Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Driving Through Hill Country

We chose a route through the hill country because for the most part we like taking the small black roads better than the thick red ones on the map. There are more interesting places to stop like this one.

Rolling in Thyme & Dough is located at the side of the road in Dripping Springs.

A cozy bakery cafe with indoor and outdoor seating. They also sell plants to brighten up your yard.

I wanted to stop at Wildseed Farms seven miles east of Fredericksburg.

The fields are not in bloom but they sell lots of gift shop floral ceramics inside. We moved quickly through those to the room where they have a vast selection of wildflower seeds. I bought a cut flower mixture. I was a little disappointed that they don't have an edible flower mixture. I'll just have to put that one together myself.

Our next stop was Chocolat in Fredericksburg.

We'd passed it on our way to Austin. After reading that they specialize in liquid-filled chocolates--many using local wines, fruit nectars, and coffees--I wanted to check it out. These are not easy to make. The fondant liquifies after being encased in the shell so you have to get the shell sealed quickly before the invertase in the fondant begins to dissolve the fondant crystals.

We were not disappointed and I'm really glad that they can be ordered online as well. They also had ganache-filled chocolates in different flavors so we picked out some of those. They might make it home... or they might not.

We drove on towards a BBQ place I'd read about in Texas Hill Country: A Food and Wine Lover's Paradise. Outside the door to the restaurant was a large food warmer filled with barbequed meats--brisket, chicken, sausages, and huge pork chops. You specify what you want the BBQ master to put on your tray and then you carry it inside where the cashier weighs it and you can choose additional items such as cole slaw, cornbread salad, drinks, and desserts.

It's all you can eat beans and bread.

Salt, pepper sauce, and paper towels are on the table with the bread. Nothing fancy. Decor courtesy of the local taxidermist.

As we moved north toward Lubbock, our destination, the sky looked ominous.

But the rain was pretty mild.

We arrived in Lubbock in the early evening but decided to eat the crackers, chocolate, salami, and the honey thyme Pure Luck goat cheese we'd picked up at Whole Foods in Austin before we left. Good decision. Our hotel room at the Arbor Inn and Suites was exceptionally nice and spacious and we had laundry to do before heading out for Santa Fe in the morning.

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