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yk's Road Trip Report to Fredericksburg, TX (inclu LBJ, German Food, Pacific War Museum...)

yk's Road Trip Report to Fredericksburg, TX (inclu LBJ, German Food, Pacific War Museum...)

Old Aug 25th, 2007, 05:02 PM
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yk
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yk's Road Trip Report to Fredericksburg, TX (inclu LBJ, German Food, Pacific War Museum...)

DH & I went on a 3-day road trip from Dallas to Fredericksburg, TX last weekend.

Why Fredericksburg?
We wanted to go away for a long weekend. Given the # of flight delays this summer, we decided to stay on the ground instead of flying somewhere (for fear of spending the entire long weekend at some airports!) Since we live in Dallas, there aren't too many places we can go that are within driving distance.

Fredericksburg was founded about 150 years ago by German immigrants, and named after King Frederick of Prussia. It is also the birthplace of Admiral Nimitz, commander of the Pacific Theatre of WWII.

We picked the 3rd weekend of August to visit. The Fredericksburg Trade Days (more later) are held every 3rd weekend of every month. I think the town is more crowded during those weekends. It was also the weekend that Tropical Storm Erin was expected to arrive there. Luckily, she had already passed by Friday morning, so we pretty much had sunny weather the whole trip.

I think spring time (for TX wild spring flowers) or during Octoberfest are the best times to visit Fredericksburg, for the above obvious reasons. August is not a good time - it gets so hot in the afternoon that the heat is just oppressive (even though we're used to TX heat).

Friday
We left our house a little after 8:30am and took US 67. I didn't realize part of US67 is a 2-lane highway. Fortunately, traffic was light. We arrived at the Koffee Kup Family Restaurant in Hico at 10:30am for an early lunch.
http://www.koffeekupfamilyrestaurant.com

The restaurant serves fatty food (which we expected). DH ordered the "Cactus Jack" burger - a 1/2 pound burger with pepperjack cheese and guacamole, with a side of curly fries. I ordered a small 1/4 cheeseburger.

After lunch, we drove south on US 281 and arrived in Johnson City 2 hours later. We spent over 3 hours at the LBJ National Historical Park. Despite all that time, we didn't have enough time to tour the LBJ Ranch, which can only be visited by guided bus tour. At the visitor's center, we watched 2 movies, one on LBJ, the other on Lady Bird. We also visited LBJ's boyhood home, and walked along a trail to the LBJ settlement.
http://www.nps.gov/lyjo/

Finally, we set off to Fredericksburg along US 290 and arrived at around 4:30pm. We had reserved 2 nights at a B&B called Das College Haus. The owner was not there but she had left our key behind. We were happy to find a very cool room, homemade pound cake, and refreshments in the mini-fridge.
http://www.dascollegehaus.com/

We rested for some time and freshened up, then headed to Main Street for dinner. We strolled along the street and then arrived at Der Lindenbaum.

I read many great reviews of this restaurant on chowhound, and it did not disappoint. I ordered the sausage plate, which came with 3 different kinds of sausages, a side of German potato salad and a side of sauerkraut. It was fantastic! P ordered the daily special, which was a pork chop cooked like ham, with a German imported beer to go with.
http://www.derlindenbaum.com./index.htm

We decided to skip dessert there, to save room for some homemade peach ice-cream from a store down the street.
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Old Aug 25th, 2007, 09:45 PM
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TY for this post. I am bookmarking it for the time when we finally take that trip.
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Old Aug 26th, 2007, 02:38 AM
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I am enjoying your report, yk. You do such a great job!
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Old Aug 26th, 2007, 06:01 AM
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So glad the rains didn't affect your trip. Haven't been to the Trade Days in over a year+ so I'm interested to read about your experience.
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Old Aug 26th, 2007, 04:25 PM
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Saturday

Breakfast was at 9. We finally got to meet the owner, and she was a lot younger than I had expected (probably my age). She was very friendly and easy-going, and cooked an excellent breakfast. The B&B was fully booked that weekend (5 rooms), so we had breakfast with 8 other guests. Our Saturday breakfast consisted of OJ & coffee, then a combo plate of 2 bacon strips(gosh! I haven't had bacon for years!), small omelette, sliced oranges, and pound cake. DH & I both cleaned our plates!

At a little after 10, we returned to Main Street to hit the stores. Most of the stores sell antiques or home furnishings. Even though we weren't in the market to buy any of these, it was fun to look at. After 2 hours, I managed to buy 2 travel candles, some homemade beef jerky, and a jar of homemade peach preserve.

We visited the Pioneer Museum Complex, which was a conglomeration of buildings constructed by the early German settlers.
http://www.pioneermuseum.com

For lunch, we were planning to eat at August E's, which was located 5.5 miles out of town on the way to Trade Days. When we arrived, we were turned away because the restaurant was closed due to a "chef emergency."

