Road Trip #12 – In the vicinity of 281

In Honky Tonk/ Food on 11/08/2012 at 5:11 pm

November is a good time of year to be on the road.  With that in mind, we headed out to Specht’s Store outside of San Antonio.

Open since 1890, this place has a lengthy history and many relics from each chapter, including a register from 1905, the original women’s entrance and a neighborly ghost wife.  The front part is better suited for singles and couples, while the back area opens under a covered pavilion with tables, a stage and a grassy spot for hyperactive children to frolic.

Props to the evening’s entertainment Jeff Crisler who started with Robert Earl Keen and played multiple Lyle Lovett songs.  The beer was not dirt cheap but the selection was more varied than expected. We ended up having two picnic tables of people, which may have been the cause of our waiter’s attitude, which ranged from off-put to overly familiar to confused.  While, overall, the food was not outstanding, the gravy and pork loin were well received.

This is a place to go more for the atmosphere than the cuisine.

Next, we mosied up 281 to the Shade Tree Saloon in Spring Branch.

All opened up, this place had the feeling of a backyard party.  People were enjoying hanging out and playing pool.  The bartender was friendly and they carry Miller 64!  With a great wraparound porch and extra bathrooms outside, Shade Tree is a nice mixture of the neighborhood watering hole and a concert venue.

It’s a little bit of a drive to the sticks but highly accommodating for a wide range of audiences.

Finally, we landed at Twin Sisters Dance Hall outside of Blanco.  Operating as a community hall, then a dance hall since 1870, this place is obviously deeply set in the hearts of its neighbors.   Only the sign is visible from the road.

Two adorable women with bouffant hair took money and stamped hands at the front door, which is to the right when you drive in.  Cash only and beer is not super cheap but you can bring your own bottle.  The hall is more intimate than some others we’ve seen but has similar craftsmanship.

Much like Quihi, there was an abundant of children running around.  Twin Sisters does not accept table reservations; we arrived around 10:15 and managed a table, but ended up standing most of the time.    Billy Garza and 40 Guns had a nice sound that did not overwhelm the space.  This would be a good dance hall for a first timer to Texas.  We had one on this trip and she did great!  Love that accent!

Check out Facebook for the rest of the pictures.  Thanks to everyone for coming out!  Thanks to my drivers, AM & JG.  Thanks to the photogal, AR.  See yall next trip!

“This will never once be useful” fact: Allspice only grows in the Western Hemisphere.

  1. To say specht’s is a place to go more for atmosphere is putting it mildly. Unless of course one enjoys being served by a drunk, high, or just generally inept waiter, then it’s the only place to go. I ordered a ribeye that was a sliver of steak with a bunch of fat that I had to cut away. Other than the first stop, fun was had by all.

  2. Looks like you had a great time! Too bad about the oddball waiter.

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