an appetite. There’s plenty of fun in Wimberley, accented by a variety of eateries. They vary in price, depending if your looking for something laid back after a day on the water, or if you’re tastes run toward the upscale with a romantic atmosphere.
And then there’s barbecue…of course.
While there are a host of places to grab a bite, we would like to offer some sure-fire solutions that will please your palate.

 

Breakfast: The Wimberley Cafe

Located in the heart of the Wimberley Square, The Wimberley Café is the place to start the day with a hearty breakfast. This is an All-American offering with all the start-of-the-day favorites.
Have your eggs the way you like them, or as many or as few as you choose. The staff at The Wimberley Café aims to please and make certain your day starts off right.
There’s steak and eggs, and breakfast “Tejas” style. We recommend the “7A Omelet” with ham, onions, peppers, tomato and cheddar cheese. Enjoy it with a flaky, delectable biscuit or two.
They also offer traditional lunch offerings in the afternoon.
The neatest aspect of The Wimberley Café is its large, outdoor, al fresco porch setting, complete with Wi-Fi. This is a place to really get in the “Wimberley” swing and feel the homey ambience of the community.
If you are on the Wimberley Square, on Ranch Road 12, it is simply impossible to miss The Wimberley Café. They are open from Monday-Saturday from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. as well as on Sunday from 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Give them a ring at 512-847-3333.  

 

Inoz

Situated on the banks of the beautiful Cypress Creek in the heart of Wimberley, Inoz is an ideal locale to enjoy a light lunch against a backdrop second to none. Inoz has a variety of menu offerings, but the aspect of this quaint little restaurant that always wins patrons over is the view, particularly evident from the tiered decks available for dining. Inoz is a perfect place for your favorite beer and their excellent version of con queso with chips. Add a seat beside Cypress Creek and this is a great way to spend an afternoon or evening. No need for airs here. Casual dress is the order of the day. The menu is affordable on any budget.

The operative word is “chilled…”

Inoz is easily found. It is in the heart of the Wimberley Square on Ranch Road 12. Just pass through the gate and wind your way down the easy stairs to the restaurant. Find out more by calling 512-847-6060. No need for reservations.
 

The Leaning Pear Café and Eatery

The Leaning Pear is a cool, breezy, eclectic and interesting bistro with excellent food made from scratch. It is another truly “Wimberley” experience with a wonderful outdoor seating area complete with “misters” to help make the hot Texas sun a bit more tolerable in the heat of August.

The choices are exquisite; the difficult part is deciding where to start? We recommend checking into the “specials of the day.” There’s always something interesting to surprise your taste buds offered by the ever-changing specials. This little restaurant has won acclaim from a variety of sources, most notably, Texas Monthly.

The soups are also marvelous, and change daily. Going light? The Hill Country Cobb Salad is fresh and fabulous. We also love the “Leaning Pear House Salad,” with shallot vinaigrette, sliced pecans, locally made goat cheese and aniou pear garnish. Oh my! Another light offering is the Soup and Salad Duo, a nice selection.

The menu is also dotted with homemade sandwiches from the Chicken-Grilled Club to the Housemade Corned Beef Reuben… We recommend the Slow-Braised Cuban Style Pulled Pork with sechler’s sweet-heat pickled relish, provolone cheese and spicy mustard on a grilled ciabatta. Perfecto!

Their hours of operation are Sunday-Thursday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., and Friday-Saturday from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. The restaurant is closed on Tuesdays.

The Leaning Pear is a breeze to find. From the Wimberley Square, head North (toward Dripping Springs), and turn left at the first light, which is River Road. The Leaning Pear is just a block up on the left, 111 River Road. Call 512-847-PEAR (7327) for more information. 
 

Linda's Fine Food

There is an argument for getting your food on the go, heading back to your Wimberley accommodations, pop the top on a bottle of beer or a tasty wine, and enjoy the atmosphere. Linda’s Fine Food may be just what the doctor ordered. However, you can also enjoy the food on premises: The restaurant/catering locale offers comfortable seating in a homey atmosphere.

