When you drive by New Braunfels on the highway, you probably will see Taco Cabana, IHOP, and some other chain restaurants. You may very well be tempted to keep on driving if you are looking for something different, but I suggest you go ahead and exit and take a right towards downtown New Braunfels. Before last week, when I thought of New Braunfels, I mostly thought of Wurstfest and Schlitterbahn, but recently we met up with Ben’s brother and ate at The Faust. Eating there and hanging out with Ben’s brother and his good friend made me realize there’s more to New Braunfels.
The Faust Hotel was built in the 1920’s and opened on October 12, 1929 as the Traveling Hotel. Unfortunately, it opened two weeks before the stock market crashed. For a bit of time, it did well, and even was known as one of the best hotels in Texas. However, the blight of the Depression caught up, and it stayed open mostly because of Mr. Faust. Hence, in 1936, the hotel was renamed as The Faust Hotel.
As we turned into the hotel’s entrance last week, the sun was setting and casting a rich gold, red color across the old yellow brick of the building and the lion statues guarding the large wooden doors. Along with its history, that old European statue thing and sun-kissed golden/redness kinda made me love The Faust right away. The front doors of The Faust are the entrance to the hotel. To go to the restaurant and brewery, you drive through the side alley that is covered in a black tarp with white cursive letters spelling The Faust. It reminds me of a place where Frank Sinatra should be singing. I would have loved that, but inside, modern music is playing and feels a bit abrasive in the dim light and old fashioned décor. As Ben’s brother said, the place would be about perfect if they played music from a different era; it just has that feel.
For dinner, I had the German nachos. It took me a bit to get used to “nachos” being potato chips with beer cheese, bratwurst, sautéed onions and bell peppers, and sauerkraut. They were definitely a little too rich, but once I got used to them, I could not stop eating them. I had a huge serving and repeatedly pushed my place away to stop eating, but that didn’t happen. All the food was rich but good. It was what pub food should be. The German nachos and the Pierogies were my favorite. The Perogies are dumplings filled with potato, cheddar cheese and jalapenos. They are also rich, but the German beer washes ‘em down nicely.
Full on German food and beer, we decided to participate in the game of trivia the bar holds every Thursday night; the winner wins $100. Unfortunately, we were not the winners. However, it was a lot of fun and most of the people in the bar were participating. My impression is that quite a few locals attend every Thursday to play trivia, which is really cool. I love to see communities supporting their cool, non-chain venues. I hope to return soon in order to indulge in another plate of German nachos, play trivia, and stay the night in the hotel.