Prasek’s Hillje Smokehouse
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Address: 29714 U.S. Highway 59, Hillje
Store Hours: 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday; 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday; 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday
BY CAMILLE M. DOTY
HILLJE – Prasek’s Hillje Smokehouse has steak so tender you can cut it with a plastic fork.
The 10-ounce ribeye keeps Eddie Moreno coming back at least once a week.
The Lubbock native has come to the Wharton County treasure for the last 20 years.
“They have the best steaks around,” he said.
Moreno enjoys just about every item on the menu. He brings his out-of-town guests to Prasek’s and knows management on a first name basis.
Depending on his mood, the 45-year-old El Campo resident will eat a turkey sandwich and other times he’ll order the steak with sweet corn and green beans.
“It tastes like you made it at home,” he said.
The restaurant/store, located right off U.S. Highway 59, has been a family favorite since 1974 and is still owned and operated by the Prasek’s family.
“We deliver good customer service and offer quality products,” said Duane Korenek, who works in management.
It feels like home when you walk in the automatic doors. Employees greet you at the front desk with a warm smile.
There’s a bakery, grocery store and restaurant to your left. If you veer to the right, you can shop for keepsakes and get a scoop of ice cream.
Regardless of where your curious mind or appetite takes you, you will always come back to the center.
Customers on break or passing through can get their food to go, while others eat at the restaurant.
Each day, Prasek’s offers daily lunch specials, including fried chicken, smoked turkey, jambalaya and smoked venison tacos.
The brisket and sausage sandwiches are particularly popular.
It’s a ritual for some families and friends to meet at the beloved smokehouse, especially on Sunday after church.
Patrons hold book club meetings and even weddings in the Hillje Town Hall Conference Center.
Every year, the Warrior’s Weekend caravan stops by Prasek’s on its way from Houston to Victoria.
“We’ll do whatever we can to support the troops,” said Karl Rosenbusch, executive chef.
Rosenbusch, who’s been with the company since March, said Prasek’s is a successful business with a lot of potential.
He said a key to the restaurant’s success is appealing to individual needs.
People on macrobiotic diets, a regiment that involves using primarily whole grains and vegetables, or gluten-free diets, can have meals special made.
“We are here to please 100 percent of our customers,” Rosenbusch said.