Liberty Burger | Ingram, Texas

An attractive female friend told me with a laugh, when I once asked her who her ideal date would be, “Well, I definitely wouldn’t want him to be as good looking as me.”

Point made. Two bright lights leave no room for sparkle.

And so it is with the stuffed pork loin and mashed potatoes at Liberty Kitchen in Ingram, Texas (now called Liberty Burger, Ingram). The mashed potatoes are good — really good as far as mashed potatoes go — but the real star is the stuffed pork loin…that’s worth writing home about.

Liberty Kitchen Ingram TX
Pork loin stuffed with all sorts of goodness
If you’re looking for a good restaurant in Ingram, Texas, make your way to the restaurant that used to be on Kerrville’s Earl Garrett Street, re-branded itself, and moved in with our cowboy neighbor to the north.

Getting to Liberty Kitchen, driving to Ingram or online

The only tricky part of Liberty Kitchen is getting there.

ONLINE

If you Google “Liberty Kitchen,” you may see something about the former Heritage Kitchen.

You’re in the right place. It moved from Earl Garrett north to Ingram, re-branded and opened in a new space that has an outdoor covered patio and indoor dining area, which is decorated with original impressionist artwork. I seem to recall a skylight or two. Bottom line: a pleasant dining room. I haven’t been to any other restaurants in Ingram, but I can’t imagine there being many more as comfortable as Liberty Kitchen.

The best way to get details on operating hours is Facebook. It has all the information you need, plus mouth-watering photos.

GETTING THERE IN A CAR (AS OPPOSED TO WALKING, WHICH IS NOT RECOMMENDED BETWEEN APRIL AND OCTOBER)

If you’re driving down from the Hunt side, look for it on the right, just before TX-39 merges with TX-27 at the light. From the south, it’s a bit tricky.

As you approach the light at the split of 27 and 39, stay to your left and slow down. It’s going to be a quick left after that set of storefronts on your left and down a white gravel driveway and around back. Once you’re parked, you’re home free. Once inside and eating, you’ll want to stay for the next meal.

Goodness. Gracious.

I’ve had two lunches there in the past week: a hamburger with side salad and the stuffed pork loin with mashed potatoes.

“WANT A BURGER WITH THAT WATER?”

First meal was lunch when Liberty was still closed to inside dining. It was takeout only. I ordered in front and, because I had to sit on the bench outside, was asked whether I’d like something to drink. I was informed that Chef Matt wanted me to be comfortable. (Dontcha love small towns.) I said water would be fine.

Folks: this is like triple-filtered straight-from-the-Heart-of-Mother Earth water, I was told. It was indeed fresh and slaked the thirst on a very hot afternoon. But the takeaway from this takeout episode is that Liberty Kitchen thinks through details like that. The service is uber-humane, and even the water is good. How many of you limestone liquid slurpers would like to have amazing water with your meals?

The burger was seasoned well, tasty, and juicy, perhaps not as well-done as I would have liked for ordering it “well done.” But great nonetheless. The bun was slightly browned-to-acceptably-burned at the crown, which I happen to like. Gives it an outdoor grilled feel. The side salad came with a mango-based balsamic dressing that was stellar. It made the greens dance like they’d showed up at Crider’s on a Saturday night.

My lunch today. Goodness, gracious.

THE PORK LOIN

I have to copy this from their Instagram account because I’d never remember it even after reading it directly:
Roasted poblano, garlic, breadcrumbs, and cream cheese stuffed pork loin over our signature mashed potatoes drizzled with a tequila lime cream sauce.

Their next line is, “Texas cuisine never tasted so good.” Frankly, it would be hard to find New York City cuisine that did either.

I’ll get to the pork loin in a minute.

The mashed potatoes were uniform and competent. I say this because now looking at their Instagram, I realize that they weren’t drizzled with that tequila lime sauce. Even a 25-year sober alcoholic like me wouldn’t mind a little tequila reduction once in a while. So they were dry, but still quite tasty.

Liberty Kitchen Ingram TX
Nice crunch on the fat

And this is where you need one dance partner who can hold their own, and one who wears the cutoff jean shorts with boots and a silver-and-turquoise necklace.

