Recently, a co-worker and I were talking about a scheduled workshop our office was presenting in Marble Falls, located northwest of Austin. During our conversation, she suggested we have dinner at the Blue Bonnet Cafe. I told her that was fine, I’ve always wanted to try it. She registered a shock look on her face and said she couldn’t believe I’d never been to the Blue Bonnet Cafe. Several of my other co-workers said the same thing.
Because I like to share my travels with friends, I mentioned this on Facebook. Admitting, as a Native Texan, I hadn’t visited this restaurant in the 49 years I’ve been on this Earth was like telling a small child there was no Santa Claus. The comments came from my friends and colleagues from across the state. From the gulf coast to the panhandle, people came out of the woodwork, expressing their disappointment and offering up menu selections. Yesterday, I visited the Blue Bonnet for the first and, I hope, not the last time.
This Marble Falls tradition has been around since 1929, though it didn’t start in its current location. However, the current building has been there since 1946 so it’s not exactly a spring chicken. The place is pretty unassuming. No fancy linens on the table and no wine list. It’s just your average looking diner with tables, booths, local pictures and napkin-wrapped silverware. My kind of place. I wasn’t sure if the restaurant was named after the Texas state flower, the bluebonnet, so I did some research on their website and found it was named after a blue “bonnet” and not the beloved flower.
The menu was simple and the prices were incredibly low, considering the amount of food you are served once you order. Daily specials are listed on the menu and they serve a soup of the day. Had it not been 98 degrees out, I might have tried the vegetable soup the waitress offered, perhaps later in the fall or winter. Instead, I opted for the Tuesday special of chicken and dumplings with three sides and cornbread and rolls for $7.95, yes, you read it correctly. Two of my colleagues joined me, one opted for a breakfast omelet (available all day) and the other went with the hamburger steak with grilled onions. My chicken and dumplings were presented much like I would have eaten them at my grandmother’s house, bone in. Grandma always said use a fat hen to cook chicken and dumplings and I’m fairly certain the Blue Bonnet did the same. Suffice it to say, we cleaned our plates just like our parents taught us to do.
Now to the pie, which the cafe is known for across the state and, apparently, the world. First of all, the entire restaurant is filled with pie signs of some kind, reminding you to try it before you leave. Now, because it’s important to me that you, my dear reader, get full exposure to this tasty tale. I must admit my colleague and I arrived in Marble Falls much earlier than expected so we visited the Blue Bonnet twice yesterday. Once for dinner, but prior to that, we joined them for Pie Happy Hour!!! While I’m not a big drinker and happy hours have never really been my thing, a happy hour involving dessert is probably the best idea since sliced bread. From six inch meringue pies to whipped cream topped pies to fruit pies, the selection seemed to be endless. It was difficult to choose. My colleague went with a more traditional choice with cherry but I went with the big guns. After all, it’s pie and everybody told me how great it was. I selected the peanut butter pie with a side of chocolate sauce. Seriously! It comes that way.
In the words of Agent Dale Cooper from the ’90’s TV series Twin Peaks, “This must be where pies go when they die.” My friends did not steer me wrong. I could almost hear the harps in heaven playing as I devoured the peanut butter filing, whipped topping, peanuts and chocolate sauce. This place is so serious about their pie that when we told them we were only having pie in the afternoon, they told us they would need to give us different forks.
The Blue Bonnet doesn’t just talk about how good their food is, they also deliver. The following is just a small list of awards they have been presented in the past.
Best Breakfast in Texas – Texas Highways Magazine
Top 10 Restaurants in Texas – Texas Highways Magazine
Top 100 Breakfasts – Travel & Leisure Magazine
Best Restaurants Coast-to-Coast – Road Food Magazine
Best in Texas – Ride Magazine
Best Breakfast in Texas – Ride Magazine
Now that I’ve slept off my sugar coma, maybe I should run over and grab breakfast. Have I told you about their cinnamon rolls? For additional information, go to http://www.bluebonnetcafe.net. Remember to Eat in the Heart of Texas!
I’ll share more about Marble Falls in the future and I assure you, there is more to the community aside from the Blue Bonnet Cafe, but it’s a pretty good start. For more information on the beautiful community of Marble Falls, visit http://www.marblefalls.org.
Categories: Travel Texas