We began our "favorite things" posts as musings with no grand plan, but we have one more favorite thing to add and, as it turns out, we had 8 favorite things. This will be our last post for 2008, so to recap and cap off we present The Babble's 8 Favorite Things in Dripping Springs in 2008 :
#2-8 (in no particular order)...
THE BIG DRIP'S SAUSAGE & CHEESE KOLACHES
The Big Drip is not just ice cream and sweets; they open every morning at 7:00AM with fresh-brewed coffee and the best savory kolaches we've ever had. The sausage and cheese to bread ratio is perfect. There are no superfluous bready bites just to get to the stars of the kolache show, rather the snap of the sausage and ooze of the cheese is immediate. And, speaking of the sausage, it's sliced in a clever fashion to also give complete side-to-side coverage (again, perfecting the ratio).
Elizabeth McIntosh and her landscaper husband John have created a colorful and charming oasis on the grounds of Rolling in Thyme & Dough with their beautiful nursery, Bloom. Thanks to Bloom, our own gardens bloomed beautifully this year as Elizabeth patiently helped us choose the right plants for our respective homes (and we love her deer resistance scale).
CHICKEN MOUSSE RAVIOLI @ CREEK ROAD CAFE
We remember with great excitement when we first saw the Creek Road Cafe sign go up at the former Orgeron's location. We liked the local-vibe name and the simple, but country-hip, look of the sign; once inside, we were not disappointed by the new, soothing, muted colors and use of local photographs. But what about the food? We've become at least semi-regulars and have yet to be disappointed. While we could wax poetic over the spicy shrimp dish with sausage and cheese grits, we're dedicating this 2008 memory to their refined (not fussy) ravioli stuffed with chicken mousse, dressed with a cream sauce, and finished with chopped pistachios.
HARRISON RANCH PARK
Early in 2008, the City of Dripping Springs acquired Harrison Ranch Park, located directly across from Dripping Springs Elementary School off of RR 12. The 64 acre property, on rolling Hill Country land complete with charming farmhouse (wrap-around porch, no less), should prove to be a real boon for the Dripping Springs community and culture. In November, the City hosted Wines, Sunsets, & Stars, a tasting of local wines, and the City's inaugural event held at the park. We look forward to similar events at the park in 2009.
CHICKEN FAJITA TACOS @ DRIPPING'S ORIGINAL FLORES
Thinking back on our favorite things, they're clearly, umm, food-focused. Indeed, it was a bit of a stress-eating year, but thanks to several Dripping establishments that eating was no dull, mindless endeavor. A consistent (at least twice a week) standby was "chicken fajita taco with pico and cheese, please" at Dripping's original Flores in the green and yellow taco shack (not the new restaurant by Kirby Springs). Their breakfast tacos are also the best we've ever had, but we could not have survived lunchtime in 2008 without those chicken fajita tacos. The chicken is tender and perfectly spiced, the cheese is mild and melty, and the pico is fresh and crisp. Wrap it all in a soft, flour tortilla, drizzle a little red sauce, drizzle a little green sauce, and take the perfect bite.
Dripping's original Flores is located at 920 W Highway 290.
PAIN AU CHOCOLAT (AKA CHOCOLATE DANISH) @ ROLLING IN THYME AND DOUGH
In February we were lucky enough to once again visit Paris, France, where our strolls along the Seine and through awe-inspiring cathedrals were interrupted only by lingering repasts at cozy cafes. Every morning was begun with a stop at a patisserie for "un café et pain au chocolat". But, interestingly enough, no Parisian pain au chocolat could match the perfect balance of flaky, buttery pastry and rich, silky chocolate being turned out right here in Dripping Springs at Rolling in Thyme & Dough. The little sign in their pastry case may declare it a "chocolate danish", but a rose by any other name is still our favorite pain au chocolat in the world.
DRIPPING SPRINGS BABBLE READERS
Thanks to all of you who read the Babble and who have given us such words of encouragement. Thanks to everyone who sends news tips (and please keep them coming!) We love living in Dripping Springs and talking about Dripping Springs, so thanks for listening! We wish everyone the happiest and healthiest 2009.
UPDATE 2009: We started at 8, but changed our mind on one. So those were 7 of of our favorite things in 2008.