But, the thing is, I haven’t blogged in, like, forever. And yesterday I got an e-mail from a friend about some good places to eat. Well, I love a) finding good places to eat and b) eating. So, here’s a recap of my reply to her. With some embellishment and maybe a few modifications. Although the title has “Round Rock”, it’s probably more apt to be “far-north Austin and beyond” so without further adoâ€¦
Pizza: Saccone’s Jersey Style on RR ave (620) next to the high school.
Burgers: We ate at The Railyard Bar & Grill a few weeks ago and I had a “Red Caboose” burger or something like that. It was basically a blackened (spices) burger. Yummy cajun seasonings! It’s up at, um, The Railyard, which is 1431 east of Hwy 183 (okay, yes, technically, that’s Cedar Park). A buddy has also told me that Riata Bar and Grill has excellent burgers as well — almost as good as his personal favorite, Casino’s, which is in downtown Austin.
Speaking of cajun, Louisiana Longhorn Cafe in downtown Round Rock was fabulous. I got a real oyster poboy on real french bread and it was dressed and I got some yellow cheese on it and everything. Totally fabulous. Takes me back to New Orleans (to steal a line from a Fred LeBlanc song). The kids had the shrimp poboy and Mer had catfish that was damn good. And the owner was fabulous and even custom-made some bell-peppers, onion-ring-style for us (just like Frankie and Johnnie’s down by Tulane where we had our rehearsal dinner!).
For ubiquitous tex-mex, Jardin Corona‘s is on Pond Springs just off 183, and it’s as good as it comes. There used to be this place in downtown RR, but they’ve changed hands a few times and the last time I was in there, the servers were not 60-year-old hispanic grandmothers (the true sign of a good joint), but underpaid high-school teenie-boppers. Ick. Not going back.
Vietnamese Vermicelli: Kim Phung opened up another shop on Lakeline Mall Blvd, in the same center as the new SupermegaTarget. Their chicken with spicy lemongrass noodle bowl is absolutely awesome. And it’s quite a bit closer than the original down on Lamar near 183.
There is apparently an underground food revolution going on in Pflugerville, because we’ve had great luck there in the past few months. First we found European Bistro, down off Pecan St, which is just awesome. It serves all kinds of Eastern Euro dishes (Hungarian, Bavarian, Czech, etc). Including Pilsner Urckel.
Secondly, there’s a wonderful and spirited carribbean place on 1825 roughly opposite the gigantotheater on I-35 called Cafe Mangu. They do fried plantain chips and ropa vieja and jerked just-about-anything.
And for mediterranean fare, Tino‘s is great. It’s at 183 and Anderson Mill. They serve cafeteria style, and standing there in front of their spit roasters (do those things have a name?) is daunting, but once you’ve got your order placed (entree, salad-or-soup, three sides / gyro) it’s good stuff. And you know, you really can’t go wrong with spiced, ground lamb.
Now, if I could only find a place like Veggie Heaven (down by t.u. on the drag) up here. I’m also on the lookout for a good Central/South American dive. And a good Chinese-American place that isn’t into the whole “nouveau-fusion-stirfrybowl” thing. Suggestions?