You come to Fredericksburg, heart of the Texas Hill Country AVA—second-most visited AVA (American Viticultural Area) in the US—for the wineries and tasting rooms. Sure.
Also for rich cultural elements. Museums. Music. Charming German stonemason buildings. The beauty of the Texas Hill Country—rolling hills, babbling streams. Wildflower effusions in spring. German Oktoberfest in fall. And food.
Fredericksburg offers a smorgasbord, from Texas to Tex-Mex to Italian to—of course—German, to American. Shoot, there even is a Thai Tuesday at August E’s restaurant. Recommendations cannot be inclusive due to newspaper space and my stomach’s capacity, but here goes today and next week:
• Cabernet Grill. If you eat at one restaurant in Fredericksburg, the Cabernet Grill Texas Wine Country Restaurant is the one. Rated in the top 10 in the nation by TripAdvisor, best in Fredericksburg by Texas Monthly Magazine, one of 100 best restaurants in America by Wine Enthusiast Magazine. The wine list is all Texas wine and superbly curated by Elizabeth Rodriguez, who herself deservedly wins national praise. The venue is a faux cotton gin—well done faux—that is charming and allows for intimate spaces. When you are this good, reservations well in advance are recommended, especially during peak seasons (spring and fall).
• Hill Top Café. Texas eclectic eatery in a funky re-purposed 1920s era gas station. Project of Greek-American musician Johnny Nicholas, Grammy winner, lead vocalist for Asleep At the Wheel. There is live music on select days. The food is Texas comfort fare, Greek fare, Cajun fare, and much more by chef Marvin Hobson—using recipes by Nicholas’s wife Brenda. Located on US Hwy 87, north of Fredericksburg. The website notes: “Inconveniently located in the middle of nowhere.” Worth the 10-minute drive.
• Otto’s German Bistro and Hoffman Haus Bed & Breakfast. Otto’s is a restaurant focused on gourmet German fare using locally sourced produce and meats. It is a small venue, so reservations recommended. The Washburne family runs the operations. Mother Leslie was part of the original purchase, son John runs Otto’s, daughter Sarah supervises Hoffman Haus. Otto’s was restaurant cited as Fredericksburg’s best in Wine Enthusiast Magazine, while Hoffman Haus was cited as best B&B in same magazine. Both are included in food reviews, because the full, hot breakfasts delivered to your room each morning at Hoffman Haus are more than enough to tide you over until dinner at one of Fredericksburg’s many dining delights. Otto’s and Hoffman Haus highly recommended.
Last round: My favorite wine pairing: Me. A bottle of Texas wine.