Archive for April, 2011|Monthly archive page

Road Trip 5.5, or This is a post about Luckenbach

In Honky Tonk on 04/26/2011 at 8:00 pm

Mini road trip on Good Friday, people!

Luckenbach is a nice place to be when the tourists are not there so choose your timing wisely.  If you’ve never heard of Luckenbach, then thank your lucky stars you found this blog!

I have no intention of re-inventing the wheel; here is the history.

The weather was nice, the beer was cold and of my particular preference and, as usual, the McKay Brothers (with special guest Brennan Leigh) had a sound that defined the space.  Luckenbach was made for days like this and you should be sorry you missed it.

Couldn’t completely avoid being a tourist though.  The official photographer of HTF made us take a picture by the bathrooms.  Aromatic!

Most importantly, however, was the glimpse into my, and possibly your own, future.  And I can honestly say, I really, really like what I see:


Just be careful of those roads…

Thanks to driver A.S., photographer A.R. and participant D.H.!

Crazy, wasteful fact: A shampoo containing real beer was marketed in the 1970s under the brand name Body On Tap. (Thanks Mental Floss)


Out Back Beer Garden in D’Hanis

In Food on 04/17/2011 at 7:33 pm

There is a teeny town out in the Brush Country named D’Hanis.  It was established in 1847 by Alsatians and is famous for the red colored bricks made at D’Hanis Brick and Tile.  Many houses and businesses within a fifty mile area have splashes of red.  Exhibit A:

I can’t say I’ve spent much time there but recently I spent the night at a lovely bed and breakfast and even more recently, to a trip Out Back.  As in, behind The Country Mart to the Out Back Beer Garden.

Magically, every Tuesday and Friday, a door to a secret garden opens to reveal a beauty of a place.

Come inside!

Theres a bar with ice-cold beer, plenty of seating,

and, via the meat counter from the country mart, meat:

Its meat you buy yourself and cook yourself!  Right there on a big grill thing!  What fun!  Now, before you get all gung-ho and start throwing your meat around, be humble in the face of Regulars.

These guys are serious.  Minor seasonings are provided but they showed up with baggies of concoctions and potions so intimidating I tried to not make eye contact.  And of course, being not much of a cook and certainly no kind of griller, I waited until they were done and for the cover of darkness.

Since I like mine rare, I get SUPER antsy about overcooking so I threw the slab on there, a couple of minutes each side.  And by each side, I mean all four of them.

Back in the garden, we drank beer and were promptly provided the side orders, which that night were potatoes, green beans and iceberg lettuce salad with ranch.  These are $1.50 each, and quite frankly, you get what you pay for.

The atmosphere is friendly and low-key.  While the card-playing group spend a good 45 minutes trying to figure out if they knew us (maybe they did and maybe they didn’t…), we ending up chatting with some friendly folks who are in the prisoner recovery business.

This would be a great place to take a group of friends or non-Texans for a taste of rural living.  Bring your koozie and something camo if you got it.

Driving good to know trivia: 42 counties in Texas are larger, in area, than Rhode Island.

Road Trip Number Five!

In Honky Tonk/ Food on 04/10/2011 at 2:13 pm

Kendalia Hall is located about 45 minutes outside of San Antonio on Ranch Road 3351 in beautiful Kendalia, Texas.

“Kendalia Halle was built in 1903 by the Nicholas Syring Musical Club, as a place to perform and entertain the small community.  Years ago the small portion to the right of the stage was fenced off with chicken wire. This is where the non-paying customers would sit and watch while not being allowed to dance.   The paying customers would use this part of the hall to bed down their children while they continued to dance. Dances would begin during the day and last until the next morning, with everyone bringing food to share with one another.  The oak tree out front was used to chain unruly customers if they were fighting or causing problems. They were usually released after they had sobered up.  The red fir wood used to build the dance hall was shipped from Oregon by railroad to Boerne, Texas. It was then brought to the site by horse drawn wagons.”

Kendalia Halle usually hosts dances and live music on Saturday evenings once a month.  At the regular events, free Bar-B-Q is provided with the normal cost of admission.  Be fairly warned this means a brisket and sausage taco with sauce, not a plate of meat with sides.

The sausage was the better of the two but both were quite good.  Also available are onions, which were sweet and tasty.  I tried the homemade green sauce on one taco and it was serious, delicious heat! BBQ is served in a separate building to the left:

Parking is in the back in a grassy area but most people, including ourselves, parking on the street.  There is one set of plumbing bathrooms and a couple of port-o-potties, which are apparently “not bad”.  These are located by the front gate.

The building itself is homey in its simplicity and definitely one of my favorite places yet.  It was open and airy, yet intimate and a source of community pride.  Windows were propped open to catch the breeze although there seems to be duct work for air conditioning.

Tables are easily reservable, just call a couple of days ahead and talk to Judi.  Get there before 8 and your table will be saved.  Beer was a little expensive at $3 each but they were always cold.

Acoustics were great, Billy Mata sounded perfect and the dancers were whirling around the dance floor.

This place was classic Texas honky tonk.  Dead animals mounted on the walls, good music, cold beer and people happy to see each other.  In addition, we saw the most interesting mount yet and had a brush with a celebrity look-alike.  Yea!

Thanks to photographer AND driver A.R. and always willing participates, K.A. and J.G.!

It killed the Romans, and now its killing me fact:  At least one cash machine in the Vatican has a language option as Latin.