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cedar park?

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I'm sure some of you can help, I'm new to the area and looking for good restaurants in the cedar park area.Any suggestions?

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  1. For solid, inexpensive Mexican, try Jardin Corona on Bell Blvd. in Cedar Park. They have another location in Austin which isn't as good. For pizza; Saccones, Yhagi's, Rudinos and Brooklyn Heights are good. Reales for mom and pop Italian is at Anderson Mill and 183, a couple of miles south of Cedar Park. Jersey Mike's at 620 and Anderson Mill serves the best sandwich IN THE WORLD. As for fine dining or great sushi, we are SOL.

    18 Replies
    1. re: Rene

      Really? No love for Osaka at 183 and Anderson Mill? Some of my favorite sushi in all of the Austin area. They do pretty ok with the Korean nosh, too.

      1. re: jwynne2000

        Thanks for the nod to Osaka. I've seen it many times and have yet to be inspired to try it. Some of your favorite in the Austin area is a good enough recommendation for me. I will try it this weekend. Thanks!

        1. re: Rene

          It is in a completely uninspiring location... I'll give you that. But it's comfy inside...nothing stellar, but it's clean and comfortable and the service has always been great. I like the prices too.

          Please bring back a report!

          1. re: jwynne2000

            We finally got around to trying Osaka this evening. We are casual sushi fans while the couple that joined us are avid.

            We all agree that it's clean, comfy and the sevice is impeccable.

            We tried many of the offerings. The salads, miso and tempura all met or exceeded our expectations. Very well done. Even the "avid ones" suggested the tempura was superior to most.

            My husband prefers Nigiri and was quite pleased. I prefer rolls. While they were not the most inspired I've had, I only have one obsevation that I questioned - the tuna in the spicy tuna roll was so melt in your mouth soft that it seemed processed in some way. I'm sure that is not the case but it's the best way that I can describe it.

            The "avid ones" ordered sashimi and a couple of rolls, as well as seaweed salad. Again, we all loved the salad. With their more sophisticated palates for sushi, they thought the fish a bit aged.

            I tried cold sake for the first time. Wow - what an experience. I despise hot sake - it tastes like engine fuel or something like it. This cold sake was smooth and tasty.

            Finally, the bill... not what I was expecting. It was still $150 with pain and suffering (aka tax and tip). We did sample many dishes, however, that we would not have bothered with at the tried and true places where we go for the sushi experience.

        2. re: jwynne2000

          I've got to offer you a very late thank you. So far we have eaten for too much Reale's and love the nacho's at Jardin. Osaka is next!

        3. re: Rene

          OK, i thought living out here was going to be horrible, restaurant wise...and while it is not exactly Flushing, NY, there are some ok options.
          Saccone's is the only real pizza choice, the others pale in comparison. For Mexican, the Taqueria Guadalajara, near the Valero gas station at Little Elm is actually quite good; if they had machacado, they would approach perfection...but the tacos are all decent, the carne asada and chulta are both decent, and the grilled cebollitas on those plates add a touch of authenticity.
          There is a branch of the very decent, though unjustly maligned Sea Dragon on 183 just south of Lakeline, I think...maybe just a hair N. of 620? It's bad Chinese, great Viet. Get the lemongrass chicken, or the pork with ginger, lamb with ginger or the duck with leeks and ginger. You won't get that on SoCo or in the ludicrously named 2nd St. District (where the hell did that come from?) There is another Viet place in the shopping center with Target, I think it is a branch of that over rated place on Lamar at Morrow (?), but is only So So. Still, it's an option in a pinch.
          Not in CP, but only 5 minutes away is the amazing Asia Cafe at 183 and Spicewood Springs. This is hands down the best Chinese in Central Texas and worth maintaining your Williamson Cty/Travis Cty passport current.
          There is a Thai place on 183 and Buttercup in the strip center there...can't remember the name, but I ate there some years ago and it was quite decent...the owners may have changed, but again, it's an option.
          Daddy's Hamburgers on 183 a bit north of Cypress Creek (i think that is the name of the cross street) just opened, they use real ground beef, not frozen patties, and it is another simple, but honest option....beats the chains for sure.
          There are quite a few more places, but I have not been to them personally and thus am not allowed to mention them on this board apparently, the censors don't like that...
          Anyway, I could live on Asia Cafe alone and never give a damn that CP is home to all the nastiest chains you can imagine....

          1. re: sambamaster

            Can anyone think of a diner or mom and pop place (American food) in the Cedar Park area, or even NW Austin?

