The big, orange building of the Chappell Hill Bakery and Deli stands out on the south side of Highway 290 in Chappell Hill, Texas, beckoning tired, hungry travelers to stop, rest, and most of all – eat exceptional food. To say that this family owned restaurant does barbecue and baked goods is like saying that a Ferrari is a metal thing that moves fast – a massive understatement. It is much more accurate to say that this wonderful place has the power to waylay passersby and stuff them with some of the most amazing food the lucky eaters have ever had.
The very first time I stopped at the Chappell Hill Bakery and Deli; the very instant that I stepped through the door, I thought ‘oh wow, this is going to be a great place to eat!’ It was the intoxicating aroma of barbecue that hit me first – the sweet, smoky smell of what I knew was going to be something special. As we walked in and that aroma swept over us, we walked past tables with happy customers eating lunch. Every plate looked inviting and delicious – each was piled high with various kinds of meat, potatoes, and vegetables. I was trying not to stare at people as they ate, but I couldn’t help it – the food all looked so incredibly appetizing.
Then I noticed that on the right side of the large serving counter, was a huge display of pies and other baked goods. Are you kidding me? They have homemade baked goods too?
Oh yes they do.
First things first though - as much as I love pie, I had to order lunch first. I stood there looking at the menu above the counter, and I could not decide what to eat. This was not fair – I only had time to stay for one meal. How am I going to pick just one thing, and still have room for desert? This is what a restaurant should be like – menu items that scream out ‘pick me!’ A restaurant should be a place where you know you’re going to get a great meal, no matter what you choose.
Finally, after careful deliberation, I ordered a plate of various smoked meats, along with potatoes and a vegetable. I’m reasonably certain that no matter what I had chosen, I would not have been disappointed. There was no chance that the food would be ordinary – not in this big, orange building. It was a full, satisfying meal, and I knew there was no way I would have room for pie. The rest of the family had the same problem, so we decided to buy a whole pie to take home.
It wasn’t just pies though – the display case was filled with trays of freshly baked kolaches. If you have never had a kolache, you have no idea what you are missing. These pastries, of Czech and Slovak origin, are very popular in Texas and for good reason. The Chappell Hill Bakery makes a stunning variety of these incredible treats, from ham and cheese, sausage, cream cheese and many different flavors of fruit fillings. You had better buy more than a dozen, just so you have some left by the time you get home. Besides the pie, we bought two dozen of our favorite kolaches.
By the time we arrived home, we were ready for desert; the pecan pie and kolaches did not last long. Just as with the barbecue, Chappell Hill baked goods are in a class by themselves.
Unfortunately, we live two hours from Chappell Hill, so we don’t have a chance to eat there very often. On the other hand, maybe that is a good thing – I could go broke just eating this food. If you get the chance to be anywhere near this place, look for the big orange building and prepare yourself to eat very well.
Chappell Hill Bakery and Deli
8900 Highway 290 East
Chappell Hill, Texas 77426