Top Santa Fe Chef Bringing Success to One-Year-Old Restaurant in Texas Hill Country

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Bejas Grill & Cantina celebrated its first anniversary in Fredericksburg, Texas, on Sunday, October 10 with a party for dignitaries, members of the Chamber of Commerce, and food lovers passionate about the Southwest cuisine and ambience of the restaurant.

Bejas Grill & Cantina celebrated its first anniversary in Fredericksburg, Texas, on Sunday, October 10 with a party for dignitaries, members of the Chamber of Commerce, and food lovers passionate about the Southwest cuisine and ambience of the restaurant.

"We're delighted to thank the community for its enthusiastic support of the restaurant since we opened," said Eric Bryla, Bejas owner. "On our anniversary we offered complimentary food and drinks to our invited guests, but our goal is to extend VIP treatment to all the guests we serve."

"Foodies" from Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, other Texas cities, and even other parts of the country have traveled to the small central Texas community to enjoy the unique Southwest menu created by Chef Kelly Rogers.

Chef Kelly, who built a reputation for outstanding Southwest cuisine during his 20-year career, created quite a stir when he left the well-known Santa Fe restaurant scene to come to Bejas, a new restaurant in a small town in the Texas Hill Country. But that move has proved to be a wise one – for him, for Bejas, and for food lovers across Texas.

"Every night at the restaurant, people want to compliment the chef," Bryla said. "When I visit with them, I'm continually surprised to hear their stories. Often people knew Chef Kelly from Santa Fe or they heard of him and traveled from other states just because of what they heard. I'm always glad when they say the food is even better than expected."

The most popular menu item is traditional green chile chicken enchiladas, made with New Mexico green chiles — flat, not rolled. The Southwest Cobb salad, blue-corn-dusted Idaho pan trout served with potatoes and calabacitas (zucchini squash), and Texas crab cakes with lemon-and-black-pepper-aioli are other popular items. New dessert items being introduced for the fall are pumpkin cheesecake with bourbon whipped cream and chocolate sauce and individual chocolate and cinnamon cakes.

According to Chef Kelly, "We continue to change the menu. We're making it more eclectic, more international — but always with a Southwestern bent." Guests love the chef's innovations and look forward to finding something different on the menu.

Bejas Grill & Cantina is located in the heart of the downtown district of Fredericksburg. The beautiful patio in the midst of a lush garden is one of the few outdoor dining spaces in town, and the lovely weather makes the area comfortable in the fall and winter.

"The word about Bejas is spreading – more and more "foodies" are finding us every day," said Chef Kelly. "We're starting a Sunday brunch this month, and our menu will keep evolving with new innovations. Next year will be even better."

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