            1. re: Rene

              I think that the closest would be a Kerby Lane on 183 to a diner. I would also like to throw out Midori Sushi up on 183 and Anderson Mill (across the freeway from Osaka). Of the two, we prefer Midori... consistently good and clean!

              1. re: Rene

                The only thing that comes to mind is actually in Georgetown (not too far from CP depending on how close you are to I35). While I haven't been in a few years, the Monument Cafe on Austin Ave (near the intersection with Leander) in Georgetown always had good food when I frequented their location. Nice burgers, good entrees (I remember the CFS and the fish dishes), a wide selection of rotating sides, and pretty decent pies and desserts. When I was in school in Georgetown, this was the place that we went when we were missing mom's home cooking. Plus, it wasn't a bank buster. Like I said, I haven't been by in a few years, but if the chow is anything like it was then, then I definitely recommend the place.

                1. re: Rene

                  Not sure if it fits your criteria, but Hoovers (183 and Anderson Mill) is good home cooking. Chicken fried steak, pork chops, bbq, etc.

                  1. re: hhenry

                    We did consider Hoover's and have tried it about half a dozen times. We never leave really pleased as we did at the Manor Rd. location so we have taken it off the list for now.

                    Regarding Monument, I've tried to go twice but both times the wait was over an hour... not a good plan with a one year old in tow. We will get back sometime, though.

                  2. re: Rene

                    In Cedar Park there is a semi-new Mexican Food place called Los Reyes on 183 in the strip center with Popeye's (it's in the corner). Food is great, reasonable and the Mexican Flag margarita is really good. Burgers - try Moonie's Burgers - on 183 in the strip center with the new Ace Hardware. Good home cooked food travel another 10 minutes further North to Leander next to the two story back on the left of 183 called The O'Leander Cafe.

                    1. re: TEXAS.512

                      Can you tell me how Los Reyes compare to Jardin Corona across the street? JC is our regular but I would like to expand my horizons. Also, do you know if they have happy hour drinks? If so, what would that be?

                      1. re: Rene

                        We went to Los Reyes this evening with friends that we semi-regularly have dinner with on Monday at Jardin Corona.

                        When we were seated, we were served so-so tortilla chips with two salsas and a complimentary small dish of queso. Both salsas were good, but one was quite different. It was a pureed red pepper salsa that had a great flavor but little spice... it was good, though. The other was the tomato, onion, cilantro variety and had a nice kick. The queso was lackluster but adding the regular salsa made it very good.

                        I ordered the daily special, Carne Asada and an enchilada - I chose cheese with chile gravy. The Carne Asada was very flavorful but the enchilada came with a queso sauce. I was annoyed but decided to keep it to myself... and I'm glad that I did. The enchilada was good. The meal included rice and beans (the waitress recommended charro, which I selected) and both were pretty darn good. I know this as I rarely spend the calories on these items. Since I was sharing my meal with a friend, I pretty much cleaned the plate. The cost was $8.95 for this entree and I would say, well worth it.

                        Hubby had the Chicken Monterrey which compares to a dish at JC at about $9. He really enjoyed it. It was chicken breast, onions, peppers in a white cheese sauce, more cheese than sauce. Again, rice and charro beans... and a clean plate.

                        Intereestingly, the flour tortillas are homemade. They are thin which I prefer. I think the corn tortillas are store bought.

                        Our waitress was delightful. Her name is Alex and she spent time with our table... I don't mean overbearing, just pleasant and helpful.

                        Comparing to JC, this place is CLEAN! There is plenty of room between tables. Bathrooms are immaculate. Not so at JC. However, the bar is small and has only bottled beer. On Monday evenings, we are used to getting a pitcher of Dos Equis for $4.95 at JC.

                        Bottom line, I would like to see this place succeed. The main problem that they could be facing is with the beverages. I think that we were the only table drinking beer, everyone else was having iced tea or water. They actually ran out of Miller Lite and had to send someone to the store (I know, Miller Lite is not really beer...) Today, with 3 adults and a nine year old, our bill came to $52. At JC, ordering the same thing with the addition of another male adult, the bill would have been roughly $40.

                    2. re: Rene

                      That would be Hoover's!

                      1. re: Rene

                        Moonies Burgers on Bell next to Ace hardware. The meat itself is good, not as good as Fudruckers, but the buns make the burgers melt in your mouth delicious and the fries are extra crispy on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside. The staff is very friendly too.

                      2. re: sambamaster

                        Follow up to sambamaster's entry from February - Daddy's Hamburgers on 183 is now closed. Moody's Hamburgers is located across the highway in the ACE hardware shopping center and is very good.

