So you know those times you happen upon a restaurant that surprisingly has gluten-free options? Like maybe you were just going out for a drink with a friend, or invited to an acquaintances birthday party dinner thinking you weren’t going to eat? Well Hay’s City Store was one of those places for me.
Pre-quarantine I was going with my friend to visit her mom and step-dad in Wimberley. She did not really tell me what our plans were once we got there so I had eaten some beforehand. Once we got there they were just arriving from church and wanted lunch. So we headed over to Hay’s City Store.
I would also like to say that Wimberley is a very fun small town to visit outside of Austin. If you have a chance and want to get out of the big city they have some whimsical small shops, wineries, and restaurants. It is a fun place to hang out for a day.
I had seen the restaurant many times as it is on the route my friend and I take to visit her family. It has a bit of an old time-y feel in some ways. We sat outside because we had my friend’s dog and it was just a beautiful day outside. Outside they had lots of picnic benches with some blankets on the tables to cover your legs if needed. This is something I really appreciate. When it starts getting warm I get over excited and often find myself cold because I’m wearing shorts. Am I the only one that does this?
Along with the outdoor seating they also had a small stage. During our visit they had a musician playing, and from what I was told they have bands playing pretty regularly. It was fun listening to live music while eating and hanging out with my friend and her family. The best part was that it was not overwhelmingly loud or obnoxious. They had the volume at a good level so people could still visit with their friends and family that they were dining with.
There were also other forms of entertainment at the restaurant. This included corn hole, and a fire pit. I had not played corn hole in a while, but playing again was fun. It brought back fun memories of graduation parties and participating in a corn hole league in college! Lastly they have an outdoor bar. We ordered drinks to the table, so I did not take a good look at the bar. But it did look well stocked and like it would be a fun hang out place on a weekend with friends.
I only went inside to go to the bathroom, but did not spend too much time taking in the scenery. I am just someone who prefers eating outside if possible, and not like a thousand degrees outside. I am sure eating inside would be nice if that is what you prefer.
The food I enjoyed at the Hay’s City Store was as great as the environment.
First we started with drinks because it is fun to share a drink with your friends. I strayed from my norm a bit by getting a watermelon margarita. I normally am a traditional margarita kinda gal, but thought it would be fun to shake it up a bit. To be honest it was a good margarita, but the watermelon part was not my favorite. Despite that I am happy I gave it a try.
So now the real good part…the actual food. Looking at the menu I did not see anything about gluten-free options. The location is a bit out there so that did not surprise me. Austin is pretty good with labeling food allergens, but outside the city limits can sometimes get iffy.
I was planning on getting a hamburger without a bun. A relatively safe option at most places. As I was ordering the waitress asked if I wanted a gluten-free bun. It took me by surprise, but I was excited as I don’t often eat burgers on buns. Sometimes it really is the little things that make all the difference. And I jumped on that offer to have a gluten-free bun. Unfortunately the fries were not celiac safe, but the waitress went through the side options with me. I ended up getting beans, not very exciting, but safety first always.
It took a bit for the food to come out because they were turning over the kitchen between brunch and lunch. Once we got our food we chowed down. It was a flavorful experience. I was impressed. The burger itself was the best part of the meal. It seemed that they use quality meat which is crucial. The gluten-free bun was good and it was nice that I could eat with my hands like everyone else. It was not the best gluten-free bun I have ever had, but again it did the trick. The beans were beans. I enjoyed them, they weren’t anything too special. It was an excellent meal. Despite going in not too hungry I am glad I chose to eat.
Going to the Hay’s City Store I was a bit skeptical. I did not know much about it, and did not have any time to really check out reviews online. I was going to go and sit with my friend and her family whether or not I ended up eating. But I was pleasantly surprised that there were safe options for me, including a gluten-free bun. I enjoyed my experience at the Hay’s City Store and if you are around Wimberley, or want to get out of Austin I would suggest giving it a try.