Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Blue Bonnet Cafe

Last Saturday, Denny and I went to the Blue Bonnet Cafe in the sweet little Hill Country town of Marble Falls.  The Blue Bonnet is known for home-cookin', has been since it opened in 1929.   

When I hear the words 'Home Cookin' I think of plates overflowing with fried meat and white gravy.  Not my favorite.  Yes, I know  Chicken Fried Steak is high up in Texas food tradition, just after BBQ brisket and a good plate of enchiladas.  And I also know that 'Home Cookin' probably means something else in other places.  Other places that are a long way from the Texas Hill Country.

But Denny and I were in Marble Falls researching a Texas travel article and I couldn't write about the town without talking about the restaurant known throughout Texas.  

And I knew there would be pie. My father, a man who knows his way around a piece of pie, loves the Blue Bonnet's pies.  With 87 years of pie-tasting behind him, he should know.  

I'll also admit I harbor a fondness for pie.  Not so far as to call myself a pie-aholic, but enough to think that a restaurant with a weekday Pie Happy Hour, 3-5 pm, $3.50 Pie & Drink, is worth a visit.  

We arrived at noon and found a line trailing out of the door.  And then a server came out and announced no-wait seats at the counter.  Great service and a better view of the plates being carried from the kitchen, we were happy.

Denny had pot roast and I indulged in smoked pork ribs, both good.  The salad greens were fresh and crisp, the soup flavorful and my pinto beans just right, not fatty or salty.  Add homemade biscuits and cornbread muffins, and we were full.

But save your fork, there's pie.  Southern Living Magazine recently gave the Blue Bonnet's German Chocolate Pie the only Honorable Mention in Texas in an article naming the best pies of the South.

So we ordered a piece of German Chocolate.  And a Coconut Cream.  I wanted to try the No-sugar Apple and the Lemon Meringue too--did I mention watching servers carrying slices of pie with mile-high meringue?  Denny talked me down before I took the plunge and I'm grateful.  If he hadn't, I'd probably still be walking to make up for the calories.

The German Chocolate reminded me of my Granny's recipe.  The Coconut Cream was good too, although I might give an edge to the Wimberley Pie Company's Coconut Cream, possibly just a bit coconut-ier.  But maybe I should taste them both again to be sure...

So if you're ever going west on Hwy 71 from Austin or north from San Antonio on US 281 into Marble Falls, and you get there on a weekday between 3pm and 5pm, stop into the Blue Bonnet Cafe, try a piece of pie and tell me what you think. 

Copyright 2009-2010 Kathleen Scott, for Hill Country Mysteries. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.


  1. Oh yummmmm. I *would* have to read this right before dinner now, wouldn't I?

  2. My mouth is watering like crazy! Unfortunately, all I have to quench it is homemade vegetable soup and cornbread. Not bad, but a slice of one of those pies would sure top the whole thing off.

  3. Mmmmmm. Pie. . . Pie happy hour?! Sounds FABULOUS!!! *sighs wistfully*

  4. Any restaurant that has the word "pie" on the outside, has me immediately making a detour inside :-)

  5. CC pie is my favorite. I think that kind of cooking soothes the soul no doubt.

  6. you know it's funny... my Italian heritage husband likes pie,
    me, a Canadian , not so much.
    So if we ever passed by here, I'd indulge him. Then he's owe me a walk through a used bookstore or something.

  7. Damn, I love a good pot roast and homemade pie. Sounds pretty great to me.

    Love you guys,


  8. They do serve up some good pie at The Blue Bonnet Cafe.

    But, I agree...the coconut cream from Wimberley Pie Co is to die for. I live WAY too close to that

    It must be hard, having to do all this 'research'.

  9. A great Texas restaurant. Huge portions, reasonably price, gooood cookin'. I figure about 1000 people eat there every day. German chocolate pie is possibly the best in the world. Their standard coffee mug is displayed under glass in the local Marble Falls Museum. (Disclaimer: I do not own stock in The Blue Bonnet Cafe.)

  10. A pie happy hour sounds like something that would be in a grown-up's fairy tale. The folks that run that restaurant must be responsible for miles of smiles.

  11. There is nothing in this world finer than a local cafe or hometown diner! Here in Royal Oak, we have Nikki's, run by a wonderful woman named Donna who knows everyone by name, just like in the old "Cheers" sitcom song. Best Greek salads in the world, and pies too!

  12. Mmm Hmm, I love me a good piece of just about any cream pie and that piece looks goood. My mom used to make one she called "pixie pie" when company came to dinner - coconut crust, chocolate filling and whipped cream on top. Makes my mouth water just typing that.

  13. Best. Small town restaurant. EVER. I "grew up" in Granite Shoals (meaning I spent almost every weekend and every holiday of my life through 20 years old there), and stopped at BBC every single trip.

    Even seeing the building as you come across the bridge gives me butterflies. Not only do I know good food's a-comin', but it's the landmark to show that I'm really 'home.'

    PS: I have a whole set of coffee mugs. Yes, you buy them!


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