                        Another note...THREADGILLS is suppose to be headed to Cedar Park soon - not sure of the ETA but, will be located in the Rail Yard Shopping Center (183/1431 head East on 1431 and it's on the left past the RR tracks).

                        1. re: sambamaster

                          Finally got to try the north version of Sea Dragon last night. I've been a little under the weather lately, so I just got pho, which was very enjoyable. I'm really excited to explore some of the other viet dishes though.

                          Good chow news for Cedar Park hounds: I overheard the chef / owner(?) of Sea Dragon last night telling another table that he was opening a steak and seafood place at the Railyard and that it should be open in a few weeks. I think he was tinkering with some fried catfish last night that he will plan on offering at the new place. Some of his regular customers were getting samples and it looked pretty great.

                      3. I moved from Cedar Park in January to south Austin, but while I was there we did a lot of Hoover's, Reale's, and Dragonfly take out. I like Yaghi's pizza over Saccones. I was never a fan of any of the restaurants in the Railyard.

                        There's Pacific Star down the road a piece on 183. Also the Tea House isn't terrible.

                        1. Yep, it seems that the further one is from the city center, the more the chains. We have found Mood and Food on 2222 & Riverplace to be good...It's not a chain; it is described as Italian/Mediterranean...but a bit pricey for a weekday meal. Reales is OK. I agree that Saccones is definitely over-rated..but what do I know of NY pizza? Hoover's is off my list also. I actualy like the chicken-fried steak at Chilies...I don't even believe that myself but I do.

                          1. Springhill Restaurant has just opened at 183/Buttercup (going 183 North it's on the left at the intersection). They have locations in Pflugerville and on 71. Great Catfish. The buffet is the best deal - less than $10 and it's from 11-2, all you can eat, salad bar, fried catfish, chicken strips, okra, mac and cheese, fries, huspuppies, green beans, brown beans, rolls (and more) and a drink is included.

                            1. So, I've been in Cedar Park for 3 years now... this fall I'll finally be moving closer in to town. (yay!)

                              But basically it's pretty desolate out here... There used to be Selene's up in Leander, which was fabulous and amazingly priced, but they went out of business earlier this year. Really quite tragic. Bud & Walt's Square Cut Pizza in the middle of Cedar Park was great, but they also went out of business. But enough about the fallen... let's see what's left.

                              Sushi: Midori Sushi at Anderson Mill and 183. Pretty darn good; try the Phoenix Roll and the Paradise Roll, and of course have a few pieces of Escolar.
                              BBQ: Smokey Mo's in a pinch, Rudy's at Duval and 183 otherwise
                              Breakfast tacos and pastries: Daylight Donuts (303 N. Bell)
                              Thai: Thamnak Thai, at Buttercup Creek and 183; quite good, open pretty late (for Cedar Park), and they have awesome mango sticky rice for dessert
                              Chinese: Asia Cafe at Spicewood Springs/McNeil and 183; one of the best restaurants in town. period.

                              I never really liked Sea Dragon or Kim Phung (the one in the Target strip mall). Dragonfly in Lakeline mall should be avoided. (Heck, hit up the Chic-Fil-A if you're eating at the mall!)

                              In any case, if you live in Cedar Park, eat at Asia Cafe. That's all you need to know. :)

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: pwang

                                Midori... WOW! What an unexpected pleasure!

                              2. A new option just opened at Cypress Creek and El Salido: Palm Beach Grill.

                                The food quality was surprisingly high, for the price. The most expensive sandwich plate was under $6, and the special was about $8. My wife's Cuban sandwich plate was very good and came with a surprising mango pico. I had the special, a brisket and sausage plate. It was an upscale brisket and not at all what I expected. It was well seasoned, and the excellent sausage comes from a place in Yoakum. Everything was made in house by the resident cook.

                                The environment was rather austere, with basic furniture on stained cement floors and a corny straw 'roof' over the counter. They opened just over a week ago so they haven't added some of their upcoming features, such as picnic baskets and kids meals served on frisbees. The owner lives here in Cedar Park and has a background in catering. He's a bit talkative, but business was slow and he may have wanted to ensure a positive experience.

                                Our usual choices in the area are La Feria for Mexican (sometimes we try the lackluster Guadalajara on Cypress Creek for variety) Yaghi's for pizza, Smokey Mo's for BBQ, and an occasional jaunt to Kerby.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Malcontent

                                  Just wanted to second the recommendation for Palm Beach Grill. If they're still open, you should definitely eat there and support a local non-chain restaurant. (The last time I was there, the owner mentioned that their advertisements were not drawing the crowds they had hoped.) Their sandwiches and stuff on the standard menu are good, but the special of the day is where they really shine. Every time I've had it, whatever it might be, I've been very happy with the food.

