Great setting, fantastic food, wood-fired oven, friendliness—you find it all at the Garden Co. Marketplace and Café in Schulenberg. We wanted to check out the placement and operation of the Forno Bravo kit oven owner Jeff Thompson purchased through us. Their wood-fired oven is situated behind the café in a vibrant garden, the focal point of an outdoor kitchen and umbrella-shaded tables.
Food fresh from the garden
When we arrived shortly before lunch, and the Chef Chris Gray was in the garden picking basil for his special-of-the-day. He kindly took a few minutes to answer questions about the wood-fired oven. It takes about 15 minutes in the morning to fire up, and within 45 minutes it’s hot enough to bake pizza in two minutes. In addition to pizza, the Chef Gray prepares a variety of meats, sandwiches, and gourmet selections in the wood-fired oven. One of the pleasures of being a chef at the Garden Company, he said, is the opportunity to come up with creative dishes.
At the outdoor kitchen, we watched two of the assistants prepping for lunch—bagging candied pecans that had cooled after a wood firing, tossing wedge potatoes in clarified butter, and preparing crostini for a quick crisp in the oven. Although it was a busy time, they happily answered our questions and commented about the great food served at the café.
Wood-fired pizza and more
Because it was an unusually hot day, our party opted to eat indoors rather than outside. We started with the Texas BBQ pizza as an appetizer. What an amazing pizza—made from fine 00 Italian flour and marzano tomato sauce with a hint of BBQ. We couldn’t come up with words adequate to describe the lamb burgers, the mushroom/brisket burger, the Reuben with homemade kraut, the hibiscus blueberry tea, and exquisite desserts. All combined with such attentive, friendly service.
When the weather cools down a bit, we hope to go back, sit outside, watch the activity around the outdoor kitchen, try more selections from the wood-fired oven, and enjoy the beautiful garden.
the garden co. marketplace & café • 217 kessler | schulenburg, tx | 78956 • marketplace 979-743-4648