Round Top, a popular tourist destination, is one of the smallest incorporated communities in the Lone Star State. This tiny town has a rich history influenced by English and German settlers. The family of Stephen Townsend was the first to settle in the area in 1826. This family bears the distinction of having sent more men to the Battle of San Jacinto than any other family.
Joel Robinson, a resident of Round Top, also fought in the Battle of San Jacinto. After the Texan army defeated the Mexican forces on the plains of San Jacinto on March 21, 1836, the Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna was nowhere to be found. Robinson was assigned to the small detachment of men who searched for and captured the defeated general on the day after the decisive battle.
In the 1840s, a German man named Alwin H. Soergel, settled in the Round Top area. This talented author, musician, and historian built a white house with an octagonal tower — giving rise to the name Round Top. Soergel’s home served as the United States Post Office for the tiny community as early as 1847.
Today, Round Top has a population of fewer than one-hundred residents. Even so, this tiny community draws visitors from around the world. Round Top is an internationally recognized cultural center for the arts with a 1,200-seat concert hall at Festival Hill, the permanent home of the Texas Festival Orchestra.
Round Top’s vintage downtown is also a tourist draw. Henkel Square features a variety of shops and galleries housed in restored structures originally built by English and German pioneers to the area. Of course, the heavy tourist traffic explains why there are so many historic bed-and-breakfasts in Round Top.
On my continuing search for delicious hamburgers in the Lone Star State, I visited Royers Round Top Café — “a Texas country bistro serving gourmet comfort food.” This café is famous for their delicious handmade pies, which have made their way to the White House. How cool is that! But, I visited Royers to sample their burger and then to chase it all down with a tall glass of iced tea and a slice of pecan pie.
I ordered the Café’s Burger — a handmade burger boasting a half-pound of local beef served with all the trimmings between a toasted sourdough bun with a side of hand-cut fries. All it took was the first bite to convince me this was one delicious burger. As for the pecan pie, I think it was made in heaven. No wonder folks come from all over the place to eat at Royer’s. Not only was the food great, the wait staff was very attentive and helpful.
If you have not yet visited Round Top, add it to your list. You’ll enjoy strolling through the various interesting shops with their eclectic wares. And, be sure to time things so that you can stop by Royers for lunch. It’s a popular place so you might have to wait for a few minutes on the front porch. But, don’t be impatient and drive off. This place is definitely well worth the wait.