I spent a few days on business in Fredericksburg recently and like the true Texas Travelin’ Man that I am, I explored whenever I had some free time. I always enjoy wandering through the nearby historical sites like the National Museum of the Pacific War with the Admiral Nimitz Museum. More than a dozen art galleries, bats by the billions and wildflowers like nowhere else in Texas are within a short drive. Then there are the wineries . . . we’ll save that for another blog.
But, this night I was on a mission; a mission to try out an eatery that I had never tried before. Something different from the traditional German fare that I am way too fond of when visiting the Hill Country. No, tonight I wouldn’t savor the great brats, sauerkraut and potato pancakes at the Auslander or Altdorf. I had the urge for something with the taste of Texas.
After asking a few locals for their recommendation and cruising the Main drag . . . seriously, it’s on W. Main Street, I found it . . . Hondo’s.
Named for the legendary “Hondo” Crouch, humorist, writer, owner and self-proclaimed Mayor of Luckenbach, Hondo’s had the Texas Hill Country look and smell that could make me happy tonight.
The building looked old yet well kept. A large open patio was covered by the canopy of twinkle lit tree branches. As if I needed a reminder, all it took was one step through the double wooden doors and onto the worn hardwood floor and I knew I was deep in the heart. From wall to wall and floor to ceiling Hondo’s shouted, “welcome y’all!”
To my right was the long, well-seasoned bar that had served up many a Lone Star and Shiner Bock over the years. A traditional-style barroom mirror filled the wall behind the bar and bottles of Tequila, Jack Daniels and other liquid sedatives.
To the left two Texas troubadours were on-stage just finishing their version of “Take it Easy” by the Eagles, then smoothly transitioned to something by Willie and the boys.
I could have chosen the fried chicken sandwich in a traditional fried chicken batter, or an
appetizer of spinach and pepper dip with a large platter of shoe string onion rings, traditional fries and sweet potato fries, but I didn’t. I took the advice of the bartender and went for the famous Donut Burger with a poblano pepper sauce.
The sauce looked like a light colored thousand island dressing with chopped poblano peppers, but it wasn’t. That spicy sauce made the burger something special and with the grilled peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, and a basket of homemade potato chips dusted with parmesan cheese, ooh, I was good for the night. I didn’t even take the time to look for the “donut hole” in the middle of the burger before taking it down . . . it was the kind of meal that would have made Hondo proud. It sure made me smile.
Michael Baxter is the Texas Travelin’ Man
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