The Dutchman’s Hidden Valley, “Texas’ most unusual store,” is located on the historic Highway 281. Johnny and Frances Harris obtained their first highway sign permit back in 1961, announcing Hidden Valley Farms, purveyor of pecan grafts, pecans, and fresh fruit from their orchards located behind the store. Adding old army barracks and room additions, the store grew along with the array of merchandise. Pecan and peanut brittle, Texas made merchandise, antiques, and even a collection of Texas art were among the goods travelers could browse through while stretching their legs.
Meanwhile, Ron Wenzel, the ‘square-headed Dutchman’, as he was called by the locals (Texas slang for Deutschman), says he loved to sneak into the smokehouse as a kid and cut off a piece of meat. The fond memories inspired him to build his own smokehouse which he brought into the Hidden Valley back in 1985, along with his deli, aptly called The Dutchman’s. His recipes for smoked meats will usually satisfy most palates.
The Original "Dutchman"
The original Dutchman sketch was drawn by a customer on the back of their receipt and still hangs in the Dutchman's Country Store today!
Nowadays, the Dutchman’s daughter, Kara Chorenziak, along with some of her sons and an almost-family crew, holds on to the old-fashioned recipes and time-tested values that feel like you walk in the store as a guest and leave as family.