Palmer's Restaurant

Owners offer fresh outlook, menu at San Marcos eatery

Palmer's Restaurant sits shaded by a grove of trees on the edge of the historic district in San Marcos. The building was built in the 1920s, and the restaurant has been open since 1978.

When Monte and Kristin Sheffield took over the restaurant in 2010, they were faced with the dilemma of whether to close it for a complete overhaul or continue on its course.

It was then that the two made a decision that has come to define their business philosophy.

"Instead of buying the building and shutting down for months and months of renovations and then rehiring the staff, we decided to make it a turnkey operation because of the foundation that Palmer's has had going back to 1978," Monte Sheffield said.

Keeping the local community strong and the history intact has become a sort of mantra that guides many of the decisions the Sheffields make, as is evident in the ingredients the restaurant uses in its dishes.

"Local outsourcing is extremely important to us," he said. "We do our best to buy as local as possible."

The pecans on the spicy pecan-crusted salmon come from Seguin, while the coffee in the chocolate chip bread pudding is from Austin, and the eggs in the Honcho Frittata are from Lockhart and other Texas farms.

From the draft beers to the honey accompanying the toast at brunch, Texas-based products can be found all over the menu.

"It seems kind of crazy when we're trucking and flying [in] food from across the country when you could get it right here in your area," he said. "But the main thing is that we're taking care of a local family and keeping that money here in

our community."

Sheffield said his greatest passion has been bringing a variety of culinary creations to the Hill Country.

He began his culinary career in New Orleans and creates most of the restaurant's signature dishes himself.

That influence is clear in the restaurant's seafood offerings, such as fresh oysters on a half shell, as well as the high priority given to brunch.

"San Marcos was in need of a face-lift when it comes to a good brunch establishment, and the Palmer's courtyard just exudes that feel," he said. "That courtyard, I think, even rivals the courtyards in New Orleans."

Operations Manager Ava Sargent has been with the restaurant four years and experienced the transition of ownership firsthand.

"Monte and Kristin are definitely bringing a very fresh outlook to our traditional style of service that we've done," she said. "Monte is doing a lot of things to open us up to events, catering and dining that we were a little too pricey on before."

Sargent said that "fresh outlook" has not undone any of the restaurant's 34-year history.

"I always tell all of our new servers, it seems like silly information, but we have people who come here once a year because this is where they got married or this is where they had their reception," she said. "This place holds a lot of memories for a lot of people."

The restaurant is preparing for its third year competing in the Hays County United Way's Boot Scootin' Foodie Awards, where it has won the Best Restaurant and Best Margarita awards the past two years.

"We're just trying to exceed the expectations of every diner that could possibly be seated at a table," Sheffield said. "That's part of our business, exceeding those expectations."

Palmer's Restaurant, 218 Moore St., San Marcos, 353-3500, www.palmerstexas.com

By Brett Thorne
Brett Thorne reported on education, business, economic development and city government in San Marcos, Kyle and Buda from 2012 to 2017. Thorne attended Texas State University in San Marcos, where he graduated in 2010. He joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in 2012 and was promoted to editor in 2013.


MOST RECENT

There will be six early voting locations where residents can cast ballots. (Community Impact staff)
Hays County early voting locations now open for primary runoff elections

Early voting for the July 14 elections began June 29 and will run through July 10, with polls closed July 3-4 for the Fourth of July. Hays County residents will have the opportunity to vote at one of six locations in the county.

Money stock art
Comptroller: Texas June sales tax revenue totaled $2.7 billion, down 6.5% from a year ago

The Texas comptroller's office has released June sales tax revenue figures.

The new apartment complex is located at 401 S. Guadalupe St., San Marcos. (Courtesy Cheatham Street Flats)
Cheatham Street Flats now open in San Marcos

The complex will offer 234 fully furnished apartment units with a variety of floor plans, a fitness center and outdoor lounging areas.

Activists circled the Hays County Historic Courthouse June 30 to demand the release of pretrial detainees. (Courtesy Mano Amiga)
Caravan of Hays County activists demands the release of jail inmates amid pandemic

A group of activists in Hays County caravanned downtown San Marcos on June 30 to demand the release of pretrial detainees.

The report comes as Texas, like states across the country, puzzles through decisions on what the upcoming academic year will look like for students and staff. (Courtesy Pixabay)
Texas Education Agency: 1 in 10 students have disengaged during the pandemic

More than 600,000 Texas public school students didn't complete assignments or respond to outreach during the coronavirus pandemic.

Organizers of the Austin City Limits Music Festival announced July 1 the 2020 event will not take place. (Courtesy Charles Reagan Hackleman)
Austin City Limits Music Festival canceled for 2020

The annual festival brought more than 75,000 fans per day across two weekends last year and had a $291 million impact on the local economy.

While there are many unknowns regarding public education operations next year, one thing is for certain: Students will be required to take the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR test. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Students to be required to take STAAR test in 2020-21 school year

While there are many unknowns regarding public education operations next year, one thing is for certain: Students will be required to take the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR test.

Hays County will quarantine first responders who have been exposed to the coronavirus at Bobcat Village. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Hays County arranges lodging for first responders during coronavirus outbreak

The Hays County Commissioners Court struck an agreement with Texas State University at a June 30 meeting to quarantine first responders who have had potential exposure to the coronavirus.

H-E-B officials confirmed via email June 30 that all stores will require shoppers and employees to wear masks beginning July 1. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
H-E-B to require all shoppers to wear masks amid coronavirus

H-E-B officials confirmed via email June 30 that all stores will require shoppers and employees to wear masks beginning July 1.

Texans receiving unemployment benefits will have a little extra time before they have to prove they are actively looking for work to continue receiving state assistance. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Work search requirement paused for Texans on unemployment benefits

Texans receiving unemployment benefits will have a little extra time before they have to prove they are actively looking for work to continue receiving state assistance.

Following Gov. Greg Abbott’s decision to close Texas bars due to a rise in coronavirus cases, more than 30 bar owners filed a lawsuit June 29 challenging Abbott’s emergency order. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
More than 30 Texas bars sue over Gov. Greg Abbott's recent shutdown order

The lawsuit was filed in Travis County District Court by Jared Woodfill, a Houston attorney who has led previous legal efforts opposing Abbott’s other shutdown orders during the pandemic.

The new barbershop is located at 118 W. San Antonio St., San Marcos. (Courtesy Razor & Whiskey Barbershop)
Razor & Whiskey Barbershop now open on San Antonio Street in San Marcos

The barbershop offers a complimentary glass of whiskey when receiving a traditional service that includes hot towel shaves and beard trims.