When a late-afternoon rain shower and too many other stops along the way cut into our plans to wander into Wimberly, we decided to go to the Gruene Historical District. It’s not as if we hadn’t been there, already, as Jeff grew up in New Braunfels, and I had visited both areas with my parents and Jeff, so I thought I already knew all there was to know about the community until I picked up the 2016-2017 edition of The New Braunfelser, a local tourist magazine about the City of New Braunfels and its tourist sights.
According to the “History of Gruene” blurb, the community was named after a German immigrant named Ernst Gruene who, along with his wife and sons, arrived at the recently-established New Braunfels in 1845 where they discovered that prime acreage had already grown scarce. Then, just across the Guadalupe River, they chose to buy nearby river frontage, and thus founded Gruene.
Who would have thought, more than a hundred years later, that such a settlement would become a trendy tourist sight for eating,, shopping, listening to country music, and dancing? Most likely, not Ernst Gruene.
Our first stop, as we ducked and dodged raindrops, was The Grapevine, a winery that offered samples and served glasses and bottles of wine and beer. There, we relaxed over a glass of blackberry wine and a bottle of imported beer that, according to its description, left notes of coffee and chocolate on the taster’s palate.
Rendered euphoric by our libations, we strolled the shops, purchased picture postcards for family members, and browsed a rainbow of Gruene tee-shirts which, even on clearance, cost more than we wanted to pay. As we left the store, Jeff paused as he looked across the street.
“So, now what?” I asked, recognizing that gleam in his eyes.
“We can eat something here or go home,” Jeff said. “What would you rather do, next?”
“We could eat at The Grist Mill, again.”
“‘Spose we could, but don’t you want to try something new?” he asked.
I linked my arm through his. “Y’know? You’re right. Lead the way,”
So we walked back to our pickup and headed on down the street to street to Adobe Verde, a Tex-Mex restaurant. Since “Mexican” is my go-to eat-out food, I let Jeff lead me to the brightly-colored building with the green tin roof. Our server, whom I’ll call “Casey”, was quick to take our drink orders and give us a few minutes to study the menu as well as offer helpful suggestions about our drink and entree orders.
After studying the menu, I chose one of my favorite Mexican dishes, a Chili Relleno stuffed with ground beef and smothered with a tangy ranchera sauce, rice, and borracho beans, and garnished with lettuce and tomato, pico de gallo, and a dollop of guacamole. Jeff chose Pollo Arroyo, a plump chicken breast smothered with spinach and cream sauce with the same sides and garnishes. He ordered Shiner Bock beer and I had a Black Barrel margarita with a splash of Midori (a melon-flavored liqueur), salt on the rim, and a wedge of lime. The chips were crisp and held their own underneath the salsa that delivered that perfect amount of heat.
As we got up from the table, Jeff left our cards for our server along with our debit card. We were stuffed senseless and wished for a wheelbarrow valet to roll us out to our truck. As we drove home to our RV, Jeff and I agreed to take in Wimberly, the next day.
So, have you explored Gruene, yet? If no, what are you waiting for? If so, please share the name of your favorite store or restaurant and what they are known for,
I always love hearing from you. Please scroll down to the “comments” box below this blog and leave yours.
On its way to an iPad or tablet, Smartphone or iPhone, Mac or PC near you is the next post about our jaunt to Wimberly. Stay tuned because you just never know where we crazy “Vintage Honeymooners” will turn up next!