Driving back from Austin before Christmas, we decided to stop and get something to eat in Lampasas, around an hour and fifteen minutes north of Austin. We were immediately drawn to the charm of The Country Kitchen & Bakery. And we were not disappointed.

C.D. McClean bought the restaurant 40 years ago, according to Bambi Greer, who has worked at the Country Kitchen for years. Mr. McClean passed away four years ago, and now his son, Scott McClean, and his family own and run the restaurant.

The home cooking, whether off the menu, the buffet or bakery, is all still made from scratch and you can tell; it's delicious.

The decor holds your attention until your sizable meal arrives and even then vies for your gaze in between bites.

Vintage photos, frames, statues, furniture, toys, barbed wire, license plates, even a Zippo lighter collection, give you a taste and wistful yearning of the things which have created our history, especially in Texas.

This heritage restaurant, according to Bambi, is THE sit-down place to eat in Lampasas. Many of the servers call it home, having worked there many years with no plans or desire to work anyplace else.

Multiple generations flock to the restaurant every day, be it a widower alone at a table that he used to share with his late wife or families brimming over with activity and high chairs. It's a gathering place for those wanting the taste of the familiar and a taste of what used to be.