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The Trip Where It All Began

Updated: May 9, 2020

Starting off with visiting a great friend on Lake Conroe, to a night on the river in Bastrop, to German Brewpubs in Fredericksburg and a hairy legged waitress in Austin, this trip had it all and, for us, is where it all began... There was also a knife check... that's also worth mentioning.

The WKNDR Snapshot

Lake Conroe (Montgomery, TX)

- Lunch/Dinner: Fajita Jacks Mexican Grill & Cantina Brewery

- Hangout: B-52 Brewing Co.


- Lunch: The Grace Miller, 'Gracie's'

- Dinner and Drinks: 'Old Town Restaurant and Bar'

Johnson City

- Lunch: Pecan Street Brewing


- Drinks: Fredericksburg Brewing Company

- Hondo's

- The Auslander

- Der Daiwel Buc's Bar and Grill (Not for the faint of heart)

- Dinner – El Milagro Twenty Twelve


- Brunch: Contigo

So here we are, driving down I - 45.  Michal and I are on our first road trip together.  Not only are we heading out to explore the hill country of Texas, but we are exploring our relationship with each other.  We have only been dating  a couple months and this is our first trip together.  It's also the first time we will be trapped in a vehicle for more than 5 hours together, share a bed for more than a single night together and be forced to be together for multiple days at a time.  What could go wrong? Well, luckily for us, not much.

We made it to our first destination. Montgomery, TX, on the banks of Lake Conroe, to eat lunch with a great friend of ours.  Once we picked him up we headed out for lunch at Fajita Jacks Mexican Grill and Cantina.  The food was above average and worth returning for; but man, the atmosphere!  I don't care where you are, there is something magical about sitting in the shade of a corona umbrella, on the banks of any body of water sipping margaritas with good friends.

Our next stop: B-52 Brewery, is a Texas jewel that is definitely worth going out of your way for.  It’s a great spot to sit in the shade and catch up, which we did with our friend. Too bad I was driving and couldn't partake in the drinking aspect. *crowd sighs* This place is nestled down a in seemingly unmarked road off of Hwy-105, and is hidden in piney woods.  The B-52 Brewery started just as a brewery, but soon after opening, had an old, retired shipping container set out front and converted into the walkup bar.  Now you can snag yourself one of many of their different beers.

Surrounding the shipping container there are several picnic tables, fire pits, cornhole boards and plenty of room to chat, pet all the dogs, and meet new friends. This really is a spectacular hangout spot for beer lovers, socializers and dog petters can come together and enjoy the beautiful piney woods this part of Texas has to offer. The brewery has since expanded into a full fledged inside bar, with more taps, excellent facilities and plenty more indoor seating. B-52 brewery is a definite must for anybody passing through, or within an hour drive. Just pick a beautiful day and go for it.

We say our goodbyes, pack up the 4Runner and hit the road towards our next destination: Bastrop.  2 hours east of the southern banks of Lake Conroe, in the Texas Hill Country, on the Colorado River is one of Texas' best kept secrets.  Bastrop offers a little of something for everybody:  Kayaking, boutique shopping, eating and drinking, or even a peaceful retreat away from the city.  If you spend one weekend in a small town in Texas this year, make this your first stop and make sure to stay here.

This should have been our first clue as to how great this tiny town truly was.  It offered everything from breathtaking river views, indoor swimming pool, huge lounge area and an amazing shower.  Our hosts, Cricket and Doug, welcomed us in as if we were  family, showed us the ropes, gave suggestions on where to eat and offered homemade cookies and breads. Michal feels it’s worth nothing this is the best place she’s ever stayed in and wants to make a yearly visit just to decompress.  After exploring their stunning property, we decide to Uber* to Main St. and explore.

Our first stop, The Grace Miller, or 'Gracie's' pulled us in with a not-so-subtle classic rock cover band manned by what appeared to be locals. The patio was packed, the music was loud, the crowd was into it and the beer was cold. Not a bad place to relax for an hour or so. We had a few beers, took in the music and the local vibe with an order of fried pickles before deciding to venture to the next spot. We walked down the road a ways before entering 'Old Town Restaurant and Bar'. We had no idea at the time, but this is where we would end up staying for the remainder of the night.

This bar had it all. Drunken college kids, rowdy rednecks, a bachelorette party, retired winos and even an a Vietnam vet with a rattle snake headed cane (no joke). We even got the privilege of witnessing a bar fight out front. What a night. The burgers were solid and the crowd was something else!. We chatted with multiple groups of people throughout the evening and, before we knew it, it was last call and time to head back to our river retreat and sleep the days adventures away.

The next morning we headed further east as we made our way toward Fredericksburg. Made a stop for lunch on the way; driving down an almost deserted town, we find 'Pecan Street Brewing.’ A historic building converted to a gastropub with fantastic beers, an unbelievably polite staff and, our food of choice for the weekend, superb burgers.

Though we were only there for an hour, it was a perfect stop. It was the kind of place you would like to hangout at all night, but would have to sleep in the back of your car. No cabs, Uber or hotels for miles.

Once again we head out, this time reaching our final destination for the trip, the old German town of Fredericksburg. Our AirBNB in this town was a quaint, small log cabin, tucked half a mile away for the city center. Conveniently a short walk from everything. We dropped our bags and headed out to see the town. We first wondered into Hondo's. An awesome looking bar/restaurant with a large open-air patio, live band and all… it was calling our names. We stopped, enjoyed the music and the weather, had a beer and took it all in. Our first trip together was going really smoothly!

After Hondo's, we just explored the many establishments that F-burg has to offer. Stops included Fredericksburg Brewing Company, The Auslander, Der Daiwel (A rambunctious rock and roll bar) and finally ending a locals only establishment called 'Buc's Bar and Grill', which had a freaking knife check! (No Joke). At some point we even snuck in some solid Mexican food at El Milagro Twenty Twelve. What an evening! We retire to our cabin and spend some time relaxing in the hammock out back along the banks of Winfred creek. Pretty perfect.

Sadly, morning comes and it is time we start to make our way back home. Driving back through Austin, feeling sleepy from the adventures of the night before, we decide to stop for brunch. Every vacation always needs one last good meal to send you on your way, right?

After some quick google searches we find 'Contigo.’  A small, rustic yet elegant eatery, with a half enclosed patio.  It fits the bill perfectly.  If you are driving back from Austin and want one last meal, stop here…you will not regret it.  We scarf down our meals, I inhale my coffee, before we finally say good by to the hill country for good and head on back north to Dallas.  What a trip! And, we managed all the time together pretty well and without tears! 

*Please note that Uber's are hard to come by in Bastrop.  We highly recommend driving, or scheduling transportation beforehand.

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