The pork loin. This is the one you bring home to the family.

The cream sauce was on top of the pork, so perhaps this was supposed to be more drippy around the potatoes, and it was indeed good. The pork was juicy and cooked perfectly. Definitely not undercooked like many of us worry about at home, and not overcooked to the point of being — as my wife likes to call it — wood. (As occasionally happens at home. Not that often, mind you, but it happens.) There was thin layer of fat around the meat, and it was browned nicely, giving it a satisfying, salty crunch.

When I finally pushed back my plate, which had two bites of pork left and probably five forkfuls of potatoes, I felt bad, because I didn’t want to waste any. But I also had back-to-back-to-back phone calls coming up and a nap was out of the question.

Someone bring me my blankie!

One of the best restaurants in Kerrville (or close enough)

There’s a covered side patio that juts out from the dining room, which had ~4-5 booths and about 8 tables. Patio looked to have another 6-8 tables.

The best part of the patio is that its “walls” are slats that provide plenty of natural ventilation. It’s covered, as mentioned above, and it’s also set back from the street, behind the buildings adjacent to Liberty Kitchen, so any diners there won’t be looking out at traffic or smelling exhaust. (There are more than a handful of diesel trucks traveling this route.)

If you live in Hunt, Kerrville or, heck, San Antonio, treat yourself to this oasis in Ingram, Texas.

Be sure to give me any leftovers you don’t finish.

REVIEW SUMMARY

Jacob Cromwell “Old West shot glasses

FOOD | 10/10

SERVICE | 9/10

ATMOSPHERE | 9/10

PARKING, LOGISTICS | 6/10

OVERALL KICKASS-ERY | 10/10

Go.

Details

Liberty Kitchen
109 Highway 39
Ingram, Texas 78025
(830) 367-5066
After hours please use contact form or call
(830) 343-5432

Sunday – CLOSED

Monday – CLOSED

Tuesday – Saturday:

  • Lunch 11:00am – 2:00pm
  • Dinner 5:00pm – 8:00pm
  • Brunch every Saturday from 10am – 1pm

The 3 Coolest Places To Stay In Kerrville, Texas

Lots of people visit Kerrville, Texas during hunting season or the summer, when they drop their kids at one of the nearby camps, or simply because it’s a beautiful area. Out of appreciation for how Kerrville has grown qualitatively and also where it’s going as a small town, I wanted to review what I think are the three coolest places to stay.

Sure, you could stay at one of the numerous larger hotels, which are typically part of chains, and you could get your hotel or frequent flyer points that way, or you could stay at a place that is uniquely “Kerrville.”

As a local business owner likes to say, “Kerrville is the new Kerrville.” (There’s the old Kerrville, which never changed. Now there’s a new Kerrville happening in place of that old one.)

LR at Quiet Retreat
Avery House in Kerrville, Texas

#1 place to stay in Kerrville | “Avery House”

If ever there was a place that both typified the “new Kerrville” but, more importantly, gave you a place to experience Texas’s beautiful Hill Country while also being close to town, it is this small-from-the-outside but oh-so-roomy-yet-cozy-from-the-inside house just off I-10 and under 4 miles from the heart of downtown.

I was fortunate enough to use this place as a work retreat. A place to focus and get perspective on life during the COVID crisis. I can tell you first that it is just like what you see in the photos. Exactly like it, and better.

Owners Jonathan and Heidi have hit a grand slam with this one.

There are two bedrooms: one off the open-plan LR and kitchen, and one upstairs in the loft, which has a desk in front of a picture window for those of us who like to pretend to work while staring through glass at awesome nature.

EVEN COMES WITH OUTSIDE SPACE

Outside you’ll find the front porch with comfortable chairs and a dining table so you and/or your family can dine in the dry, fragrant Hill Country air. And there’s a fire pit and more chairs around the side of the building.

Another quasi-drawback is that there is another house up the hill from you, so it’s not totally secluded, but it’s as close as you can get in a beautiful place and still be close to town. There are more excluded cabins, but they lack the aesthetic of the Quiet Retreat, if you’re visually motivated as many of us are.

