Hill Country

The Great Pyramide

Nov 18, 2015 By Lonn Taylor

A Christmas carousel built nearly a century and a half ago is a welcome reminder of Texas’s deep German heritage.

Where Has All the Hill Country Barbecue Gone?

Oct 13, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

It’s not extinct, but the Hill Country style of barbecue certainly belongs on the endangered list. Sometimes called the West Texas style, this method of cooking directly over coals–once pervasive–is seen less frequently. Compounding the problem, it appears fewer and fewer people are bothering to learn or carry on the…

The Not So Happy Campers

Jan 21, 2013 By Mimi Swartz

For more than seven decades, Camp Mystic has been one of the prettiest, happiest, and most exclusive destinations in Texas. But after a bitter, multimillion-dollar legal battle, the very thing that the owners cherished—family—may be the force that tears the camp apart for good.

One for the Road

Jan 20, 2013 By Vi-An Nguyen

Jordan Breal talks about searching for vacation spots, driving across Texas, and eating bone marrow.

Ghost Writer

Jan 20, 2013 By Gary Cartwright

It took me half my life to figure out that most of what I thought I knew about J. Frank Dobie was wrong.

Roadside Attraction: Wild Boar Farms

Aug 22, 2012 By Jordan Breal

WHAT: Wild Boar Farms, a roadside farm stand worth pulling over for. WHERE: Stonewall, at the northeast corner of Hwy 290 and Luckenbach Road. WHY: For starters, the head farmer’s name is Daniel Bacon. That’s as good a reason as any to patronize this long, wood-paneled structure,…

Eat, Prey, Love

Oct 31, 2011 By Rick Bass

For decades, a treasured plot of Hill Country land meant one thing to the men in my family: a chance to kill lots of deer. Today, it means something different.

TMBBQFest, “23 Pitmasters in 23 Days:” Louie Mueller BBQ

Oct 14, 2011 By Elizabeth Castro

Editor’s Note: The Texas Monthly BBQ Festival is almost here! Each day until then, we’ll be talking to one of the featured pitmasters, with questions from TM staffers, esteemed BBQ experts, Twitter followers and you, the readers of this blog. Today we bring you Wayne Mueller, 46, of Louie Mueller BBQ in Taylor. For more info, visit their page on TMBBQ.com. What is your heat source and what type of wood do you use? We use oak wood for all of our heat sources. It’s an abundant hard wood source here in our region. It provides a smoke that isn’t overpowering—it’s subtle but distinct. It works well for us and it’s readily available. There is plenty of it, so we don’t have to constantly change what type of wood we use, which would ultimately change how our product tastes. Who did you learn your craft from? Well, I started working in the family restaurant when my father took over from his father in 1972, when I was 8 years old. I worked in the restaurant until I left town to go to college, so about 10 or 11 years. I came back in 2007, when my father was ready to retire and we wanted to insure the restaurant stayed in the family. So I divested myself from an agency in Houston and moved back to Taylor. What’s your signature meat? Brisket is our number one entrée. I don’t want to say we have a cult following because that has a negative connotation, but we also have strong following of our beef ribs and sausages. Sauce or no sauce? No, we use a dry rub. We do offer a sauce, but it’s more of a complimentary hydration fluid. It doesn’t cover the meat. It’s not a thick, viscous sauce you would find in the south or anywhere else – like a ketchup kind of covering. Instead, it’s primarily made of the rubs. So it acts like a compliment to the meat instead of covering it up in sauce.

Head for the Hills

Aug 31, 2011 By Stirling Kelso

With its artisanal wares, fine dining, and rich history, Kerrville offers a dose of Hill Country charm without the crowds.

Recovered from SXSW Hangover? Bring on Hill Country Wine and Food

Mar 31, 2011 By Jason Cohen

(Ground beef guru Josh Ozersky, from a 2008 Nightline appearance) Wednesday at approximately 4 p.m., culinary event planner Mike Thelin was driving around Austin in search of hardwood briquettes, trying to fill a last-minute request from one of the many chefs participating in the Texas Hill Country Wine and Food Festival. The 26th edition kicks off tonight with the Stars Across Texas Classic at the Long Center for the Performing Arts. Local talent will be featured at the gala, including Austinites Tyson Cole (Uchi/Uchiko), Shawn Cirkiel (Parkside) and David Bull (Congress), new part-time San Antonioan John Besh (Luke) and current Texas Monthly cover star Tom Perini (Perini Ranch). But Thelin and the festival staff have also wrangled an eclectic out-of-towner A-List for the weekend, including L.A.'s Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo (Animal), Australian chef and cookbook author Andrew Dwyer and several luminaries from his own home base of Portland, Oregon.

Stuck Truck

Jan 1, 2011 By Rick Bass

The mud was deep and wet and cold and there was nothing to do but dig. And dig. And dig.


Dec 1, 2010 By Jordan Breal

Anchored by a lively square, this Hill Country haven attracts artists, musicians, and spirited shoppers.

Hill Country Map Quest

Jul 31, 2010 By Jordan Breal

When it comes to choosing a getaway, the Hill Country doesn’t have to campaign hard for our affections. Its lush expanses of bounding green hills and serpentine rivers stretch over some 25 of the most idyllic counties in the state. And those picturesque towns that cling proudly to their…

Downtown Llano

Oct 31, 2009 By Jordan Breal

Handmade crafts, homey cafes, and cowboy couture make this Hill Country hamlet a browser’s paradise.

Aunt Sister

Apr 30, 2004 By Elizabeth Crook

There was a lot about Rosita Holdsworth Hollar that pegged her as the least likely role model in my family: She was cantankerous and sharp-tongued, something of a loner, and a terrible cook and housekeeper. But there have been many times when her example has been a comfort to me.

Madeleine in the Hill Country

May 31, 1999 By Alison Macor

As long as she spends most of her free time on a ranch outside Fredericksburg, Madeleine Stowe may never become, by Hollywood’s definition, a successful actress. And that’s fine with her.

A Summer Place

Jun 30, 1998 By Turk Pipkin

Don’t think of the Hill Country Hyatt as just another chain hotel. Think of it as your salvation—especially if you have kids.

Better Than Wurst

Apr 1, 1998 By Patricia Sharpe

Portobello mushrooms and paella alongside the schnitzel and sauerkraut: In the Hill Country town of Fredericksburg, there’s clearly something cooking.

Historical Friction

Sep 30, 1997 By Helen Thorpe

Conflicting accounts of the killing of German immigrants in the Hill Country during the Civil War are creating a certain amount of dis-Comfort.

Sleepless in Fredericksburg

Jun 30, 1997 By Jason Cohen

Like it says on her newly acquired bumper sticker, movie mogul Lynda Obst is “Texan By Choice.” But while you can take the girl out of Hollywood …

The Ultimate Hill Country Tour

Apr 1, 1996 By Joe Nick Patoski

Spend a long weekend this spring meandering through Texas’ fabled heartland, where you can stop and smell the wildflowers, taste country cooking, and take home a trunkful of fine antiques.