Lost Pines Road Trip
A small town that's big on food: Dining in Bastrop
The grand opening celebration doesn’t officially happen until Labor Day weekend, but a brand-new concept is already marking a potential shift in how foodies regard Bastrop.
The Bastrop Brewhouse at 601 Chestnut opened its doors for the first time on Aug. 17, and it's already a potential destination restaurant for out-of-towners.
Boasting a locavore-leaning menu (evident from the “Eat Local/Drink Local” sign out front), an in-house microbrewery that will be showcased alongside beers, wines, and spirits from the area (including Smithville-based Bone Spirits, featured in our recent slide show of Smithville), the brewery contains a network of riverside decks and a live-music-friendly stage with the Old Iron Bridge and the Colorado River as a particularly picturesque backdrop.
According to owner Michael Candelario, making it local was a key part of the plan in converting the restaurant formerly known as the Yacht Club into the Bastrop Brewhouse. He notes that all the contractors and construction workers who transformed the space, as well as the bar staff and wait staff he’s hired, hail from Bastrop.
While the Brewhouse brings a new dimension to what Bastrop offers its visitors, it's far from the city’s only culinary option. Restaurants in the downtown core include:
Baxters on Main (919 Main Street): A perennial favorite in the Bastrop Advertiser’s Best of Bastrop annual readers' poll, Baxters labels itself a “casual fine dining” restaurant, with certified Angus beef, fresh seafood, and chef’s specialties like bison scallopini and Texas farm-raised lamb chop among the showcase selections.
Cedar's Mediterranean Grill (904 College Street): Taking the Mediterranean concept fully to heart, this merger of two restaurants places Italian and Lebanese food side by side with results that make it a local favorite. If it’s lunchtime and you’re feeling a little on the daring side, consider the enticingly named Death by Garlic sandwich.
Deli Depot (1006 Main Street): Billing itself as a “homestyle bakery and coffee shop,” Deli Depot has been a Bastrop go-to since 1996. Known primarily as a breakfast and lunch spot, Deli Depot offers free cake with daily specials, as well as some of the best baked goods in town — all in an atmosphere owing much to vintage Coca-Cola paraphernalia.
Hasler Brothers Steak House (931 Main Street): This downtown Bastrop favorite, as its name suggests, specializes in steaks — and it’s reminiscent of urban steakhouses, with class-it-up touches like a piano bar, while maintaining the small-town Bastrop charm.
Stories, inside the Hyatt Lost Pines resort, is a bit of a drive from downtown Bastrop but worth it for the experience as well as the food. It boasts a gourmet menu including Niman Ranch steaks and lamb, Texas game options including wild boar and antelope, a buffalo burger served with truffle fries and foie gras, and an extensive wine list including wine flight options.
Yes, Bastrop is a small town that's big on food. Other downtown Bastrop restaurants of note include Le Roux Cajun & Seafood Restaurant (912 Main, specializing in Cajun-style seafood), Maxine’s on Main (905 Main, rated one of The 40 Best Small-Town & Breakfast Cafes in Texas by Texas Monthly 2008 & 2011), Anita’s Café, Ramos Restaurant and Margie’s Place (a trio of restaurants featuring tasty Mexican food options), the Olde World Bakery & Café (601D Chestnut, with scones, pastries, and sandwiches among its bakery-fresh options), the Grace Miller (706 Pine Street, famed for its chicken-fried steak), Cindy’s Downtown (931 Main Street, a sports bar with solid pub fare that adjoins Hasler Brothers), and Jax Hut (1002 College Street, known for its jalapeno burgers and fried shrimp baskets).