When we first moved here, it seemed like we were driving over to Blanco every other week.  At the top of our incentive list was the Arnosky's big blue barn (which you can see pictures of over in the sidebar slide show), an excellent source for cut flowers, plant starts, fresh eggs and local cheeses, and even a few veggies.  I love that place! Then there was Brieger's Pottery on the square, which also carried Hill Country Lavender products (remember the Unlikely Lavender Queen?)  Next door to them was Real Foods -- the miniature, Hill Country version of a Whole Foods store.  Best of all, there were several tasty eateries to choose from while there: Jabberwocky's; Oso's Mexican Cafe; Riley's Barbecue, and their Rockin' R Steakhouse next door; and most unique of all (and the reason for our discovering Blanco in the first place), the Blanco Bowling Club Cafe!

But things change.  Economies take nosedives.  As I got more and more involved with The Bountiful Sprout, and built my Cantina Garden, I had less and less reason to go food foraging elsewhere.  Then Jabberwocky's closed, and the owner of Oso's had a tragic accident.  After that I heard rumors that Real Foods was on the market.  Before I knew it, it had been a year or two since I had driven over there!

Yesterday, I finally corrected that oversight.  Thanks to Buffalo Woman, who likes to explore these hills from the back of her hubby's Harley, we'd heard there was a new place in Blaco, called  The Redbud Cafe.  And, since Buffalo Woman just celebrated one of those "special" birthdays (the kind that ends in a big ol' zero), we decided an Outing of the Muses was in order.

There is some bad news, I'm afraid, but there is some good news too, and then there is some fabulous news!  Bad news first: both Riley's and The Rockin' R are kaput. (waahhh!)  Good news: the Bowling Club Cafe is still alive and kickin'. (yea!)  Also, they've almost finished renovating the entire side of the square where Jabberwockys and the old movie theatre used to be, creating a venue for special events and art showings, and opening a nice restaurant called Uptown Blanco.  In addition, a tiny but fun gallery/art classes/art supplies place has opened in a precious little old house right around the corner.  Then there's Dusin's, which used to be strictly antiques.  They found the need to diversify when the economy went downhill, and have ended up being all the more fascinating for it.

Now for the truly great news!  Real Foods was bought by the Brieger's, who created a nice wide doorway between the two shops, then turned the health food store into Redbud Cafe -- which is amazing!  Anyone from your beef-lovin' rancher to your vegan flower child could be happy eating here, and they even have a cooler full of locally brewed Real Ale choices.  Our Bagdad salad, quiches, and Lemony Snick cookies were so divine, we are thinking about returning on Monday for their special Valentine dinner (if we can still get reservations)!  So, if I were a beer-drinkin' woman, I'd be flipping the lid off one of those Real Ale bottles, and raising it in a toast to the Briegers, for all they have done to bring Blanco back from the brink!
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Reviewed by juragan asem
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Rating : 4.5