The Welfare Cafe housed in the 1880’s original general store and post office, opened November 26 in 1998 without much ado, just an open sign and a person to cook and one to serve. Cooking, dishwashing, prepping and plating where all done in one tiny room.
The building, abandoned by civilization for twenty years, was brought back to life by Gabriele McCormick and David Lawhorn. They had purchased the property along with the Beseler residence next door in 1992 and decided to restore instead of demolish. While in the process the decision was made, by Gabriele to open a place that served good food in a relaxed comforting atmosphere. The goal was to bring flavorful seasonal food with a German flair to the Texas Hill country.
Special effort was made to keep the rustic charm and the integrity of Welfare’s rich historical past. A second dining room “The Hofner Room” named after the noted swing band conductor Adolph Hofner, whose house provided lumber for the project was added in 2000. The German styled bier garten was added in 2001.
Gabriele McCormick, Chef & Owner, who loved to cook from an early age, relied on her instincts and her German upbringing along with recipes from her “Oma” to add dining options to Boerne and the surrounding area. German specialties where created with a contemporary flair. Through the years the menu hasn’t changed much, simply because customer’s demanded their favorites like Chicken Fredericksburg, Jäger Schnitzel, crab cakes, and the Darwin just to mention a few. Daily and weekly specials allow for adventure.
Gabriele and her staff excell in bringing you the best of “Hill Country” cuisine.
The Cafes’ commitment to sustainability and healthy eating has centered the chef’s focus toward producers who are in line with that philosophy. Meats are sourced from Niman Ranch and others who co-op with family rum farms who raise and treat animals humanely and also without the use of antibiotics, The fish is purchased using the guidelines developed by the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch List for sustainability and endangered status. Produce is sourced as locally as possible from responsible bio-dynamic growers including our own garden. Diners have vegetarian and gluten free options as as beef, pork and fowl. Eggs come from Welfare free range chickens when they are producing. Texas beer and wine along with German varieties and others deemed just too good to pass up are served.
The Welfare Café is open Thursday & Friday from 5-9 for dinner and Saturday & Sunday from 9-9, for brunch/lunch and dinner. Call for a special table and time or just drop by.
The bier garten which surrounds the original post office and general store is open the same hours as the café, with full service food, beer and wine – weather permitting. Local artists play in the bier garten usually on Sundays.
“Everything is made from scratch and as a result, pacing is a little laid back---relax and enjoy another glass of wine. Menu changes daily and Gabby seems to be drifting towards Moroccan accents so who knows what will be on the board next week. Excellent beer and wine list--some surprising things on it.”
“About halfway to Welfare we were starting to wonder if Siri had sent us in the wrong direction. If that happens to you, keep driving. When you least expect it, you'll come upon the Welfare General Store. It's not much to look at from the outside, but it's super cute on the inside.
If the weather cooperates, take a seat if you can outside. There are some seats on a covered patio under fans and others with just a wooden canopy overhead with a view of the road. If you time it right and you take one of those seats, you'll shift from being in blinding sunlight to a gorgeous view of the sunset over a farm. I couldn't figure out why a couple would have taken seats over there until the sun set and then I thought they were geniuses. Also, you'll find two dogs outside who will quietly lay next to your table and chill out. We felt very comfortable eating here.
And the food? Probably the best we've had in the three years we've been vacationing in the Hill Country. It's totally worth the drive, and the prices are reasonable, especially considering the quality.”