If you opt to dine in, remember: BYOB.

Whether tis nobler to eat in or out, is up to you. Linda’s is all about service and even delivers if you are within two miles of the Wimberley Square.

It is all about “fresh” preparation at Linda’s. The good folks there pay close attention to detail and seek to season every dish to perfection. They offer marvelous soups that change daily. The salads are a wonderful, light way for those watching their waistlines, and there are a host of delightful entries from which to choose.

Don’t hesitate to ask for recommendations; the management and staff are “Wimberley friendly” through and through. For our part, the twice-baked potato is a delectable worth discovering, and Linda’s daily special is always worth a try.

Linda’s Fine Food is centrally located. From the Wimberley Square, take a left at the second stop light. You will find it about on the right, at 500 F.M. 2325. Give them a call at 512-847-5464.
 

Hillsedge Grille and Patio Café

Hillsedge Grille and Patio Cafe in the Poco Rio Shopping Center is one of the newest additions to the Wimberley restaurant community, and they are making a big splash with delicious seafood offerings like grilled trout, shrimp and scampi.

They also boast a great chopped steak.

Hillsedge’s recipe for success is straightforward: “Our commitment is to serving the best quality, freshest unique food at a reasonable price.” In addition to a great menu and its dedication to quality, Hillsedge has a Sunday Brunch that is not to be missed.

Watch for occasional scheduling of live music, singer song writer nights, hot jazz performances with trios and big band offerings, and even stand up comedy under the stars. Hillsedge offers comfortable indoor and outdoor dining and is open Monday-Thursday from 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday-Saturday from 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sundays from 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. To find Hillsedge Grille and Patio Café, take Ranch Road 12 North (toward Dripping Springs) headed toward Woodcreek. Poco Rio will be on the left, just across the street from Meek Studio and Gallery, 15401 Ranch Road 12. For more information, call 512-847-1133.
 

Cypress Creek Café

For decades, Cypress Creek Café has been known for its down home ambiance, its mouthwatering Chicken Fried Steak and a fully-stocked bar with some of the best entertainment in the Texas Hill Country. Many of the musicians that helped put Austin on the map as the “Live Music Capital of the World” can be found right here Thursday through Saturday nights. The aspiring pro can try his hand at an open mic night every Tuesday.

 

When former owner Bruce Calkins discovered the joys of fatherhood, he decided to sell the iconic Wimberley watering hole. But not to worry- Randy and Trish Uselton have brought Cypress Creek Café roaring back to life, infusing a new energy that is synergetic with its history. The “family-feeling” of the restaurant remains, but is now enhanced after many months cleaning, redecorating, and reinvigorating CCC. Judy King, who serves as the General Manager, contributes to that family atmosphere.  Best of all, they have overhauled the menu to include a variety of sandwiches, wraps, salads, gourmet burgers, and enticing main courses as well as seafood and pasta dishes certain to please the pallet.

 

The transformation extends to the bar which gratefully no longer requires a membership. Not only can they whip up your favorite adult beverage, but  the CCC bar has added multiple flat screen televisions where sports enthusiasts can watch their favorite teams in action.

 

Business has been booming since its reopening in August of 2010. If you are enjoying a stay in Wimberley, CCC is a great place to cap off your activity filled day.

 

The restaurant is located right on the Square and is open seven days a week from 11 a.m.-9 a.m. The bar is open from 3 p.m.- midnight. Call 512-847-0030 for more information.

 

 

Damian Mandola's Trattoria Lisinia

World-renowned chef Damian Mandola’s Trattoria Lisina is a casual, family run, Italian eating establishment just like the small trattorie that dot the Italian countryside and cities.

The atmosphere is warm, rustic, with a Tuscan country feel and a tasting room with locally crafted wines.

The fare is “cucina rustica.” Dishes include braised meats, like Osso Buco, lamb stew, roasted pork, homemade pasta with Wild Boar Ragu, thin, crisp pizza from a wood burning oven and grilled steaks, prepared to perfection.

