We started out the day, Friday, with a stop at the Becker Vineyards in Stonewall, right outside Fredericksburg.  We’ve been buying their wines for years and even belong to their wine club and get new wines shipped to us every few months.  I wanted a bottle of their Vintage Port to make some port wine caramelized pecans.  Steve wanted to get six bottles so he could take advantage of the 10% discount for 6 bottles or more.  He really liked the 201l Albarino, a white wine made from Albarino, native to northwestern Iberia.  Apparently this was a very popular wine and supply was low.  He also got a couple bottles of the Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, one of my favorites.  When we first started going to the Becker Vineyards the tasting area was just a little counter, but now there is a huge tasting room.  They have a selection of good cheeses, meats, crackers, etc. to put together a nice wine, cheese picnic.  Now that’s an idea for future trips!
New Tasting Room
Original Tasting Room
Becker Vineyards, Stonewall, Texas
We originally wanted to just go to Kerrville to see the Texas Furniture Makers show/exhibit, but then added the other places for food sampling.  I had read about the Bear Moon Bakery Cafe in Boerne, known for it’s Jalapeno Hogs (sausage kolaches with local sausage) and other baked goods as well as their gourmet soups, salads, and sandwiches.  Since we had the disappointment of Rather Sweet Bakery closing we were looking forward to discovering a new place to pick up some of our favorites. We arrived in Boerne, which is really a nice town with a main street similar to Fredericksburg, but more like it was 20 years ago before the big Houston and Dallas money came to town.  Lots of antique stores, small gift shops, local businesses and little old fashioned cafes line the street.  I loved the Kiss the Cook kitchen store, an old house filled with chef supplies and kitchen stuff.  I couldn’t resist buying a stack of 6 inch round Emile Henry enamel baking dishes like the ones our bed and breakfast uses for the delicious Santa Fe eggs we had for breakfast.  (See blog entry Oct 2010 visit to Fredericksburg for description of breakfast.) The Christmas Shop was full of fun decorations so I had to buy a few snowmen for my collection and a Russian nesting doll filled with Christmas ornaments for my daughter. We finally made it to the Bear Moon Bakery Cafe which was packed for lunch.  I asked for a Jalapeno Hog, but they were all sold out.  Too bad.  We ordered off the lunch menu and tried the White Bean Chicken Chili and a “Mentalist” sandwich.  Weird name for a sandwich of smoked turkey on wheat bread with avocado and basil pesto mayo.  The bread used for the sandwich was fresh whole wheat, nuttly and really quite good and the chili was fair.  On our way out we purchased a few cookies for Steve to snack on and a “world famous piggy” to sample for breakfast tomorrow  Well, I might try a bite or two, but just in case my personal trainer is reading this…..
After a visit to the Texas Furniture Makers exhibit where we saw some beautiful handcrafted mesquite, walnut, and maple furniture and discovered the table we wanted was around $15,000.00, we realized we needed a new car more than a new table and gave up on the table plan, but it was nice to look.
Riven Rock Ranch
After a stop back in Fredericksburg, we headed to Comfort to the Riven Rock Ranch.  I read about the Terrace Grill when I did a search on places to dine in Comfort and it sounded pretty nice.  Riven Rock Ranch is a working ranch located above the Guadalupe River with a bed and breakfast, event pavillions, and restaurants. Reviews were very positive so we decided to give it a try.  It was a beautiful facility, although on the overcast, rainy night it was hard to really see it all. We were seated in front of the outdoor fireplace, protected from the elements by a plastic “wall”.  There was a very powerful outdoor heater near our table so we were toasty warm throughout the dinner.  Our server, Dorinda, was friendly and helpful.  She went through a very detailed description of all the specials, and suggested her favorites.
Chicken Fried Quail Legs
We ordered the Chicken Fried Quail Legs for an appetizer, served with house made jalapeno jelly and mascarpone cheese.  They were hot, spicy, creamy, crunchy and everything you could ask for in an appetizer.  Definitely worth the drive to Comfort just for this dish.  The spinach salad with honey vinaigrette, bacon, quail eggs, and red onion with cashews was also a winner.  The fresh, young spinach was dressed just enough for all the flavors in the various ingredients to stand out.
For my entree, I ordered the Mixed Grill of Colorado elk, Axis deer and wild board sausage with cheese and jalapeno, and quail served with Yukon gold potaotoes and cauliflower/brocolli.  Steve ordered the Filet with Herb Butter and Gouda mashed potatoes.  Both entrees were top notch, served piping hot, on hot plates, seasoned properly, moist and tender.  No complaints here.  I would definitely go back.  Dessert was the chocolate pot de creme.  It was served very hot, not the usual cold or room temperature I was expecting, so not my favorite dish tonight.
Mixed Grill
Filet with Herb Butter
Chocolate Pot De Creme
Back to Fredericksburg for a busy day on Saturday.
Saturday morning started with our Bed and Breakfast, herb scrambled eggs with the potato vegetable hash and turkey sausages, breakfast. The breakfasts are always very good, but hard to finish.   I always end up saving parts of it for snacks later.  After breakfast we stopped by the St. Nicholas Market in the Marketplatz in the center of Fredericksburg.  This is a two day event where all sorts of vendors selling gift items, many imported German and some Russian items.  We were able to find some unique gifts before starting out on the home tour.
The home tour of seven homes started with the home of General Michael Hagee, who is from Fredericksburg and retired here.  What a beautiful home!  In fact, all 7 homes were unique and a pleasure to tour, (well, mostly–there were a couple we didn’t care for).
We had to run back to Becker for wine glasses to replenish our home supply so while we were there we found out as wine club members we could have free tastings.  We tried some different wines including a very nice Cabernet Syrah Reserve we will probably buy sometime.
Cottages at Limestone on Main breakfast
At the St. Nicholas Market
Home of General (Retired) Hagee, Commandant of the Marine Corp
a new, but old style home on the tour
The inside of this home reminds us of ours.
We can’t resist going to The Nest.  We’ve been going here since 2001 and it has not changed a bit, unlike most things in Fredericksburg.  There are always specials but the menu has not changed and the soup of the day is always the best dish.
The Nest
French Onion Soup
House salad
Atlantic salmon with citrus butter sauce and rice
Shrimp with Citrus Sauce