Fredericksburg: Food, Wine, and La Rouge

I feel like vacations, or simple time away, results in one of two mentalities, either you cannot wait to get home or you’re ready to get away again. I don’t think we had returned home from our night in Fort Worth, to watch the Dracula ballet, yet we were already planning another baby-free trip.
So for our third anniversary we decided to go to Fredericksburg, the quintessential getaway place in Texas it seems.
After choosing the location, picking the place to stay becomes my main focus. If we plan to be out and about—spending little time relaxing at our temporary residence, then I’m fine staying at a Holiday Inn or similar; however, if we intend on spending a good deal relaxing in our abode, such we intended to on this trip, then finding a fantastic place to stay that offers more than the typical amenities becomes my goal.

We booked LaRouge to be our weekend getaway. Just a couple blocks off main street so you’re close to the action but don’t have to worry about constant foot traffic just outside your door. And of course, with a January anniversary, we couldn’t pick a cottage that didn’t feature a fireplace and private Jacuzzi.

Oh, and it came with a dog. 

Wine is the main draw for many to Fredericksburg, and you have plenty of options. You can spend the day away from town and visit the various wineries surrounding Fredericksburg, or join a tour group if you’d rather not drive yourself. Now we wished to limit our time spent driving so we stayed in town, which stills offers plenty of wine tasting opportunities, be it specific winery stores or those that offer a variety of Texas wines (and beers). 

We end up only tasting wine at the Fiesta Winery store, given that we purchased two bottles from them, Skinny Dippin’ and Southern Sparkle, and decided we had enough wine to take home for now.

Besides wine, there is food and coffee. At least coffee is something we always look for when traveling (read: everyday). Unfortunately, there is only one coffee-coffee shop on Main street, Java Ranch, they make good coffee, it just means there aren’t a lot of options for sit back, relax, and drink coffee places within walking distance. 

We discovered at Der Kichen Laden, the former hospital now kitchen supply store, you can find a coffee service towards the back, nestled amongst various coffee makers for sale. We got a mocha vanilla latte-esq drink that had a decently long German name that I will admit I cannot recall at the moment.

Now with wine comes food, and as Colton and I have seemed to have entered the realm of foodies, where we chose to eat our meals was a big part of our stay.

Please pardon bad cell phone quality of this pesto bread photo, also  the lacking of main dish photos as I was distracted by the Sparkletini mentioned below.

For dinner on our first night we chose Pasta Bella, just off main street. It’s always a good sign when there’s a steady stream of diners in and out, and that the person answer the door seems to be the manager or owner and clearly has a good repoir with his clientele. It’s a bit of an odd environment, as the décor and styles leans more toward rustic homecookin’ rather than daily homemade pasta. I ordered a Peach Sparkletini, an Italian wine that I knew had to taste great (that’s if you like sweet wines of course), and Colton got a stronger tasting red. 

As for food, I order the restaurant’s specialty: chicken, mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, and fettucine with alfredo sauce; while Colton got their seafood ravioli. Both are house favorites. Colton loved his, but as I am the only person who seems to find cheese a tad overwhelming in dishes, I did not devour mine quickly.
Now with our cottage came gift certificates toward four eateries for breakfast, on our first morning we tried Sunset Grill, just a 5-minute drive from the main street area and well worth the detour. Obviously a popular place, as parking can be hard to come by (at least it was when we arrived around 10:30). Featuring a large breakfast menu, as well as lunch offerings. I chose one of their Eggs Benedict dishes, Colton selected a simple bacon and eggs platter, and we shared their French toast dish, featuring caramelized bananas. And for mimosa lovers, they offer 4 varieties in addition to the standard OJ.

For dinner I wanted to go to the Herb Farm Restaurant, but apparently so did everyone else because the place was booked solid when we called to make reservations, next we tried the Nest but they were on vacation. Finally, we called the CabernetGrill, located down highway 16 in the Cotton Gin Village, a little BnB village just outside Fredericksburg, and less than 10 minutes from Main Street.

With fireplaces here and there, art made from wine corks, and racks filled with bottles, it has a pleasant décor to match the delicious food.

Our waitress was overly formal but suggested the sweet red from Llano Estacado winery, which end up being my favorite wine from the whole trip. Between the two of us, we dined on jalapeño-grilled quail, lobster-crab au gratin, and steaks before calling it a night at the Cabernet and returning to our cottage to make white chocolate covered, chocolate-stuffed strawberries and catch up on Doctor Who. We’re nerds, we know.

Breakfast on our last day might have been our favorite, it’s hard to say because there was a lot of good food. We went to Rathskeller, another restaurant featured on the gift certificate. Rathskeller is in the basement of the hospital-turned-kitchen supply store. We started off with Hill Country beignets, or Cinnamon Danish doughnut holes, which had the best raspberry jam accompaniment (I don’t even like raspberries). Then I ordered grilled duck with potatoes and over easy eggs—it was fantastic, and Colton got their burrito which filled him up and had enough left over for another meal.

I told you, we like food.

Now, not to neglect the shops that cover Main street, we did wander through a few, although shopping for shopping’s sake has never been our style. We watched the candle-maker at the hand carved candle store, ate various spreads and salsas at Rustlin’ Rob’s Gourmet food store (a must do in my opinion), and of course wandered around Earth Bound because I have to whenever I see one.

So the trip went just like we planned: ate a bunch of food, drank some wine, caught up on our BBC, slept without a toddler clawing at us, except of course for that little bit on our way to Fredericksburg when a young buck hit our car. Poor thing.

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