Maxine’s on Main

Originally published on Yelp!, January 2008.  The management and menu have changed since then…sadly, the derelict potatoes are no more.

The flair is back!

A few things have changed since the Bastrop institution Maxine’s on Main (905 Main Street, (512) 303-0919) changed ownership a few months ago.  The century-old bricks have been power-washed, and the newly painted walls are now a fresh butter yellow and sage.  The linebacker-sized plush (and very dusty) Tweety Bird has been retired from its perch on one of the ancient bicycles hanging from the ceiling.  And, in response to the changes in the local dining population, Maxine’s is now a non-smoking establishment

But there’s still an old iron headboard being used as a pot rack, and cast-iron frying pans hand-lettered with advice.  The bikes are still hanging from the ceiling, just without their passengers.  Drinks are still served in Bell jars (the lids are saved for Christmas tree ornaments in these parts).   As before, the tables are covered in soft, thin linens that look like faded pillowcases, gingham picnic cloths, old patterned housedresses.  The same two cooks are dishing up the same great food. And the walls are once again festooned with framed black and white photos from rodeo yearbooks; with license plates, vintage signs, and cartoons; with a wild variety of clocks, including one that surprises the unsuspecting diner with stealthy (and eerily accurate) bird calls.

Maxine’s opens at 7 am for breakfast, but there’s usually a group of regulars hanging out on the sidewalk by 6:30.  When the doors open, they head in to the two long tables in the front – Maxine’s is a seat-yourself kind of place – and settle in for the duration.  The coffeemaker is in the dining area, not the kitchen; and while the cheerful waitresses are always happy to serve you, you are more than welcome to get your own coffee.  And for those who want to warm up their pie, there’s a microwave for the customers, too.

Most days there’s a steady stream of diners, and always room for a few new ones, at this local hangout that is famous for its breakfasts (don’t miss the derelict potatoes!), burgers, and Badlands award-winning chili.  The waitresses – some of the friendliest in Bastrop County –  report that the greens, peppery with chunks of salt pork, sell out when they’re on the menu – which isn’t all the time.  Maxine’s prides itself on using organic produce and free-range eggs from local farms, and if greens aren’t on the farm, they won’t be on your plate!

Want to take a bit of Maxine’s home?  Try one of the homemade pies – call ahead and they’ll make your favorite, even if it’s not on the menu – or get a gift basket of fresh jams, jellies or pickles.

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