Culinary connoisseur pursues dream in New Braunfels

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During a getaway to New Braunfels to visit her sister, chef Carol Irwin decided it was time to make a change.

During that vacation she visited the Gruene Historic District and knew not only would New Braunfels be her new home, but the area would be a great location to open a restaurant.

“I love the area,” Irwin said. “I may not be a New Braunfelser, I may be an outsider, but this is my town. I love New Braunfels.”

Located at 1324 E. Common St. between Gruene Road and Loop 337, Buttermilk Café opened in 2011 and is Irwin’s blend of comfort food with a southern twist.

Irwin said it’s important to provide a market with food that cannot be found anywhere else, such as breakfast strata, and unique twists on classics, such as Buttermilk’s unique meatloaf.

“[New Braunfels] needed a good, solid breakfast place,” Irwin said. “One that used brown eggs instead of white eggs. Instead of having a slice of meatloaf, we’re going to hand-form them into your own portion.”

Irwin moved to New Braunfels from the Dallas area in 1997, first opening the River House Tea Room. She sold the establishment two years ago and opened Buttermilk Café. The establishment was initially open during the lunch and dinner hours, but Irwin decided to place a new focus on breakfast and lunch crowds.

“The Buttermilk Café just sounds like a breakfast place, so we just kind of changed directions,” Irwin said. “There seemed to be more of a need for breakfast.”

Irwin said when she decided to chase her dream in New Braunfels, she had the gut feeling to take a chance, pursue a new challenge and get out of her comfort zone. She encourages others to do the same.

“I always think it’s good to face what you’re afraid of and move forward,” Irwin said. “Don’t let fear be that leader.”

Buttermilk Café
1324 E. Common St., New Braunfels
830-625-8700
www.thebuttermilkcafe.com
Hours: Mon.-Sun. 7 a.m.-3 p.m.

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