Picnic at Zilker Park? Make Thom's your last stop.
Thom's Grocery1418 Barton Springs Rd., 479-9800
Monday-Saturday, 8am-10pm; Sunday, 10am-6pm
Bill and Beth Thom don't simply live life. They don't even just embrace life. It's more like they are so inspired and inspiring that they leap gleefully without parachutes into life. It has previously found expression in their polka-dot-festooned lawn of primary colors that enlivened their Brykerwoods neighborhood. It called them to take their kids out of school for a year and travel around the world in a boat. And from that experience and the food foraging that the trip required, it has led them to open a neighborhood grocery store on Barton Springs Road that's as cheerful and optimistic as the couple themselves. Housed in a formerly grim and grimy bait shop, the shop has been scrubbed and spiffed up and sports an enormous 19th century wooden counter, which began life in a grocery store in Pennsylvania. "I bought it on eBay sight unseen! My son and I rented a truck and took a cross-country drive to pick it up," Bill matter-of-factly and cheerfully explained. In some ways, this latest Thom venture is a natural evolution: Bill's grandparents were grocers, and the family's round-the-world expedition found them making meals out of what they could find in unusual ports of call. "You'd go into these little shops and grab a bit of this and a package of that and say, 'Okay! That's dinner!'" says Beth. At Thom's you can put together a tasty meal from the mostly local offerings of shelf stable and frozen foods. There's a modest but lovely offering of fresh produce, fresh dairy including local eggs, treats and snacks, and a choice beer and wine selection. It's the latest in a trend we enthusiastically applaud: the neighborhood grocer. Thom's Market is the best last-stop before you head into Zilker Park for a picnic or head home from the springs for dinner.