The food is pure Damian Mandola, so foodies know the quality is first-class. A recommendation we would offer is the perfect margherita pizza with basil. We also want to give “shout out” to the fabulous homemade gelato, the very best we have ever had.

Lisina boasts an extensive Italian wine list and will also feature the Mandola wines from the estate.

Hours of operation are Tuesday- Friday from noon-10 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m.-10 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. The restaurant is closed on Monday.

To find Trattoria Lisina on the Mandola Estate Winery, take Ranch Road 12 from the Wimberley Square South towards San Marcos, turn left at the flashing light located on F.M. 3237. Take 3237 to FM 150 and turn left (the Hays County Store is on the corner).

Trattoria Lisina is just up the road on the right at 13308 FM 150, west of Driftwood. For reservations, call 512-894-3111.
 

Blair House

For special occasions, we highly recommend Blair House, which serves unique, world-class gourmet meals only on Saturday. Reservations are required, but dinner at Blair House will be a memory you will savor for a lifetime.

The Blair House has earned critical acclaim nationwide from prestigious publications like Southern Living Magazine and USA Today.

Every expertly prepared five-course dinner is a carefully crafted experience that includes an appetizer, soup, salad, entrée and dessert. Local vendors provide the freshest and highest quality ingredients and visitors — including those staying at other area Bed and Breakfasts, as well as residents of the Wimberley Valley. Dinner is served at 7:30 p.m. and is $62 per person, plus a sales tax and a 20 percent gratuity. If you have made reservations and must cancel, Blair House requests 48 hours of notification, since every meal is tailored specifically to its patrons.

Blair House cuisine is genuinely magnificent.

To make reservations, as well as to discover what culinary wonders await your pallet, call 512-847-1111 or call toll-free at 877-549-5450.

To find Blair House, travel south from the Wimberley Square, toward San Marcos, and turn left on Spoke Hill Drive, and then make an immediate right into the front entrance. Continue along the extended driveway to the main house.
 

The Salt Lick

Barbecue and Texas are virtually synonymous, but there is only one Salt Lick, and it is widely considered the best in the state.

High praise indeed, but this is a venue that lives up to even the highest of expectations. The Salt Lick has been hailed by some of the toughest critics in the world, earning five-star ratings at every turn. It is consistently rated the best barbecue in the region. The Salt Lick is so good it actually transcends barbecue. No less that Gentleman’s Quarterly has said, “the Salt Lick is the best dining in Texas.” It all starts with how the meat is prepared.

The Salt Lick is the only open-pit, wood-smoked barbecue still served in Texas. It is “southern style,” cooked with sauce. You will want more sauce… and the good folks at Salt Lick are more than happy to help.

You could order a sandwich, or chicken, or even prime rib on Sundays, but the locals almost always do it one and only one way — Family Style! Family Style ($18 per person and well worth it) is a an all-you-can-eat banquet that includes beef brisket, pork ribs, sausage, barbecued chicken, beans, potato salad, cole slaw, and drink… and if unless your completely crazy, you will not leave without giving the homemade peach or blackberry cobbler complete with ice cream a try… (We recommend the peach).

P.S. For those customers not given to the overindulgence of Family Style dining, feel free to order smaller portions of meat by weight.

Additionally, the Salt Lick is a very unique, rustic, dining experience. The service is impeccable.

Salt Lick is a must if you are coming to Wimberley. It is located in nearby Driftwood. From the Wimberley Square, take Ranch Road 12 from the Wimberley Square South; turn left at the flashing light located on F.M. 3237. Take 3237 to FM 150 and turn left (the Hays County Store is on the corner). Continue on FM 150 to FM 1826. The Salt Lick will be just across the Onion Creek bridge on the left (18001 FM 1826), directly across the street from Camp Ben McCulloch. The restaurant is open Monday-Sunday from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Call 512-858-4959 or toll free at 1-888-SALT-LICK.

