green-chile burger at Jack Allen's Kitchen in Oak Hill, Texas

The Austin Chronicle just published “First Plates,” their annual Best Restaurants list. Five of those mentioned are out West, including Jack Allen’s Kitchen, The League and Pieous. Read more about the list here.

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“Texas by the Book” is the theme for this fancy gourmet dinner at the famous Cabernet Grill in Fredericksburg. Friday, February 27, they’ll be serving up six courses of the finest Hill Country cuisine, paired with six of Texas’ best wines. Winemakers will be on hand from Grape Creek Vineyards, Texas Hills Vineyard, Duchman Family Winery, Pedernales Cellars, Bending Branch Winery and Brennan Vineyards (those last four form the Texas Fine Wine group). Recipes are from two new cookbooks by Texas chefs Ross Burtwell and Terry Thompson Anderson. Wines are selected by Russ Kane, author of the new guide, Texas Hill Country Wineries. Diners receive autographed copies of all three books, plus coupons for two free tastings at each participating winery. $250 per couple; $150 for a single. Only one seating that evening, so reservations are a must. Call Cabernet Grill at 830-990-5734. Cheers!

Guacamole salad at El Charro in Johnson City, Texas

(map) Just like every small Texas town must have a Dairy Queen, they should also have a good, mom-and-pop, Tex-Mex place. As so Johnson City has El Charro. Creamy guacamole, hearty enchiladas and nachos, along with a few more unusual dishes, like menudo, barbacoa, even See More »

This special Valentine’s event from the Texas Hill Country wineries starts Friday, February 6th and runs through Sunday the 22nd. (See more info about the trail here.) Ticket-holders get a special box of chocolates created to pair with red and white wines, then hit the trail for free tastes at See More »

(map) Every Friday is Tour Day at this 18-year-old craft brewery in Blanco. While you wait for your tour, there’s plenty of beer sampling to be had from an ever-changing menu. Above, this Devil’s Backbone Tripel really hit the spot. You can sample beers See More »

Noon Spoon Cafe

In: Eating

14 Jan

soup and sandwich combo at the Noon Spoon Cafe in Marble Falls, TX

(map) A classic, small-town cafe where everything is made with the freshest possible ingredients, and most things are made from scratch. Noon Spoon is open only for lunch Monday through Friday, and every day features a different special, like lasagna or King Ranch chicken. The menu offers a variety of fresh salads, homemade soups, sandwiches, wraps and quesadillas. Above, Combo #1, with See More »

(map) The little town where “everybody’s somebody” hosts its 8th annual blues fest on Saturday, January 24. Headliners are Mike Zito and Dan Dyer. Starting at noon, the festival will be a full day of nonstop music by Guy Forsyth, Mike Farris, Clay McClinton, and more. Beer, wine, barbecue and burgers will be available. Tickets, $30 each at the link below.

Luckenbach Blues Festival website

(map) Two reasons to visit this new winery: Texas Monthly wine writer Jessica Dupuy recently named Fall Creek’s GSM wine one of the top ten reds in Texas. And they’ve just opened this gorgeous location closer to Austin. Located in Driftwood directly across from the Salt Lick See More »

Snow Day

In: Outdoors

3 Dec

In Texas, a white Christmas usually is just a dream. But starting this Saturday, the Hill Country Galleria will let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. Every weekend till Christmas! Bring the kiddos from 12-4 for snowballs, sledding, and other slushy fun. (Photo courtesy of Sam Chapman, Austin Real Estate Guy.)

 

Ice-skating at Barton Creek Resort near Austin, Texas

(map) Soon, Austin’s largest outdoor ice rink opens for the season at Barton Creek Resort. The 4,100-square-foot rink will be open from December 19 through January 4 (check the website for hours). The rink features 200,000 twinkling lights to amp up your holiday spirits. Hot chocolate and cider are on-hand, too. $20-25 per person. Barton Creek Resort website

ice skating at Barton Creek Resort near Austin, Texas

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