Giant Pyramid Candle in the Marketplatz
We set out for Fredericksburg on on Thursday, December 1st, to stay at our favorite B & B, Cottages at Limestone on Main, and relax a few days, shop, go on the annual Christmas Tour of Homes and enjoy the local cuisine, of course.  The drive to Fredericksburg via state highway 16 seems short and pleasant since Steve does the driving and I catch up on reading.  A stop in San Saba at the Oliver Pecan Company is always a must this time of year when pecan season is at its peak.  We buy bags of cracked pecans after sampling the season’s choices.  This year we bought 20 pounds of “Desirable” pecans, or I should say Steve bought them along with a couple jars of Dumas Walker Texas Strawberries (pickled jalapenos, sliced very thin) and a book called The Texas Hill Country that I threw in at the last minute.  The pecans are sweet, chrisp, and perfect.  We will use them for salads, pecan brittle gifts, baking and just cracking them and eating.
Once we arrived in Fredericksburg we had a couple hours to shop on Main Street before check in time.
We walked to our first stop whenever we go to Fredericksburg, the Rather Sweet Bakery and Cafe, to have a light lunch and buy some cookies (for Steve, of course).  We stood there open mouthed when we saw it no longer existed.  I later found out it closed and will re open in 2012 as “Sugar and Smoke”.
We happened upon the Rather Sweet Bakery when it was a tiny new establishment in 2001 and over the years were so excited when Rebecca Rather published three cookbooks and became so famous.  I have made so many of her recipes with great success it is so sad to see her business gone.
We went over to Main Street and ended up at the Bejas Grill, a southwestern restaurant where we shared a very nice Angus burger with green chiles, bacon, cheese, and avocado.  Their crispy fries were excellent.  I had a cup of the soup special of the day, a sweet potato chipotle soup, which although tasty, had a strange chunky texture.
We did some shopping on the beautifully decorated Main Street where there are so many unique stores that sell home decorating items, Christmas things, gifts, etc.  I found some things for my holiday table centerpiece at one of my favorite stores, Devinely Designed, and browsed in Linens & More, a great place for all sorts of kitchen and bedroom linens.  One of my favorite stores is Der Kuchen Laden, a huge, rambling kitchen store with every gadget you could imagine.  Rustlin’ Rob’s is also fun, a store that sells sauces, relishes, spices and has samples of everything they sell set out with baskets of crackers.  You can taste everything, which can get pretty filling, so don’t go before a meal.
Phil Jackson’s Iron and Granite Store is also a favorite place. We have some beautiful pieces we’ve bought for the last 11 years, including my favorite, a lazy susan made of the local pink granite on our kitchen table. Then we always buy a hand decorated Christmas ornament from the Christmas Store.
After unpacking and resting a bit, we went to our dinner destination, The Navajo Grill.  This restaurant has been around for many years and keeps getting better.  We started with a cranberry cocktail and fall cocktail with Frangelico, both quite tasty and refreshing.   I had the eggplant tomato soup to begin.  Not bad, but a little too much cayenne burning the back of my throat was not pleasant.  Steve’s Romaine salad (a southwestern Caesar salad) was nice, though.  My entree was outstanding.  I had the Bone In Pork Chop, a double cut Niman Ranch pork chop, grilled perfectly with pear chutney, ancho mashed potatoes and caramelized garlic greens. The pork was so juicy and flavorful. The Paso Robles Wild Horse Cabernet Sauvignon was just right with this dish.  Steve’s Hot and Crunchy Shrimp–a chile and almond crusted shrimp on a bed of ancho mashed potatoes with a cilantro dipping sauce, was pretty good, but not as good as the pork.
Niman Ranch Pork Chop

Hot and Crunchy Shrimp