IMPORTANT: The Salt Lick is a CASH ONLY business, so bring the green, although they do have an ATM beside the cash register, however, we recommend showing up with cash, just in case the phone lines are down, Driftwood is the boon-docks, ya know…

  

The Cookie Jar Bakery

Oh, the delightful decadence that a great pastry chef can produce! And Wimberley has one of the best — Judy Marts, the genius behind The Cookie Jar, has a distinguished, world-class background as a pastry chef evidenced by her culinary creations. Marts’ impressive resume boasts long tenures as pastry chef at some of the finest restaurants in America including the Ritz Carlton in Atlanta and Four Seasons restaurants in Austin, Jackson Hole and Kona, Hawaii.

  

Her cookies are delectable. Just one bite of the Oatmeal Raisin will melt in your mouth. The Ranger cookie, a coconut, Rice Crispie and oatmeal creation, is to die for. Marts says she always has the classics on hand — and that, of course, includes irresistible Pecan Fudge Brownies and her personal favorite — the Raspberry Crème Cheese Brownie.

  

Don’t stop at the cookies. The lemon meringue pie is a miraculous balance of fresh lemon filling and stiff old fashioned hand beaten meringue in a perfect pie crust. Her chocolate cake recalls childhood memories of perfectly decadent simplicity. The pastries are crisp and buttery goodness with nary a taste of compromise.

 

And look for a surprise — the “day old cookie bin.” It moves around the store to a new location every day and is filled with tasty treats at bargain prices.

  

She is located open Tuesday-Sunday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. She is also is available for special order cakes, cookies, and other pastry goodies that might tempt you during your stay in Wimberley. Give her a call at 512-847-3660 or e-mail at eatcookies@austin.rr.com.

 

UP THE ROAD....Creek Road Cafe 

Providence united Chef Chae Donahue with restaurant maven Carl Shroyer at the base of a Washington State Ski Resort on the east side of Crystal Mountain. A relative then drew them to the unique beauty of the Texas Hill Country - but after all, genius typically is united by luck. And so it is with Creek Road Cafè in Dripping Springs — up the road a stone’s throw from Wimberley.

Creek Road Café is certainly one of the best rural restaurants in Central Texas. In a phrase, it is “world class cuisine.” We are not alone in our assessment of their culinary talents — “Texas Highways Magazine” has already recognized the establishment’s dedication to excellence.

From our perspective, it is easy to see why Creek Road Cafè earns such superlatives. They feature excellent steaks, the freshest seafood, artistic and imaginative salads, pastas, sandwiches, soups and even a great “big” burger, in the truest of Texas traditions.

Every thing on the menu is “to die for.” We would recommend the Trautwein Sautéed Shrimp. Served with jalapeño aioli, and accompanied by mesquite-smoked sausage, cheddar cheese grits, topped with half an avocado and chive sour cream, it earns our highest recommendation.

Yet the old adage applies — “decisions, decisions.” Have fun deciding between their sushi grade tuna, or their homemade soups made daily (the Mushroom Soup is amazing, when available), or the Sunset Canyon Seven Ounce Fillet Mignon — a seven-ounce charbroiled fillet, topped with maple peppercorn bacon and served with roasted red bliss potatoes and green chili sauce.

While the excellent wine list and ambience speak of an “upscale market,” both the lunch and dinner menus are well priced.

Chef Donahue has trained under some of the finest chefs in the French, Austrian and German disciplines. He searches out the best in organic local regional ingredients and caters his menu to local preferences.

“It is a farm to the table concept where everything is made from scratch,” according to Donahue. If for example, cocoanut cream pie is on the menu you can be sure it started in the kitchen with fresh cocoanuts that are cracked open by hand to yield the fresh cocoanut milk and sweet shredded goodness used to make their ethereal pie.

And one more superlative worth mention — the service at Creek Road Café is second to none.

 From Wimberley, Creek Road Café is a breeze to find. From the Wimberley Square, simply take Ranch Road 12 to its intersection with U.S. 290. Turn left, and Creek Road Café is just about 100 yards away. The restaurant is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. For reservations, call 512-858-9459.