Friday, June 11, 2010

Hempstead Texas in One Day

Yesterday was a great day to be in Texas.  My Bride and I have been itching to make our way over to Hempstead, Texas to get watermelons and visit an orchard or two, but the weather has not been cooperating.  The weather report came back a 70% chance of thunderstorms – but scattered, so we gambled and made the drive.  It was a good choice.

Hempstead is roughly 75 miles from Baytown and all things considered (like the ongoing Houston roads SNAFU) the drive can be made in about an hour and a half.  The terrain rapidly changes from the flats of the Gulf Coast to gently rolling tree covered hills and just beautiful.

Our main target was the Dilorio Farms & Roadside Market and they did not let us down.  We purchased about 15 pounds of dried peas and beans of various types for cooking later (Brown Rice, Garbanza, Pinto, Black, Great Nothern, Speckled Butter, Red potatos, and yellow split peas) – and 5 watermelons. 

My Bride graciously allowed me to search for six geocaches in the area also and I made quick work of them to keep us from becoming side-tracked from all the other places we wanted to visit and still beat the Houston traffic jam on the way back.  I was fortunate enough to get my photo next to the Big Shovel.

We became hungry after looking at all the produce at Dilorio’s so we went searching for a local café, not wanting to eat at a food mill.  Heading west on Business 290, we turned left of 13th street and headed towards the Blue Bonnet Herb Farms and to our pleasant surprise, the Garden Café’ and Brazos Bakery!  I highly recommend this place.

This small tearoom has amazing and friendly service and delicious healthy food.  I ordered jalapeno cheese soup and my Bride, the Garden Café’ Trio (chicken salad, house salad, & fruit).  We chased it all with delicious Texas tea.  She is determined to make a field trip with her lady friends very soon.  We also bought some herbs for our garden at the Blue Bonnet Herb Farm.  Great little nursery!

Our next destination was the Texas famous Chappell Hill Sausage Company and it was further west on Hwy 290.  This is where their delicious products are made and they have a public butcher shop and restaurant also.  We bought two very thick rib-eye steaks, a jalapeno and cornbread stuffed whole chicken (frozen) and a pound of delicious rat-trap cheese, pinto bean seasoning – and 3 homemade oatmeal cookies!

Turning around, we drove east on Hwy 290 looking for the turn-off to E&B Orchards – our next stop, but along the way, I had to have my photo taken next to the Big Chicken, which actually sets alongside the road at a ranch gate.  Just think how many starving Ukrainians a chicken this size could feed!

Following the signs, we made the scenic drive to E&B orchards and along the way, I made a turtle rescue.  As I was walking back to the car, my Bride witnessed 3 deer run across the road behind me.  This is what is so wonderful about field trips and something that can’t be experienced sitting on the couch in front of the television.

Arriving at the orchard, we followed the simple directions and picked blackberries, nectarines and yellow flesh peaches, all of which are sold by the pound.  We topped off the trip with a cup of fresh blackberry and peach ice cream, which honestly was a pint-sized and difficult to finish off – but we did.  A beautiful day and time well spent and I am including addresses and web site links so you too can make the trip. 

DiIorio Farms and Roadside Market
750 Highway 290 East
Hempstead, Tx 77445    

Bluebonnet Herb Farms
2015 13th Street, Hempstead, Tx 77445,

Garden Café’ and Brazos Bakery
2105 13th Street Hempstead, Tx 77445

E and B Orchards
28268 Clarke Bottom Road
Hempstead, Tx 77445-8894
(979) 826-6303


Linda said...

This looks like so much fun, thanks for showing this and being our own "Baytown Country Reporter". We will have to go there and check it out after seeing this.

connie said...

Awesome. I would love to take that trip!

Baytown Bert said...


*the melons were divided up and we kept 2.

Anonymous said...

Fun read, Bert. when i was with jack fields, we had that area -- or at least we had to go through some of it -- in our congressional district. i loved it up there, particularly Brenham. JF

Susan Cummings said...

I've enjoyed the Dilorio Farms produce many times.Now I have two other stops to make when I visit Hempstead. Thanks, Bert!

PS, I'm jealous of your photo with the chicken.

Natalie said...

What a FUN day!! I LOVES me some Chappel Hill sausage... One day when I get all these kids grown, sounds like a place to visit.

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