Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Snow on the ground, it's 10 degrees outside and I'm daydreaming of sitting out above the beautiful Guadalupe River at The Gristmill. We went often when we lived near Gruene, Texas. Friday nights the crowd would gather in the beer garden outside the 100 year old building. No one was in a rush, the night air was beginning to cool and the breezes would rustle the leaves above us. The daytime temps were near 100, but evenings in South Texas are pure Heaven with starry skies and a moon you felt like you could reach up and touch!

We would order a Shiner Bock or a sweet tea and visit with strangers who soon became buddies until our table was ready.

If you were lucky, you'd get a table along the railing and you could look down at the emerald green Guadalupe River just below you on the hillside.

The Gristmill had such charm that whether you ate inside or out, it was a real treat. The menu offered Texas size onion rings, country fried steak or Hill Country smoked meats. Gourmet to bar food, it was all delicious.

The sleepy little town of Gruene didn't have to brag about it's restaurants or it's history, everyone came to Gruene for it's charm.

And on a hot summer day, nothing but nothing can beat floating down the icy cold Guadalupe!

I recently found a wonderful website...
Good Taste with Tanji
Tanji Patton was a San Antonio news anchor and did a daily noontime show that I loved. She interviewed chefs from the area's many great restaurants and they shared their recipes. Her new website is full of those famous recipes along with regional favorites, restaurant reviews and even Texas wine country escapes. The following recipe for The Gristmill's Tomatillo Chicken is such a find! I used to order this when we would go on Friday nights. It's a fresh taste of Texas on a plate!

Gristmill’s Tomatillo Chicken
4 6-8 oz boneless chicken breasts
1 c White wine
1 c Vegetable oil
1 c Water
2 c Pinto or refried beans
1/4 c Cilantro, chopped
To start marinate four 6-8 ounce boneless chicken breasts in one cup white wine, one cup vegetable oil, one cup water and herbs and seasonings to your liking. Chicken should marinate at least 24 hours to absorb flavor. Blend 2 cups or one can of your favorite pinto or refried beans with a quarter cup of cilantro and heat in a sauce pan. Cook chicken in a skillet over medium high heat until cooked thoroughly. While cooking chicken, prepare tomatillo sauce.
1 lb Tomatillos, dehusked and rinsed well
1/2 Medium onion
2 Serrano peppers
1 clove Garlic
1 T Salt
2 T Lime juice, freshly squeezed
1/2 bunch Cilantro
Combine all ingredients except avocado in a food processor and puree until smooth. Add avocado and mix well. Spoon beans onto plates as a base for the chicken. Place chicken on top of beans. Top with tomatillo sauce and serve.
Print Recipe


  1. Recipe sounds delicious, and I will be giving it a try soon.

    My favorite hangout is the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite after a hike. If winter, in the bar with an Irish Coffee. If in the summer, out on the patio with an Alpenglow, basking in the sun and staring up at Glacier Point.

    That's living!

    Have a great day, Joycee. And remember, winter only has a couple of months to go.

  2. Camped out and rafted down the Guadalupe many times.

  3. O that sounds like such a great place to go..the wood floors there are so sound a good too! :D

  4. Joycee, I could just feel the breeze and taste the food! It's 20 here today. Your blog was a nice retreat!

  5. Those hardwood floors are the prettiest I've ever seen!!! I want to go there!
    Thanks for the new link....I love to have new ones to read!!! My list is getting so long, it's hard to cover them all in one sitting/ha

  6. Looks like a fabulous place to go - when it's warmer!

  7. I have been to Gruene, but hadn't thought about it in a very long while. Thanks for jogging my memory. Beautiful thoughts for a cold winter afternoon.

  8. Wow looks like my kind of place. I love all the wood, especially that beautiful picture of the inside and the floors.

    Great recipe too!

  9. What a great post. Your photos are amazing and the recipe is terrific. You've made me want to visit this place.

  10. Thanks for all you comments! Gruene was such a great place to go, lots of good restaurants, gift stores and antique stores. The beauty of Texas hill country surprised us!

  11. Nothing wrong with daydreaming! I would love to... haha..


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