Grocery Store Cafe
When you’re in the mood to try a local craft beer on tap, the local grocery store might not be the first place that comes to mind. Cafe Mueller, a cafe within my local HEB, is just that place.
On the food front, they’re bringing their game too. The “small plates” menu includes gems like the Prime Beef Brie Sliders with larger meals ranging from BBQ to pizza to sandwiches to Asian bowls. A grocery store cafe trying to pull off BBQ in Austin is risky, though HEB, as with almost everything they do, delivers.
On the craft front, they have a frequently rotating selection of five craft beers on tap from the local area—Austin or Houston and the surrounding areas—plus a handful of bottled craft beers/ciders. During most of my stops by the neighborhood bar, er um, grocery store, one of the taps has been a brew by my beloved Live Oak brewery with the rest rotating among the increasing number of breweries in this part of Texas.
If you want a Bud Light, well, you’re out of luck.
If the relatively sterile indoor seating isn’t your bag, their outdoor patio includes another bar, a water feature, other art, and a stage where live music rocks out most weekends. Personally, I’ve enjoyed them most on a weeknight evening, after the kids have gone to sleep when I have just a few minutes to write out a few thoughts. Grab a beer, open up the laptop and connect to their free WiFi, and enjoy the cool breeze (whether by nature or their fans).
Truthfully, I wanted a neighborhood bar. Something that I could walk to one night to meet the guys and drive home without worrying if I’m borderline for inviting police involvement. While the grocery store cafe closing at 10 pm does’t exactly fit the vision, the selection of constantly rotating craft beers makes up for their enforcement of a reasonable bed time.
If you’re looking for a spot to grab a beer and perhaps a loaf of bread, Cafe Mueller hits the mark.