Mosaic Garden Treasures, 143 E. Vaughn St. in Bertram, is full of vintage items and locally made goods, including those from the friendly owner and her grandchildren. Staff photo by Alecia Ormsby
Bertram is a small-town Texas dynamo, brimming with great food, treasured shops, and specialty spirits.
After visiting Bertram to try decadent saint, a distillery that produces fruity, extra-hard blenders, I was interested in returning to the quaint town in the beautiful Hill Country. My day started at one of my favorite types of restaurants, Donut More on East Vaughn Street, or Texas 29 for those passing by. I love Czech donuts and kolaches, the latter being part of my family’s heirloom. The Louisiana-style blood sausage-filled kolache I tried hit the nail on the head. The sausage and cheese were wrapped in a sweet kolache batter. While I was being served, cars lined up in the store’s drive-thru – obviously a popular spot.
Shopping always calls when visiting a new city, and Bertram has plenty of places to browse. For the most demanding tastes, Trendy small town shop has the cutest dresses, hats and shoes. You can also find something for the little ones.
If you are “arranging” a patio, a kitchen or a garden, enter the freshness of Mosaic Garden Treasures. The friendly owner and her grandchildren design and manufacture most of the items in the store. She creates glassware and gives classes to instruct others in this art. Her granddaughters make delicate earrings and necklaces.
Antiques abound in Bertram at The red rooster with its fine selection of furniture, collectibles, jewelry and interior accents. You are sure to find a cherished piece for your home or business.
If you’re a Bargain Betty like me, check out the Bertram Library Thrift Storelocated next to the library at 140 N. Gabriel St. It’s a huge warehouse of merchandise, including furniture, clothing for all ages, children’s items, household items, books, and just about anything you will find in a department store!
A treat is earned after all these purchases, and The Texas Pecan Cake Shop, right next to the Bertram Library, offers just that. I was given a free sample on entry and ended up buying the vanilla pecan praline cake.
A creative couple started the shop with Mom’s recipe in 2016. They entered and won first place in the HEB Quest for Texas recipe competition in 2017. Made with lots of Goldwaithe pecans, the cake is an amazing Texas treat .
In the afternoon, you have the choice of drinks. Flanigan’s Texas Distillery and Winery led the way with tastings of its products.
Potato moonshine, corn whiskey and grape grappa are delicious drinks. Texas American Gothic was my favorite. Chardonnay, red and white blends, a red table wine and an atypical tannat complete the wine list.
Creative homemade sandwiches, meat dishes and breads are served from a menu that changes daily. Owners Dana and Kevin Flanigan plan to open a cafe on the grounds.
For entertainment, historical Globe Theater airs classic films on Friday nights in the summer and hosts live music, special events and private parties year-round. Built in 1935, it can accommodate nearly 250 people on two levels and has a stage and a dance floor.
The town of Bertram holds special events several times a year. The last weekend in April brings the Art, Wine and Herb Festivaland Labor Day weekend includes the oat party. The event is a big party that takes place in Bertram and the nearby small town of Oatmeal with a parade, oatmeal baking contests, performances and vendors.
Holiday gatherings include Halloween Downtown in October and Country Christmas on the first Saturday in December. That’s a lot of activity for a small town of less than 2,000 people. Bertram really comes alive at weekends with its constantly open shops, restaurants and bars.
The charming town of Bertram has friendly locals who greeted me with a smile. They shared so many pieces of history that kept me coming back for more food, drink, shopping, festivals and stories.
IF YOU ARE GOING TO
317 E.Vaughan St.
Donuts and coffee, tacos, smoothies and sandwiches for breakfast or lunch.
El Rancho Mexican Restaurant
535 Texas 29 East
Mexican cuisine inspired by Jalisco for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
240 Texas 29 West
Authentic Italian pizzas on site, to take away or on delivery.
Hill Country Smokehouse
525 Texas 29 East
Meat, meat and more meat with tacos, burgers, salads and sides.
102 Castleberry CT.
Classic American cuisine for breakfast and lunch; dinner on Monday evening only.
The Texas Pecan Cake Shop
170 N. Gabriel Street
Award-winning pecan cakes that melt in your mouth.
Trendy small town shop
163 E.Vaughan St.
Stylish clothing and accents for men, women and children.
The red rooster
260 Texas 29 West
Antiques galore! Carefully grown and displayed.
Bertram Library Thrift Store
140 N. Gabriel Street
Wall-to-wall selection of everything AND the kitchen sink.
Mosaic Garden Treasures
143 E.Vaughan St.
Creative works produced locally with some vintage objects.
3547 Texas 29 West
Mouthwatering extra hard mixers served in an attractive space.
Flanigan’s Texas Distillery and Winery
330 N. Lampasas Street
Sample wine and spirits in an early 1900s building and former movie set.
The Globe Theater
132 W. Vaughan Street
Summer movies and live music in a renovated art deco theater.
7345 FM 243 West in Gruau
A gem of a venue for a wedding, family reunion or business event.
Bertram Flyer Deposit
170 S. Gabriel Street
The 1912 depot is a stopover for a 44-mile vintage train ride.
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