An April 2003 trip
to Llano by benlacrosse
Quote: In the heart of Texas "hill country," this small town is a nice place to live or visit. During wildflower season, it's one of my favorite short road trips from Austin.
This unusual bed and breakfast is located on the bank of the Llano River, right by the Highway 71 bridge. It is a few yards from the quaint town square and looks like a 19th-century bank building. It was built in 1891 and was the First National Bank of Llano until 1898 when the "Iron Boom" of Llano was over and the bank closed. "Professor" N.J. Badu bought it at an auction and lived upstairs while he used the downstairs for various other purposes. Now it is a fine bed and breakfast with an excellent dining room.
The building's commercial-looking two-story granite exterior hasn't changed since the 1890's, but inside you'll find a warm, residential ambience. After entering through the pretty stained glass doors, you'll see a grand oak staircase. To the right is the Victorian dining room. There are six rooms and one suite with two bedrooms. All bedrooms or suites have private bathrooms. Authentic Victorian decor prevails throughout the house, including bath fixtures. A full breakfast is served daily.
I've stayed in the Kitty Badu Room, which was $90 a night. There were windows on two sides and the hill country views were nice. Some of the rooms have river views. The furnishings are comfortable and the decor warm, but the thing I like best about staying here is the dining room's delicious home-style Texas breakfast.
Check out the Badu House's website at www.baduhouse.com.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 17, 2003
The Badu House
Restaurant | "The Badu House Dining Room"
There is live music some weekends (musicians often come up from Austin) and the outdoor patio is perfect for dancing.
The dining room serves prepares homemade meals like steaks, shrimp, and grilled fish. Dinner is served Tuesday through Friday from 5pm to 9pm and until 10pm on weekends. If you're staying at The Badu House, you get a great big breakfast here too. The kitchen is also open for lunch from 11am to 1:30pm. If you are coming with a large group, make reservations.
When I am in Llano and I want a nice atmosphere and good grilled fish or other seafood, I come here to eat. I would even recommend coming in and ordering a glass of wine, just to see the place -- it's that pretty.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 17, 2003
The Badu House
Llano, Texas 78643
Coopers Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que is George Bush's favorite barbecue -- his ranch is fairly close. Their specialty is a one-pound pork chop, but he likes ribs.
Drive up and park in a dusty parking lot and see an awning covering a fenced area next to the rustic restaurant. Under this awning are about eight metal smoking boxes a mountain of wood. A guy will open a pit and let you pick your meat. They have sausage, brisket, chicken, any meat you can think of. Inside the restaurant, a second guy weighs the meat and charges you a "per pound" price. The meat is indescribably good. You certainly don't need a knife. Their sauce is very vinegary and thin -- and somehow better than the thick, ketchupy stuff you buy in the grocery store. While you're waiting for your meat to be cut and weighed, you can pick out a dessert or a side dish from the inside serving area. They have cobblers, slaw, etc. But guess what? Their delicious pinto beans are free. You take your meat and a drink to the indoor picnic-style tables, and dish up some beans and sauce, get some bread, pickles, and onions, and try not to make a total pig of yourself. There are apt to be all sorts of people inside, from leather-clad motorcyclists to suited business types.
They are open Monday through Thursday from 10am to 7pm and Friday through Sunday till 8pm. They were ranked by Texas Monthly magazine as one of the Big Three in Texas Bar-B-Que.
If people in Austin know you're going to go to Coopers, they'll try to get you to bring some back. They do sell by mail and if you order by mail, here's the best way to heat it. It comes in heavy duty shrink-wrapped plastic. Poke a hole in the plastic and pour on some of their sauce (a free bottle comes with any mail order), and heat it just until warm.
You can take your food with you and eat it at home, but if you try to eat it in your car, you are going to get something on your clothes, for sure. The good thing about eating it at home is that nobody is watching you pig out! The good thing about eating it there is you don't have to drive home with that good smell in your car, making you want to pull off the road and eat in the car. It's that good!
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 17, 2003
Coopers Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que
505 W. Dallas Street
Llano, Texas 78643
austin, United States