My recent whirlwind trip was precipitated by two celebrations – a wedding and a landmark birthday. Travel for almost any reason is a good thing, but when you get to travel for a celebration it’s even better. “My Friend Brian”, dear Friend Nanette’s son, married his sweetheart Krystal in charming Texas Hill Country style and Mom turned 70 on a weekend cruise out of Miami to the Bahamas (read a little about that here).
When I was growing up in New York, there was only ONE WAY to have a wedding “The Right Way”. You start with a ceremony at a church, proceed to the reception hall after pictures. Then there is an open bar cocktail hour, toast by the best man, dinner, cake and bouquet/garter ceremonies and then dancing and more drinking. Clean, simple and in that order every time. Thankfully that mold has been broken! Now there is so much more variety and happy couples can truly express themselves and make their wedding more about THEM and less about traditional trappings. In a gorgeous outdoor setting amid trees at Ruby Ranch, a converted hunting lodge one used by LBJ, I was treated to a Hill Country wedding and I am honored to have been included.
The Bride and her attendants wore cowboy boots beneath their dresses and there was a completely relaxed atmosphere among the bridal party and the guests that I have NEVER seen before. What a pleasant surprise to feel relaxed at a wedding instead of keyed up and stressed out! Of course at every wedding something goes wrong, but when it happened here, there was laughter, not tension. And then there was the food. If you know me AT ALL, you know that my least favorite type of cuisine is BBQ (I despise the sauce and most of the traditional sides) and no respectable Hill Country wedding would be complete without it. I will say Bill Miller’s smoked sausage was much better than I remembered. But the CAKE was the star of the food show here. Usually wedding cakes are all form and no function. They LOOK great and taste like shit. Not so here! Letty’s Sweets made a wonderful cake for cutting and light, moist, delicious cupcakes for everyone to enjoy. The buttercream was so LIGHT and filled with flavor it was nearly a revelation. All my best to My Friend Brian and Krystal for many happy years together.
And then there was more… Every Wednesday my pals in San Antonio bowl in the morning and then have lunch. The happiest change in the routine is that every now and then a new place opens and there is more variety. So is the case with Four Kings. I can’t say enough good things about Sandra and her team. Each and every thing I had was exceptional. House roasted meats for sandwiches, from scratch baked goods (including their sandwich breads and rolls) and homemade soups that made me wish I was there more than once. I rarely want to go back to Texas (you all know how much I love the west coast and Vegas), but this little lunch spot made me yearn for another trip soon. No website as yet, but you can follow along with them HERE!