The Schobel family has been serving up their timeless recipes since 1979. That’s when brothers Bob and Andy Schobel, along with their wives Mary Jane and Donna, opened Schobels Restaurant. It is located on the way to Round Top in Columbus at the I-10 and Highway 71 turn, when you are coming from the Houston or Katy area. Schobels has been a longtime favorite pitstop for those in-the-know.

Schobels Restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, and while you can order off the menu, the restaurant still has a throwback daily buffet. Plus, the scrumptious homemade pies — perfect for Thanksgiving, or really any time of year — make for a sometimes irresistible lure.

Now owned and run by Andy and Donna’s eldest son Ryan Schobel and his wife Andrea, little has changed through the years. The Schobel family showcases their German/Czech heritage in many ways. You’ll find a German plate with homemade sausage and sauerkraut, along with three types of Schnitzel on the lunch and dinner menu. Weiner with red cabbage, Jaeger with classic mushroom gravy and one with a Texana twist ― the Jalapeno Shnitzel, smothered in a creamy jalapeño gravy.

Gift baskets filled with Picklesmith jam and other homemade treats are available at Schobels gift shop.

“We are a big food family,” Andrea Schobel tells “Fun fact ― the kolaches they serve at Weikel’s Bakery are a family recipe as well. Owner Philip Weikel is a cousin.”

A few other members of the Schobel family are former professional athletes who played in the NFL. Two are Ryan Schobels’ brothers (Aaron who suited up for the Buffalo Bills, and Matt who played for the Philadelphia Eagles). Another cousin Bo Schobel even has a Super Bowl ring from the 2006-07 season with the Indianapolis Colts.

In their honor, there are NFL Breakfasts on the menu, one for each of them, either pork chops, chicken fried steak, or a 14 ounce New York strip steak ― yes, for breakfast ― served with eggs and hashbrowns or grits.

Schobels Restaurant and the Power of the Buffet

The buffet is the big draw at Schobels. Its selection changes daily and includes a full salad bar, your choice of three meats, six vegetables, and a collection of pies and cakes for dessert.

“It’s different from your typical buffet, in fact I wish there was another word for it,” Andrea Schobel says.  “Everything we serve is made from scratch and in-house, nothing pre-packaged, including our hand cut meats.”

Schobels Restaurant’s buffet is anything but ordinary.

The buffet (for lack of a better term) is available for breakfast on Saturday and Sunday mornings for $10.95, for lunch Mondays through Thursdays for $14.95, and Fridays and Saturdays for $15.95. The dinner buffet is available only on Friday and Saturday evenings for $15.95. The format has drawn fans for more than 40 years now.

“It’s nostalgic in a way. When you step foot in here you kind of go back in time,” Andrea Schobel says. “Back to childhood ― it’s reminiscent of dinner at your grandmother’s house, I think.”

No matter what time of day you find yourself passing through Columbus, Texas, Schobels Restaurant is ready to serve you a home-cooked meal. Andrea Schobel added a gift shop back to the mix around 2016. It is filled with all kinds of homemade treats, from pickles to pecans, from fudge to cookies ― perfect for gifting or to perk up your own pantry.

Pies lined up on display at Schobels. For holiday pick-ups, it’s best to call ahead and reserve one.

Now, about those homemade pies.

The year-round flavors include buttermilk, apple, pecan, key lime and chocolate chip. Plus, fluffy, centerpiece worthy meringue pies come in chocolate, coconut, lemon and cherry cream. Andrea Schobel says the best-seller by far is the buttermilk, but her personal favorite is the coconut meringue. The pies range in price from $20 to $25.

If you are hoping to add one or two pies to your holiday table, it’s best to call ahead. On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving last year, Schobels restaurant sold close to 300 pies alone.

Yes, there is someplace good to stop on the way to Round Top.