Austin Urban Gardens

Raised Bed Gardening and Eating Well in Austin, Texas

Texas Hill Country Getaway, Welfare Cafe and Goat Barn May 24, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — austinurbangardens @ 7:17 am
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For quite some time, I’ve been hearing about an amazing little restaurant not far from Boerne, called Welfare Cafe.  Finally, the stars and planets aligned, and I was able to make this trek with friends this past weekend. Fortunately, we survived the Apocalypse and made our 7:00 p.m. reservation. (stressful, not)

I love small towns, old buildings, general stores, and out of the way places.  Once I knew we would be heading to Welfare Cafe, I attempted to embark upon some research about our destination, Welfare, Texas.  Good luck with that, there is little information available online, aside from the Welfare Cafe website.  So, the following information is poached from the cafe site:

 “About Welfare, Texas    

Nestled deep in the rolling hills of Texas’s heartland lies and place steeped in American heritage.  A place like none other yet a place where anyone can feel at home, the Welfare Café and Goat barn offers the tranquility of a time long past with the ever surprising change of the modern age. Let our food and history tell you a story that you will never forget.

It was almost 150 years ago when a small town emerged from the humblest of beginnings but  like most towns of the post Civil War era the railroad brought new hope and larger prospects. Eventually, the San Antonio Arkansas Pass Railroad, that held connections to Kerrville and Fredericksburg, defined this town and the community flourished.  The town was like any you might expect, a schoolhouse, a saloon, hotel and a cotton gin. And of course, a general store and post office. Today, the walls of the stagecoach stop remain stoically erect and stand as a witness of a time long ago, their gun turrets intact, still defending its crumbling ruins from robbers and Indians.

Although the original structure of the post office burned down in 1916, it was rebuilt that same year and handed down from postmaster to postmaster. But In 1978 this sleepy little town closed its beloved post office doors. It wasn’t until 20 years later that two individuals, with a passion for this quaint American village, reopened the doors and created a new interest in American heritage.
Gaby and Dave saw not just an ancient, abandoned general store but an opportunity to bring appreciation to a small town and a modernism to beloved small town ideals. What better way to celebrate the inviting and serene display of Texas Hill Country than through culinary exploration. It was no easy task although a very rewarding one. Staying true to early American culture, this cuisine descends from many classic European dishes and invites it’s patrons on an international tour as well as a journey through time.

Welfare Postmasters
Gottfried Knoepfli was the first postmaster of Welfare from 1886-1887. He was followed by Charles Beseler, Willie Rust, Emil Sueltenfuss, Adolph Rheinhardt, Mrs. Otto Poehnert, Pul Hein and Perry Laas Jr”

We took  some back scenic roads to Boerne, which started the trip out right.  The trek from Boerne to Welfare took about 20 minutes.  When we arrived at our quaint destination, I could immediately tell that I would love the place.  A restaurant in the country, in an old post office, surrounded by barns and other old structures,  is just my style.

We made it!

Old Post Office Eatery

The menu is American cuisine, with International style, and obvious German influences-not surprising in this part of Texas.

The kitchen is very tiny, with a pass open to the indoor dining room.

Photo Credit Christian Bowers

There were 5 of us, so we were able to try several different things.  For starters, we chose the Potato Cakes with Applesauce and the Boudin Spring Rolls.  The Spring Rolls were good, although they didn’t have the distinct boudin flavor I expected.  But the Potato Cakes were amazing, because of the spectacular applesauce.  The combination sounds odd, but it really worked. (I decided not to photograph my food, so as not to distract our hosts.)

I had a hard time deciding what entree to order, because I had been told that the Ribeye was fabulous, and also that the restaurant’s specialties, the Schnitzels, were outstanding.  So we decided to share the Schnitzel with Artichokes and the Ribeye.  The ribeye was exceptional.  The Schnitzel with artichokes was equally wonderful.

There is outdoor seating with music, or there was on our Saturday.

Charming Outdoor Seating

I can’t wait to go again and try more of the menu options.  Fabulous service and food.  I am in love with the setting.  What’s not to love about an old barn?

Goat Barn

There was charm everywhere I turned.

We spent the night in Boerne, and headed home the following day.  We took another scenic route looking for some water falls on Edge Falls Road.  Sadly, the drought had taken its toll and there was no water to fall, and the swimming hole was empty.


Sometimes Swimming Hole


2 Responses to “Texas Hill Country Getaway, Welfare Cafe and Goat Barn”

  1. We had a wonderful lunch today! It’s truly worth the drive and wait for a great meal! Enjoy your favorite beverage and visit with your dining companion(s) – take in the beauty of the hard work it took to make this a bit of heaven on earth and just chill. This is NOT Houston/Dallas or big city and we should be grateful! We will definitely come back.

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