Let’s continue on our adventure across the vast state of Texas. So where were we? Amy and I just spent three days in Austin for Austin City Limits music festival with an epic stop in Elgin for a BBQ hot guts sausage face-off. Now, we’re about to embark on a road trip across the entire massive state and are headed to Marfa for the first night. Along the way, we decided to make a few stops since a straight drive to Marfa will take around 7 hours and seems like a bit much. Plus, we’ll need to eat! Along the way, we planned for a stop in Fredricksburg for breakfast, a pit stop in historic Fort Stockton, and a late lunch in Alpine before reaching Marfa for dinner and lodging.
After only about an hour and a half into our long drive, we arrive in the small town of Fredricksburg. It’s very quaint with an old-timey feel and a ton of German influence. It is in fact the home of the Texas German language and sister city to of Montabaur, Germany. After a quick search for breakfast spots on Yelp, it seemed pretty evident that Andy’s is the spot where the locals go. Welcome to Andy’s.
I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect from a place with “Steak and Seafood Grille” in the name for breakfast, but upon entering Andy’s I was instantly reminded that we were not in a city. This place is not fancy by any means and is not like any steakhouse I’ve ever seen. It feels very homey and seems like the perfect place for a hearty breakfast before hitting the road again. The restaurant is decorated like Grandma’s 1970’s living room with retro diner chairs and a train set running around the edge of the ceiling.
I wanted to eat light, but… steak and eggs. How could I not?
It’s a pretty good rendition of chicken fried steak, though I’ve had better versions for sure. The breading adds a nice crispiness, but the white gravy is not as flavorful as I’d like and the biscuits are not as flaky and light as I think they should be.
Amy ordered french toast which comes with eggs and your choice of meat. After consulting with the very friendly waitress about whether to order bacon or sausage, we ended up with ham due to the waitress’ insistence that that’s what she’d get. Between my breakfast and Amy’s, I think she won this meal.
Picture this: You’re visiting your grandmother at her countryside cottage home. You awaken to the sense of a gentle breeze across your nose from the open bay windows. You climb out of your warm, fluffy, pillowy bedded enclosure and walk barefoot down creaky wood stairs to your bespeckled, apron-wearing grandmother who has a fresh batch of eggy, french toast ready for you straight from the griddle. This will only get you close to the feeling I felt biting into this french toast. It really is the best french toast I’ve ever tasted. It is miraculously soft, moist, and eggy inside and while also extremely crispy on the outside. A shake of powdered sugar, pat of butter, and swipe of maple syrup makes it even more incredible.
The ham is also really outstanding and turned out to be an excellent recommendation. It’s meaty and thick-cut with gorgeous criss-cross marks from the grill and a nice crispy honey-glaze on the edges. The two paired together are pure breakfast bliss.
According to online tips, the pies at Andy’s are a big deal in town, but since it was still only breakfast and we were trying not to overdo it, we successfully resisted the pies, but damn did they look good.
After heading back out to the car I noticed something right across the street that I just couldn’t resist checking out. It’s a place called Opa’s Smoked Meats and you all know I’m sucker for a real deal butcher. I better stop in and check it out what they’ve got. Maybe there’s something good to grab for the long road ahead.
Inside, it has all of the trademarks of a classic, old-school meat factory. I really want to try out some of their sausage, but since I know we have a long drive without refrigeration and no idea what the refrigeration situation will be like at our hotel/campsite, I’m a little limited on my options. I ask the woman behind the counter if they have anything that wouldn’t require refrigeration and she points me to the dry-cured sausage. Works for me. I order one of the massive U-shaped links before we head back to the car and continue the adventure out west.
I didn’t bring a knife or anything on the car ride so when I inevitable want a snack on the road I just bite directly into the massive link. It has a very strong, almost funky, meaty scent and taste that’s nice for a few bites, but quickly becomes a little overwhelming. I think that the non-dried sausages at Opa’s would probably be better representation of their meats. (For a little foreshadowing, eventually on this trip I get the chance to try Opa’s other sausages and yes, they are awesome. You can read about our pit stop in San Marcos here.)
After leaving Opa’s we hit the road for the long drive across to Alpine, Texas. The drive itself is a pretty repetitive, a lot of the same for a long, long time. By the way, those blurry spots on some of the photos in my GIF are unavoidably some of the many bugs that splatter on windshield during the drive. Even the windshield wipers can barely keep the glass clear.
After a few hour of driving, we burned up most of the gas in our tank and need a refill. Our GPS guides us off of the highway to a precariously located Exxon station literally in the middle of nowhere. The prices are high, but you can’t really blame them since all of the gas needs to be trucked out here.
Eventually we make it to our planned leg-stretch pit stop, Fort Stockton.
I kind of love the excellent signage I spotted on our way in. Also, it’s kind of ironic that they need to pray for rain out here since our entire weeklong vacation in Texas has been and will continue to be plagued with nothing but torrential downpour.
Honestly, there’s not much to see in Fort Stockton, so we didn’t even waste our time. We literally spent 5 minutes to stop by the historic fort, just to say we did it, stretch our legs, and head back out on the road to Alpine.
So we continue onward. Back on the road. Check back in soon for the continuation of the trek in Alpine, Marfa, and beyond.
Andy’s Steak & Seafood Grille
413 S. Washington St. Fredericksburg, TX 78624
Opa’s Smoked Meat
410 S. Washington St. Fredericksburg, TX 78624
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