Friday, November 14, 2014

Kicking Up Our Heels At Hill Top Cafe

The last night we were in Fredericksburg we went to the Big Band
Bash at the Hill Top Cafe.  Hill Top is "inconveniently located in the
middle of nowhere".  I do believe that quote is attributed to it's owner
Johnny Nicholas and his wife Brenda.

Actually, Hill Top is only about 10 miles north of Fredericksburg on
route 87.  It's well worth the  drive for the food, the music and the
eclectic ambience.  Hill Top has been wowing it's patrons since 
1980 with their mix of greek, cajun and Texas cuisine.  The pies
are legendary.  I had the warm blackberry cobbler with a scoop of
Blue Bell vanilla ice cream.  Heaven on a plate!  This little vintage
former gas station turned cafe has received accolades from Zagat,
Texas Monthly and Southern Living.  

 I knew we had to visit this cafe while in Fredericksburg and
we timed it just right because the last night of our stay was the
first night of the Big Band Bash to raise money for college 
scholarships for Fredericksburg performing arts students and to help
them buy band instruments and funding to attend workshops.  So
we drove up the day before and reserved our table.

Now Johnny was a member of Asleep at the Wheel, so we knew we
were in for a treat.  He joined the group in 1978, but in 1980 he and
his wife Brenda packed up and bought an old gas station, turned it into
a family business and raised three sons.  So for thirty four years they
have cooked and performed for many happy customers in their 
charming restaurant filled with memorabilia.

Click on the clip below to hear Johnny sing 
John the Revelator.

As a girl who was born and raised just outside of Chicago,
I must tell you that the Blues live in my soul, so Johnny's music
is an elixir for me.  Y'all remember the movie the Blues Brothers?
I have watched that movie so often I know every line, every song.
I used to have an enormous crush on John Belushi.  Not everyone's
heart throb, but he was mine.  That's a story for a whole other 
blog post ;-)

Oh, and for those of you unfamiliar with Asleep at the Wheel,
here is a youtube clip to put you up to speed:

Of course y'all know that Austin has a huge music
scene, so from time to time expect me to put y'all in
the picture.  

Well, getting back to the Big Band Bash, there was a 
surprise guest of the evening ~ and it was Augie Meyers
from The Texas Tornados.  Don't worry, I did not know 
who he was either.  However, he gave us a great show and
had me tapping my cowgirl boots heels and clapping my
hands in no time.  Here is one of his hits ~
Hey Baby Que Paso

I do believe that music is the universal language and
has the ability to improve our spirit.  I know this for sure
because of my own family history.  My Mom's daddy was
named John.  Sadly, I never knew him because he died 
long before I was born.  John was gifted with the ability to
play any kind of instrument.  He played the piano and the 
violin with such passion he could bring a room full of people 
to tears.  At least that's the story.  Well his own mom (she
would be my maternal great grandmother) was quite a diva.
There were times when she would "take to her bed" and 
summon the whole family to have one last visit.  Then she
would say "Johnny, play something for your dear Mama".
Well, John knew his mama quite well and had the solution 
to her hypochondria.  He would obey her dying wish, but 
instead of playing something somber, he would start playing
something really lively because he knew she would be up
and out of bed dancing in not time.  Apparently it worked
every time!

It sure was a fun evening.  I listened to some performers I never
heard before and widened my music knowledge.  I hope y'all
have a fun weekend.  Do something you have never done before
or try a different restaurant or just hang out at home and play
your favorite music.  The important message here is to take
some time to have some fun!

And if you should be in the Texas Hill Country some day
soon and are anywhere near Fredericksburg, check out 
Johnny and Brenda's cafe.  Here is the link:

Have the gumbo it was delicious and the Greek chicken too
and don't forget the pie!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley


  1. Oh, I can almost taste that pie with the ice cream!

  2. Hi Susan....The clips were great! Really good music. Loved the story about your Granddad, too and his Mama. Hope you have a nice weekend , too. Have fun! Susan

  3. What a FUN place to visit. The music is great too and I SO agree that music is a universal language. I must post another song on my blog again soon!

    Thanks for sharing your post at this week's Say G'day Linky Party!

    Best wishes,
    Natasha in Oz


Bentley and I LOVE and read every comment.


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