Historic Inn on the Creek Salado
Saturday we packed up the car with the kids, dog and one very large suitcase and made the short drive north to Salado, TX. Our room and dining plans were made, but we really did not know what to expect and quite honestly were a little nervous about bringing two young kiddos along. We checked into the Inn on the Creek and were handed our room key for Tonkawa. We were given a map of the property and told that the house made fudge and all the teas, sodas and drinks left in our room were to enjoy during our stay.
The moment we turned the key to enter our room we were immediately relaxed. The room was clean and wonderfully cozy. Our bed was really comfy and the staff placed a roll away bed in our room for our daughter, Olivia, to sleep. We had plenty of room to also set up Max's pak n play. We booked this room specifically as it is pet friendly. Our Chinese Crested, Noah, loves being included on our trips.
We made the short, 3 minute walk from our room to Barrow Brewing. Max took a nap in his stroller while we played games with Olivia and tried a few beers from the brewery. Olivia was hungry for a snack, so we ordered a hot pretzel from the truck parked on site, Happy Pizza. I am not exaggerating when I say this hot pretzel was by far the best I have ever had. They freshly make the dough on the truck and it is like nothing I have ever had (poor Olivia ended up sharing a generous portion of her pretzel).
We left the brewery and went back to the main house of the Inn to meet up with Chef Jacob. On Fridays and Saturdays of the Hunter and Gatherer Dining Experience. Guests are invited to join Chef to forage for ingredients that will be used in the six course dining experience. This experience was such a treat. Max loved running wild in nature and Olivia loved learning about all the different ingredients that can be found. She got to smell Texas red buds, pick wild garlic and taste Perilla mint.
Another benefit of staying at the Inn on a Friday or Saturday is a 4pm welcome reception also provided by Chef Jacob. Wine and bites were placed out for our enjoyment which this evening was fresh bread, shrimp and whipped goat cheese. Staff joined us during this happy hour and played with both kiddos while explaining some of the history about the property.
We went back to our room to relax for a bit and change into our clothes for dinner, then made it back to the main building to enjoy the view of the creek. The property has an amazing wrap around porch and porch swing and if you walk closer to the creek, you can post up on one of the many Adirondack chairs.
We were greeted and invited into the gorgeous dining room designed by Chef Jacob's wife, Lynda. Our dinner course began with a pour of Prosecco, fresh bread and an herbal dipping oil (made from the ingredients we had foraged only hours before). Yes, our six year old and 15 month old were with us the entire time. Olivia was really excited to try the food after being a part of the process and Max made it for two courses then napped in his stroller. I will also note, Chef Jacob was kind enough to bring them both bowls of delicious macaroni and cheese. The rest of our courses were (these are my words and descriptions from memory):
-Amuse Bouche~ Motel Flan with Rice and Wild Onion Crisps, Edible Earth and Wild Cress
-Artichoke and Maitake with Wild Garlic
-Snapper Crudo with Tuna Prosctuitto and Wild Brassica
-Poached Chicken Breast with Morels and Chickweed served over Foie Gras
-Crispy Pork with Wild Pea Flowers and Roots
-Wood Ice Cream with Wild Blossoms and Strawberries
We left our meal completely blown away by Chef Jacob's talents. To be perfectly candid, this was the best meal we have had in a long time. Chef Jacob pays careful attention to every detail, tells a story with his dishes and honors seasonal ingredients in an elevated way.
After a cozy evening of sleep in our room, we woke and enjoyed a lazy morning in bed while the kiddos played a bit, then walked over to enjoy the peaceful view of the creek one last time. At 9am we were invited to a breakfast prepared by Chef Jacob. We were offered coffee and juice as we enjoyed our vegetable frittata and roasted potatoes.
Checkout was easy, but we were sad to say goodbye to our retreat. As we will always cherish the memory of our entire experience with Inn on the Creek Salado, we are already wanting to book our next stay!