Sunday, March 2, 2014

We Have Arrived in Kerrville,

...after traveling for miles and miles through the plains of west Texas. The early morning fog was about the only unusual sight along the stretch from Las Cruces, New Mexico, to Fort Stockton, Texas.

After an overnight stay, we were up at sunrise and headed east on I-10.
Again, the early morning fog provided a brief change to the landscape.

Kerrville is a town of 22,455 located in the Hill Country of Texas about sixty-five miles northwest of San Antonio. We have about forty hours and a full agenda. We have two restaurants to visit, laundry (lots of it) to do, and a stop to make at the H•E•B to restock my supply of Duke’s Mayonnaise.

If you aren’t familiar with Duke’s, it is made by the C.F. Sauer Company in Richmond, VA, and is the best mayo ever. I learned about it two months into our RV adventure from a very nice woman from Mt. Airy, NC. “The formula for Duke's includes more egg yolks than other brands of mayonnaise. It also has no added sugar. (It's the only major brand of mayonnaise that can make that claim.) That combination gives the mayonnaise a tanginess Duke's fans have come to love” ( And I have never found it outside of the South except at the H•E•B stores in Texas. I left Louisiana last August with six jars and am now in need of replenishing the pantry.

So we quickly unhitch and head off to restaurant stop number one--Classics Burgers & “Moore.” (If you are wondering about the spelling of Moore, the owner’s former partner’s last name was Moore.) Classics--as the locals call it--opened in May 2002 and is owned by Mike and Cindy Piper and has since made its mark in Kerrville, receiving the Kerrville Daily Times Reader's Choice Award 10 years in a row for Best Burger.
But their fame isn’t just confined to Kerrville. In 2009, Classics was ranked 40th on Texas Monthly’s list of the fifty best hamburgers in Texas.
“While not huge, Classics' cheeseburger requires a two-handed grip to be properly managed. Its patty is handmade from beef freshly ground that day and nestled under crisp condiments on a butter-toasted bun. They'll respectfully cook it to your specs (a rarity in smaller-town burger joints, we're sorry to report), and even the ‘medium’ stayed nice and tender till the last bite. The lightly battered fries crowding the plate define ‘addictive’" (

Chuck, staying true to form, ordered the six-ounce basic cheeseburger with onion only.
I, on the other hand, went all in with my Jalapeno Swiss Mushroom Burger, another six-ounce patty with grilled jalapenos and mushrooms, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and onion.

While the grilled bun is a plus, I think that I have finally figured out why Classics’ burgers are so good. So good that they made my Top Five Burgers list. Look closely at my hamburger. Do you see the little irregular bits of meat around the edges?
This was truly hand-formed and not put into a press where each patty looks identical to the one that came before. And what this does is permit a looser packing of the meat so that you get these interior pockets of meat juice--juice that is quite warm when it runs downs your chin--that burst in your mouth when bitten.

With our burgers we shared both a small order of battered fries and onion rings.
Both were quite good, but Classics is really all about their 5.0 Addie burgers.

The next day found us with a dilemma. We are going to Mike and Cindy’s other Kerrville restaurant--Hill Country Café (located on the site of the first H•E•B).
If we want to see Mike, we have to be there before 11:00 a.m. (He comes in for the 6:00 a.m. start of breakfast service and to prep for lunch.) But if we want chicken fried steak, and not just any chicken fried steak but the one by which we measure all others, we have to come for lunch. On our last Kerrville visit, we opted to see Mike. This time it was the chicken fried steak that won the contest.

Nothing about the café has changed since we first walked through the doors in December 2008. The walls are still decorated with the same items and a solitary man still sits (Not the same man mind you, but still a man sitting alone.) at the corner table under the American flag.
And fortunately, the chicken fried steak hasn’t changed either.

Chuck ordered the platter and from his choice of a cup of soup, salad, or cole slaw, he chose the day’s soup--Northern Bean.
While I think it could have been hotter in temperature, it was still a delicious blend of white beans, potatoes, and onions in a smoky base. So good was this that we ordered two bowls "to go" for dinner that night.

His platter came with his choice of veg (corn or fried okra), a good sized scoop of real mashed potatoes, and a roll.
My chicken fried steak came in the form of a sandwich with lettuce, tomato, mayo, and onion and I added a side of fried okra. Upon stealing a few okra from my plate, Chuck regretted his decision in choosing the corn as his veg.
What makes Mike’s CFS so special? Take a look at this close-up photo.
In my first blog on Hill Country Café dated December 5, 2008, I wrote: “The chicken fried steak on Chuck’s sandwich was an object of art. Somehow in the battering and frying process, they managed to get these little pieces of batter to stand upright on the surface of the meat--I thought they looked like stalagmites coming from the floor of a cave.” I don’t know how Mike does this, but we have never seen a CFS like this. While not giving away any secrets, Cindy did tell us that Mike worked for two years to perfect his CFS. Mike, don’t change anything. When it’s perfect it can’t be improved.

While we were sorry to miss Mike, I am sure glad that we didn’t miss his 5.0 Addie chicken fried steak. Mike, ever think of adding a CFS and eggs plate to the breakfast menu? Then we wouldn’t be faced with these tough decisions.

To review the role of Adler and the Addie rating system, read the November 14, 2011 blog.

On our way back to our truck, we passed the VK Garage Theater. It caught my eye because of the use made of a former garage. We later learned that Douglas and Susan Balentine had established the theater based on their experience and belief that the performing arts create a notable outlet in a young person’s life for expressing feelings and emotions gathered from negative experiences from the past.
They observed how live theatre could be a powerful teaching tool in reaching into the life of a young person (at risk or not) who is turned off by other means of well-intentioned instructional communications from adult leaders.

A short stay and we were on the road again.


eyad ammar said...

اهم شركات كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام كذلك معرض اهم شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام والخبر والجبيل والخبر والاحساء والقطيف كذكل شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة وتنظيف بجدة ومكافحة الحشرات بالخبر وكشف تسربات المياه بالجبيل والقطيف والخبر والدمام
شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام
شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام

eyad ammar said...

اهم شركات نقل العفش والاثاث بالدمام والخبر والجبيل اولقطيف والاحساء والرياض وجدة ومكة المدينة المنورة والخرج والطائف وخميس مشيط وبجدة افضل شركة نقل عفش بجدة نعرضها مجموعة الفا لنقل العفش بمكة والخرج والقصيم والطائف وتبوك وخميس مشيط ونجران وجيزان وبريدة والمدينة المنورة وينبع افضل شركات نقل الاثاث بالجبيل والطائف وخميس مشيط وبريدة وعنيزو وابها ونجران المدينة وينبع تبوك والقصيم الخرج حفر الباطن والظهران
شركة نقل عفش بالرياض
شركة نقل عفش بالطائف
شركة نقل عفش بالدمام
شركة نقل عفش بجدة
شركة نقل عفش بمكة
شركة نقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة
شركة نقل عفش بينبع
شركة نقل عفش بالخرج
شركة نقل عفش بالقصيم

eyad ammar said...

شركة نقل عفش بخميس مشيط
شركة نقل عفش بتبوك
شركة نقل عفش بابها
شركة نقل عفش ببريدة
شركة نقل عفش بنجران
شركة نقل عفش بحائل
شركة نقل عفش بالظهران
شركة نقل عفش واثاث
شركة نقل عفش