The bathroom is off the bedroom, which also has a large picture window that looks out on secluded woods, so y

You have total privacy. One change I’d make, which there obviously was no room for, is to have a bathtub and not only a standing shower. But hey, that’s a minor amenity to miss out on when you get everything else.

The kitchen comes fully equipped with utensils and cooking apparatus and has a full-size refrigerator.

WHERE TO FIND | VRBO

PRICE | $114/night (Wow!)

FEATURES | 2 BRs including loft with desk, 1 Bath, LR, Kitchen fully-equipped, front porch, fire pit; wifi

GOOD FOR | Individuals and couples, business or leisure

KID-FRIENDLY? | No

SCORE | 9/10 (taking off one point for lacking total seclusion)

Why we use and recommend VRBO: VRBO was started by a family in Oklahoma that now does lots of charitable work. We like that. VRBO is also where you can be in touch personally with the property manager, if not the owner, about your personal needs. We like that, too.

VRBO


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38-foot yacht
Customized 38-foot yacht sleeping 5, Old Ingram Loop, Ingram/Kerrville, Texas

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#2 place to stay in Kerrville | Custom 38 ft. Yacht (on land, that is)

Yup.

If you’ve ever seen “Gilligan’s Island” and wished you could spend more time on a boat — whether a 3-hour cruise or otherwise — without the sea-sickness, this place is for you.

The man who refurbished this also runs two other properties on the same footprint, located on the Old Ingram Loop, which itself is a pretty cool place to see while visiting Kerrville.

what is the best bbq in texas
While you’re in the area, don’t miss Blackboard Bar B Q, in Sisterdale

The qualifier is that in addition to being quirky, it’s not exactly the white glove of places to stay. The fixtures and interior/exterior are lovingly worn, but for unique and fun places to stay, this is hard to beat.

It’s also close to the river — this is one of the top reasons people come to Kerrville and surrounding areas — and minutes away from restaurants and stores in Ingram and downtown Kerrville.

WHERE TO FIND | VRBO & Expedia

PRICE | $99 and up

FEATURES | 1 Queen BR, 1 Twin bed (sleeps 3 adults, 2 kids); kitchen; wifi; access to river; within walking distance to antique shops and restaurants

GOOD FOR | Adults and families, business or leisure

KID-FRIENDLY? | Yes

SCORE | 7/10

River Trail
River Trail Cottages

#3 place to stay in Kerrville | River Trail Cottages

The main draw of River Trail Cottages is its near-central location without being a chain and its access to the river. Access to the river almost trumps everything else, because when you’re in Kerrville in the summer, you want to be able to easily get to the river for a quick swim or soak, or to go kayaking or paddleboarding.

We found the interior, however, to be uninspired and needing a bit of pizzazz. That said, it’s across the street from East End Market (very cool antiques/collectibles store), Monroe’s (cafe and bistro), and Wilson’s Ice House (bar). It’s a 2-minute walk from Mary’s Tacos, across Broadway — watch for pick-up trucks in the morning filled with hungry construction workers — and the same length walk from Kerrville Canoe and Kayak. It’s a brisk 15-minute walk from downtown. That’s a huge plus.

River Trails also has other units. For this reason, it serves a larger group. You and relatives would find a great place to stay and enjoy the local amenities.

WHERE TO FIND | VRBO & Expedia

PRICE | $139 and up

FEATURES | 1 BR, 1 bath (sleeps 4); kitchen; wifi; access to river; within walking distance to antique shops and restaurants

GOOD FOR | Adults and families, business or leisure

KID-FRIENDLY? | Yes

SCORE | 7/10

Sure, up on Sidney Baker, there is everything from the famous YO Hotel to chains like Hampton Inn, La Quinta, and even Motel 6. (And others.)

But, why?

Why not pay a little more, and it really is a little, when you can have in 2 out of 3 cases above, access to the river and walking distance from stores and restaurants. There’s no need to spend your money at the big chains. Give up a few frequent flyer/loyalty points and treat yourself.

You deserve it!