Boerne Restaurants: Richter Tavern

Last night we went to Richter Tavern which, among Boerne restaurants, is one of the better in my opinion.

I gave them 4 stars out of 5, but they could easily get top marks with a couple tweaks. One of those could be accomplished in a single shift.

Front of house

Once you find out how to access Richter from the somewhat confused parking areas that are jigsawed together in this part of Boerne and down an arcade of stores, you’ll be glad you took the time. This upstairs restaurant and bar is spacious and airy. Soft lights give the space a glow.

We had to sit at the bar for dinner, which would have been fine if we hadn’t called 30 minutes earlier and the woman answering the phone took great effort just to tell me, “We are all reserved, but there might be some walk-in tables when you get here.” I had called to ask only, “Do you have dine-in?” I didn’t want the expectation for a table; it would have sufficed to hear, “We’re booked but you order from the bar; it’s lovely there” or some such. Then, when arrive, we might have learned a table would open up and be pleasantly surprised.

Front of house could have been tighter. Service is general was slow but polite and professional.

Food – Excellent

The meal was fantastic. And that’s mainly why anyone goes out to dinner, right? They say, “Dining is theater.” That’s a load of b.s. Dining is dining. You want great food at a good price. That makes it a good value.

I had the shrimp and grits—awesome. The grits got a little runny with the sauce and would slip through my fork, so I had to ask for a spoon. But I quickly realized that the change of utensils allowed me to enjoy every bite–it’s the kind of change Dad would have made. Polite diners don’t eat shrimp and grits with a spoon. But appreciative diners do. I didn’t want to eat the entire entree, though (I brought leftovers home), because I wanted to leave room for the cheesecake. (They never ask at the end of the meal, “Did you leave room for another $20 cocktail?”) The cheesecake, competent but not stellar, had a great graham cracker crust and was topped with mouth-watering macerated strawberry-rhubarb. The serving was appropriate for two.

My wife got a burger, which was great. Fries: great. I agree with another Google reviewer that the “ketchup,” while laudably from scratch, was more like cocktail sauce. Not good for burgers or fries. Go back to regular ketchup, Richter.

Reward the designated drivers

Finally, and speaking for other non-drinkers, Richter would do well to stock a couple sixes of NA beer. Even H‑E‑B has six feet worth of refrigerator space for different brands of NA beer, including some new IPAs, a category I never had the pleasure of trying before I got sober. Richter could get a six-pack of a couple brands and satisfy more customers. People return to restaurants, we all know, because the overall experience was excellent.

I’ll certainly go back to Richter, but the three things they could do to get that 5th star from me is better ketchup (the least important), NA beer and, most importantly, tighten the front of house.

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