If you live in Austin or San Antonio, you might think that the best place to eat pancakes on a Sunday morning in Central Texas would be at Kerbey Lane Cafe, or Magnolia Pancake Haus. You would be wrong. The best place to eat pancakes (possibly the best place to eat breakfast) on a Sunday morning in Central Texas is at the Chess Club Café in Blanco. I’ve eaten breakfast several times at the aforementioned establishments and their pancakes just do not compare to those at the Chess Club Cafe. I don’t know what makes the pancakes at the Chess Club taste so good. Maybe it’s because chef and owner Steve Becker prepares them from scratch in a cast iron skillet on a circa 1990’s 4 burner gas stove which looks like it could have been purchased at the nearest Salvation Army store. Maybe it’s because I don’t have to wait for 45 minutes to an hour with 2 kids under the age of 5 to get a table if we get there after 9 am. So, you can imagine my disappointment this morning, when we rolled into the parking lot of flapjack heaven to find the lot completely empty and see a write and wipe board propped up on a chair with the following message:
If you are not familiar with the A&E reality TV show Duck Dynasty, which follows the life and times of the Robertson Family of Monroe, Louisiana who made their fortune on their “Duck Commander” duck call, you can get a “taste” of it from the following YouTube clip here.
My Mom, my travel companion for the day who regularly watches the show, could totally understand the logic of this choice and her opinion of Steve was not tarnished in the least. All I could think was only in Texas would this happen. Trust me, I have lived in Texas my whole life and have had many “only in Texas” moments, but this one may have taken the cake, or the pancake, to be more specific.
After finding more than adequate, alternative nourishment at Uptown Blanco, we went on to the house to see that they’ve stained the western red cedar siding on the southern exposure of the house, pretty much finished the plywood wall installation, and installed the cabinetry in the kitchen and office nook.
You might notice a suspicious lack of upper cabinets in the kitchen and that nearly all the base cabinets have drawer stacks. This was done intentionally. If you are a petite person who can’t reach the upper shelf without a step, the ergonomics of this arrangement makes more sense. It costs a little more to put mostly drawer stacks in the base cabinets. However, the advantage of drawers over doors is more accessible storage. Getting down on your hands and knees to fish something out of the back of a dark cabinet is a real time-waster when you’re trying to prepare a meal. The flanking cabinets will house a built-in microwave and double ovens and a counter-depth refrigerator. The cook top and pop-up vent will be located under the window, and the sink and dishwasher will be located in the island. A stainless steel pot rack will be hung on the wall in between the window and the oven tower. The color of the cabinets is Sherwin-Williams Sierra Redwood.
There is also a suspicious lack of upper cabinets in the kitchen at the Chess Club Cafe as well as a lack of luxury commercial appliances. Everything is out in the open, and it’s a one man show which results in some excellent homemade food, a kitchen design and cooking style every home chef could learn from. It doesn’t really matter what your kitchen looks like, it’s what you do in there that counts.