Hill Country Food and Wine Guide
The Antlers Hotel (16)
Railroad crossing in Kingsland, off Hwy. 1431
915/388-4411 or 800/383-0007 Wed-Sun, 11am-2pm, 5-10pm
The Antlers opened in 1901 as a resort hotel for patrons of the Austin & Northwest Railroad who were eager to vacation in the Hill Country. The hotel was sold in 1923 and remained a private building for 70 years. After three years of extensive renovations by Austinites Barbara and Dennis Thomas, the 15-acre property now includes the hotel, guest cottages, two brightly painted train caboose cabins, and a country store/conference facility on the shores of Lake LBJ. Guests can enjoy water sports on the lake, explore nearby Longhorn Caverns or Enchanted Rock, embark on the Vanishing Texas River Cruise to view bald eagles (November-March) or wildflowers (April-June), sample the vintages at Hill Country wineries, play golf at one of the seven public courses in the area, or peruse the many antique shops. Austin visitors to the Antlers are likely to run into an old friend as congenial former Mike & Charlie's proprietor Jay Littlepage runs the lovely old hotel these days.
Kingsland Old Town Grill (17)
1010 King Street, 915/388-2681
Wed-Sun, 11am-2pm, 5-10pm
After more than 20 years in the steakhouse business, retired Coleman restaurateur Noreta Fenton relocated to this thriving Highland Lakes community three years ago to create a new restaurant. Fenton's operation is located in a carefully restored Victorian home across the street from the restored Antler's Railroad Hotel. Her home cooking menu offers steaks, catfish, fried shrimp, salads, and burgers and is a big hit with locals and travelers alike.