I have been deer hunting in Hamilton County for over 20 years. Last year I noticed an old house was being renovated into a restaurant of some kind and it perked my interest. In early December 2009 I finally had time to stop by the restaurant now know as The Central Perk, A place where friends meet. I was greeted by Mark Sepolo, who along with his wife Blanca, own and operate the restaurant. Mark made me feel at home and gladly told me about the Central Perk.
The first thing I noticed was the charming atmosphere with a Texas charm inside and out. Located in a historic house in downtown Hamilton, Texas the Sepolo’s renovated it in 2008 to become a healthy eatery. There is a huge wraparound porch that is well utilized during favorable Texas weather. The day I visited was snowy but on the inside an old stove served as the heat on this cold day. Mark stoked the stove several times and made sure all of his patrons were comfortable. The interior was nicely done in Texas Hill Country décor and added to the charm of the restaurant. The day I visited the place literally filled up with locals and transients like me.
The kitchen is Blanca’s territory. She is the Cook, Phone answerer, and anything else she need to do to make the kitchen work. The blackboard menu is located over the order window and specials are served every day. There is a large choice of sandwiches, wraps and Panini’s as well as stuffed avocados and a salad choice. I had the Janice, a turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato, homey mustard, and ranch wrap. Sandwiches come with a choice of chips, salad or soup of the day. The day I visited it was homemade baked potato soup. The Baked potato soup was homemade with chunks of potato and plenty of flavors and was outstanding. The sandwich presented well and was tasty as well as healthy. Don’t forget to check out the homemade pies and cakes sitting on a sideboard by the order window. The restaurant makes breakfast tacos and delivers over 100 every morning. The tortillas are handmade and you can choose scrambled eggs with migas, sausage, bacon, or chorizo.
Mark and Blanca were Houston natives for over 30 years. About 5 years ago they decided to pull up stakes and move to Hamilton. The house was originally going to be for their parents but after they decided they didn’t want to live in the house, the Sepolo’s decided it would be a great location for a healthy restaurant since there were none near Hamilton. After facing adversity, and some opposition, the Sepolo’s opened the restaurant. If you have time ask Mark his story, it is really quite interesting. Things are great now and Mark is involved in the community. He is a graduate of Leadership Hamilton, on the Dove Festival committee, a member of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce and serves on his church board.
If you are ever in the Texas Hill Country driving down Highway 281 in Hamilton it is well worth the stop. The food is great, and it is refreshing to step into an eatery with personable owners and local color. Mark and Blanca are great and fun to talk to if you, and they, have the time. Don’t forget to look at the autograph wall. It is a story in itself. It took me over a year to check out The Central Perk. I guarantee it won’t be near that long until I return.