Because the wife is changing jobs, we figured we'd better take some time off while we still can. We live in Lubbock and took last Friday thru Monday (6/27 to 6/30) to make a dash to San Antonio. We left at about 8 AM, putting us at the Cooper BBQ and Grill in Mason about 12:45. Bought a sausage ring and 4 brisket slices, beans and potato salad. The place seemed pretty empty and was somewhat disappointing - the brisket was slightly dry and had no red smoke ring. The sausage was just ok. The cost, with tea for both was $16 - pretty high, but then again there was too much food. We could have been well satisfied with small sides and 1/2 a ring for about $11-12.
Stayed at the Homewood Suites on the Riverwalk (we are SOOOOO glad we decided not to stay in cheaper outlying areas and drive in - everything was a 5 minute walk). Friday night we took a dinner cruise from Boudro's. Fabulous. They start you with chips & salsa, freshly made guacamole, then a salad, while you go once around the river cruise. They stop at the restaurant again to load up entrees and go around again. Then desserts. The food was great (I had a terrific, if small, filet with a shrimp enchilada. The wife had very good salmon). The riverboat guide was entertaining. The whole thing was very romantic, and a good value at $34 each (about $84 for 2 with tax & tip).
The hotel's hot breakfast buffet had eggs, bacon, sausage, lots of fruit, cereals, waffles, bagels & muffins, juices. Everything was cooked in pans in a convection oven, however, so the eggs were helped with salsa.
Went to the zoo and enjoyed the new butterfly experience and feeding the lorrikeets. Then back to the hotel and walked over to Schilo's for a late lunch. Had the mixed sausage platter (brat & knock) with warm German potato salad and a cup of split pea soup. Delicious.
Saturday night we had reservations at the Landing to listen to the Jim Cullum Jazz Band. They make an excellent Dagwood Chicken sandwich (2 grilled breast halves with lettuce, tomatoes & sauce on a dark bread). The wife ate that. I had a sub-par chicken fried steak. The music was incredible.
On Sunday we did Seaworld -- a great place to get soaked (literally & figuratively). Man, everything was expensive and tasted like cardboard there. But it was lots of fun, nonetheless. On the way back to downtown, we went to Karam's on Zarzamora for excellent margaritas and very good mexican food. I had a combo plate with a puffy taco and cheese enchilada. The wife had the green chile enchiladas.
On Monday we checked out early and visited some shops before heading east on I-10 for Lulling. Arrived at City Market about 12:30. Once again ordered 4 brisket slices and a sausage ring ($8.50 in the smoke room). Went to the front to get a coke for her, an IBC root beer for me, and a small potato salad and beans. These 4 items totalled $2.50. What a feast. The meat was succulent, rich, and smoky. The sausage was course and peppery. The sauce (which I used only on the sausage) was shaken from little Tobasco sized bottles, and was mustardy and delicious. The sides were so-so, but who cares (I'm convinced the potato salad is Reser's mustard potato salad, but that's OK, because Reser's is pretty good). We saw businessmen, farmer and rancher types, plenty of hispanic and black, all eating with their fingers - it was great (no such thing as forks or plates at City Market. You can cut your meat or slice your pickles with a plastic knife, and eat your beans with a plastic spoon, but no forks).
After stopping briefly at an outlet store in San Marcos we had a beautiful drive through Texas hill country, choosing smaller roads through Blanco and Luckenbach then into Fredericksburg at about 4 PM. Fredericksburg is a cute, if touristy town loaded with German restaurants. We passed, still full of brisket. The wife found plenty to buy there, but I can't imagine spending spending a night there. The whole town closes shop at 5 or 5:30 each day. We bought some juicy but not-very-sweet peaches and left town about 6 PM, arriving back in Lubbock about midnight. We were exhausted but very, very happy.