Hungry & Desperate in Pflugerville.
So, I've been in Pflugerville for about eight months now and am rather
disappointed with the local restaurants. Here's a list of the places I've
tried, including brief descriptions. Someone please recommend some *good*
restaurants around here. I'm especially interested in cheap eats and diner
type places. I'm also looking for a decent burger joint (flame grilled, not
griddle fried). I cry a little everytime I pass the closed Hang Time Grill
(next to Jason's Deli in RR). That place was perfect.
Restaurant name / cuisine / # of visits
1) Los Jaliscienses / Tex-Mex / 5 - I really wanted to like this place
because it's just down the street from my apartment and the prices are dirt
cheap. The food is okay at best, the portions are big, but I didn't care
for the three salsas they bring out. I'll take one good salsa over a trio
of bad ones any day. Unfortunately, bad salsa is a deal-breaker for me.
2) El Rincon / Tex-Mex / 12 - This place is perpetually packed and I have
no idea why. The food is passable, but their salsa is so mild, an infant
could eat it. On the bright side, their tortillas are fresh (if a bit
heavy) and their outdoor patio is very pleasant in the spring & fall.
3) Springhill Cafe / Seafood / 2 - This place is incredibly tacky.
Everything is served on disposable plates with plastic forks. Their
borracho beans are straight out of the can. Menu is very heavy with fried
food and little else. Tables are covered with advertisements. Walls are
covered in old junk. Place smells like moth balls. Everything costs $3
more then it should. I can't believe they've been around for 20 years.
4) El Bandido / Tex-Mex / 1 - Located in what appears to be a double-wide
trailer, this place was really disappointing. The food was forgettable and
slightly over-priced. I hear they're moving to a nicer building very soon.
I may give them a 2nd chance, eventually.
5) Zorbas / Greek / ~40 - Wow! This place is awesome! Their marinated
chicken is flavorful and zesty. Their dolmathes are tangy and fresh. Their
humus has a delightful zing. Everything I've tried is really great.
They're daily lunch special ($7.57 after tax) is also super cheap. My only
complaint is they often play loud, fast tempo Greek dance music and it's
hard to enjoy your food with all that racket going on. Also, I don't care
for all those florescent lights. Makes me feel like I'm eating in a
McDonalds. Those two petty gripes aside, this place is a winner.
6) Fish Daddies / Seafood / 6 - I loathe chain restaurants, but this place
has a lot going for it. First, the whole place looks posh and really
deluxe, but the prices are insanely low. Most everything on the menu is
$8-$12, which is dirt cheap for fresh seafood. I just wish they had some
French bread / baguettes & whipped butter (I'd gladly pay extra). I also
wish their side veggies were a little better (they're undercooked and
over-salted). Incidentally, that aquarium at the front door is incredible.
I want one so bad!
7) Cafe Mangu / Cuban / 1 - This place has a lot going for it. The food and
service are both first rate, and the dining room is delightfully cozy.
Unfortunately, I don't think Cuban food appeals to me very much. Also,
their prices are bit higher than I'm accustomed to...$17 for a Sunday lunch
w/ Iced Tea? Yikes!
8) Dot's / Soul & Southern / 4 - When this place re-opened late last year,
there was an hour long wait for a table. Now, it's almost empty. I think I
know why...the food (which is still tasty) isn't quite as good as people
remember. Also, the portions are smaller and the prices are higher than
before. Lastly, the dining room is depressing, no music, no TV, no
decorations. It's a shame this place isn't open on the weekends, because
that's when I eat out the most.
This is not exactly in Pflugerville, but it's close. Check out Bombay Express on Parmer at 35. It is in the shopping center next to the big Walmart.
They have a daily lunch special that usually runs under $6 for some great food if you like Indian food. This is a vegetarian only restaurant, but even if you are a carnivore, you'll leave satisfied. I highly recommend an order of their samosas for an extra $2. They are light and crisp, never overfried.
I've had hit or miss experiences at Zorba's. Despite the name and the decorations, the food is Middle Eastern rather than Greek (maybe the correct term would be "Greek-inspired"). And you'll know you’re in TX when you pronounce the Greek menu items properly and the waitress corrects you with the wrong pronounciation…! ;) That said, their salads are good, their hummus is decent, and the pita is fresh grilled. Avoid the lamb, though.
Check out Chola - the Indian restaurant right next to Zorba's. The food is fab. They have a mix of northern and southern, and I suggest you try one of the samplers on your first visit.
Ward's Cafe in Round Rock (in the mini storage) has good burgers, and surprisingly, so does Fuddrucker's.
I forget the name, but the Vietnamese place on Louis Henna (S side of L.H., just W of I-35) has decent food too.
Lastly, I think Mariachi's de Jalisco just opened a new location in Round Rock. They have great salsa. Be sure and try the Carne Asada, Tortilla soup, and beef soup.
I have to disagree a little with the Chola review.
While this may be good Indian food for Pflugerville, it is not good Indian food. The seasoning of all dishes is much lighter than more authentic places, calculated to appeal to American tastes. Nothing is too hot or too spicy. In fact, my Indian co-workers were able to point out several dishes that are completely made up. They were American style dishes slightly modified to appear Indian (I wish I could remember which ones they were and report it, but I just remember the conversation and not the dishes).
While off-topic for a discussion of Pflugerville, I would suggest that anyone looking for Indian food travel a little further and dine at Swad, Madras Pavilion (both vegetarian) or Shalimar.
The good news about being in Pflugerville is you are near my favorite gun range :-) ! (Red's on 1825 north of Walgreens)
Thanks for the reviews; I'll have to try out Zorbas next time I'm nearby.
I've found the dishes at "Casa Garcias", in Pflugerville, to be very good overall. Lots of choices, plus a cantina in back. Try the Chile Relleno.
I don't know if you'd feel like coming all the way up to Georgetown, but the Monument Cafe is a really good diner experience. We've been there about five times now, and for the most part, they make standard diner dishes with high quality ingredients. The only misstep I had was a shrimp dish that was doused in cream and cheese. I would recommend staying with burgers, sandwiches, soups, and their surprisingly good veggie dishes.
I think it would be great to amass a list of good restaurants on the far north side. I can understand why most people on these boards consider it a culinary wasteland and stay down south. But still, when you live and work up here, you don't always want to drive 20 miles for a taco. I will say that the dinner at Nonna's--also in Georgetown--is excellent. Fresh Italian food with everything made in house. Since it's BYOB, it's pretty darn cheap relatively, though we're still talking $15-$20 entrees. However, this doesn't seem like the kind of thing you're looking for.