Disappointed, we went to Fredericksburg Trade Days. It is an open field filled with vendors selling more useless junk - mainly more antiques and home furnishings. There is a biergarten inside, but disappointingly, no German beer is served. We got some barely-edible food from the trucks. We spent about 90 minutes there. During that time, we must have each consumed 2 bottles of water as it was so hot and we were sweating profusely. I'd say unless one is planning to buy some decorative stuff for the house or garden, one can skip Trade Days.
http://www.fbgtradedays.com/

By 3pm, with the oppressive heat, I was ready to call it a day. However, DH was interested in visiting Wildseed Farms which is just across the highway. Fortunately, there are several air-conditioned buildings which allowed us to cool off. Inside the complex, one can do a self-guided tour which includes a visit to the butterfly house, but with an admission of $5, we decided to skip it. We weren't planning to buy any plants or seeds, but we picked up a bottle of locally made peach syrup.
http://www.wildseedfarms.com/

We finally returned to the B&B for a rest and a much-needed shower. That evening, our plan was to have dinner at the Fredericksburg Brewery which is a microbrewery. Unfortunately, given it was a Saturday night, many visitors had the same idea as us. We were told the wait would be 40 minutes. 65 minutes later, we finally were seated. By then, I had lost my interest in dinner. Anyway, the beers we tried were pretty good, but the food was awful. We shared a House Salad which was ok. My Jager Schnitzel had an extra-thick coating of batter and was way overcooked. DH's Uberbacken Schweinesnitzel was not much better. Between the wait and the mediocre food, I wish we had gone somewhere for dinner instead.
http://www.yourbrewery.com/

We went by the same ice-cream shop after dinner and had peach ice-cream again.
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Old Aug 27th, 2007, 04:25 PM
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Sunday

Breakfast was again served at 9, and this morning our host cooked a combo plate of blueberry-peach french toast, sausages, blueberries, and (my first time) champagne grapes! The champagne grapes are much smaller in size than regular grapes, and don't have much flavor. But they're very pretty to look at.

After breakfast, we packed our bags and said goodbye to our host. Before leaving Fredericksburg, we visited the National Museum of the Pacific War. We were very surprised by the wealth of information displayed. The first section was indoors, with focus on Nimitz - his family history, and his rise through the military ranks. Then the visitor goes outdoors for the Japanese peace garden and the Memorial walk (with plaques of WWII veterans who fought with Nimitz). AFter that, one goes inside a second building where the exhibit focuses on the Pacific War, and it was excellent. We spent almost 3 hours there and we hadn't even visited the Pacific Combat Zone (located 2.5 blocks away). As it was getting late, we decided to skip it. (The museum ticket is good for 2 days, and now I understand why.)
http://www.nimitz-museum.org/

We decided to give August E's another try, and it was open for business. We could only order from the Sunday brunch menu. I chose the soup du jour and salad du jour. Initially, our waitress said soup du jour was French Onion soup. After she took our orders, she came back and said the French Onion is sold out, but they can offer an Asian Pumpkin soup. I thought it was very odd that they "sold out" the soup of the day yet there's another soup available. My guess is that the Asian Pumpkin soup is the soup of the day all along and she made a mistake when she was telling us the specials. The pumpkin soup didn't have too much flavor though I still enjoyed it. It seems strange that "Asian Pumpkin" (whatever that is) is in season during August. My salad du jour was wonderful. It has organic lettuce with cherry tomatoes, chopped pecans, and goat cheese, with a mustardy dressing. The goat cheese tasted fresh, like it came from some local farm, and the dressing was very tasty. DH went for "Lamb & Eggs" which consists of - Mesquite Grilled Lamb Loin, Cranberry-Balsamic Gastrique, Little Green Salad, Pesto-Brushed Poached Eggs on English Muffin. The lamb was delicious!
http://www.august-es.com/

Even though our waitress was nice, she gave us our check even before we finished our meal. And on close inspection of the tab, I noted the price of the Lamb dish was higher than what was advertised on the menu. I alerted the error to the waitress, and it took over 5 minutes to get that corrected. After we left, I noticed that I was overcharged $1 for my soup as well.

We decided to take I-35 home instead of US 281. It is much less scenic than 281. 281 takes one along grasslands, farmlands, ranches. I-35 is lined by strip malls, truck stops, and nothing. Traffic was heavy in addition to road work and car accidents, our return trip took almost 5 hours.

Overall, we had a decent time. I wouldn't recommend visiting Fredericksburg during the summer though.

We liked the B&B we chose. It is located several blocks North of Main Street, and certainly walkable to Main street. Like I've mentioned, the owner was very nice and easy-going. By the time we made our reservation, only the smallest room (and the cheapest) was still available, so we took what was left.

Positives:
1) Friendly owner; complimentary pound cake on arrival and complimentary drinks in the mini-fridge
2) Walking distance to Main Street
3) Lovely breakfasts

Negatives (pertain to our room only):
1) First set of towels smelled dusky - I think this room only gets rented once a month at most, so the towels have been there for a while. The next day we got fresh towels and they were fine.
2) Small TV with few channels available
3) No radio in room - not even a radio/alarm clock combo machine. We enjoy listening to NPR in the morning
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