                                  Unfortunately they opened right as we were moving out of Cedar Park, so I won't have a chance to patronize the restaurant in the future. Other Cedar Park chowhounds should support this restaurant, though!

                                  1. re: Malcontent

                                    I third the recommendation! I had seen this place for a few months and figured it was not going to be that great, went in a few weeks ago and I'm hooked!

                                    Just got back from lunch there (King Ranch Casserole)!!

                                    Good, fresh food for a good price! Way better than fast food. The owners said business is doing well with the catering they do out of that kitchen, the schools and businesses nearby. I'm there twice a week now.

                                    Do try the lunch and dinner specials- so far, they have not been a disappointment!

                                  2. Thamnak Thai is one of Cedar Park's best kept secrets for Thai and Indian food, although it's increasing in popularity. They are in the strip mall on SW corner of the old 184 and Buttercup. Do not go in and just order anything, though…Get the Lemon grass soup with chicken, Green or Panang Curry with beef, Pad Thai with pork or any of the stir frys. Their location looks uninspiring, but the food is fantastic complete with little tiny family style serving dishes. The price is right at $7 a plate, too. However, do not waist your time on their spring rolls.

                                    The very best spring rolls and Vietnamese noodle bowls go to Kim Fung located in the strip next to the Target on Lakeline Mall Blvd. The noodle bowls (get them with peanut sauce and not fish sauce) are a combination of cut up egg rolls, meat, vermicelli noodles, sauce and veggies. They’re huge and easily shared by two. The Hot and Sour Soup there is very original, too. It is sweet and gingery.
                                    Happy Eating!

                                    1. For Chinese food, I would definitely recommend the Hunan Chef on N. Bell (I believe it's in the same strip as Popeye's Chicken). They have the best orange chicken I've ever tasted, and their hot and sour soup is to die for.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: TheSprinkler

                                        Thamnak Thai- tried last night and I will agree it is a best kept secret thanks for sharing mamaof4.....we had the satay spiced perfect and the peanut sauce was one of the best I have ever had. Green Curry Shrimp is just how I like it prepared, not to thick and lots of veggies which is nice. The rice is fluffy and light. Great meal!

                                        1. re: familyof3

                                          I live in NW Austin (near 620 and 183) and finally tried Thamnak Thai. What a surprise! Great, low prices for good food. I've only eaten there twice, but I enjoyed it both times. I had the wonton soup, with very thin wontons and lots of sliced vegetables. The broth was flavorful and all of the ingredients were very fresh. The spring rolls and egg rolls were both good, but I agree with whoever said earlier that spring rolls are best gotten from Kim Phung on Lakeline. The stir fries and noodle dishes are both wonderful.
                                          Also, for Thai further north, I recently tried Thai Spoon in Round Rock on Gattis School Road. They were also very impressive, but more expensive than Thamnak.

                                      2. I'll second the thumbs-up for Moonies Burger House at 200 South Bell (near Ace Hardware). I stopped in for lunch today a bit past 2 (the place was almost empty) and had the swiss-and-mushroom burger with sweet potato fries. Fast, friendly service; great toasted, squarish buns with plenty of sauteed shrooms and cheese; roomy booths with country music on the sound system. (It's nice to leave Austin and visit Texas every once in a while.) The sweet potato fries are super, as is this burger joint. Support local entrepreneurs over chain eateries whenever you get a chance, folks.

                                        1. Sambaster mentioned a Thai place in CP. It used to and may still be called Classic Thai. It is in the shopping center across from the pet connection. We've been going there a long time and thru at least three owners. Our favorite was the first time when we met the daughter of the owner, grandaughter of the chef/cook. If you ordered something that she didn't think was any good she'd let you know. Her name was Sampon or Tampon or some other pon but dare not pass on her advice.

                                          They used to serve a whole fried fish with a great thai sauce. Whole means whole, eyeballs and all. It's dark, quiet, good for conversation. It didn't used to serve any wine or liquor but times change.

                                          Haven't been there lately, maybe a year ago.

                                          1. Has anyone tried the relatively new steak and seafood restaurant in the Railyard shopping center?

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: korikoritx

                                              If I'm not mistaken, this new place owned/operated by the Sea Dragon guy. Shortly before Sea Dragon II closed, I overheard him talking all about it with a couple of his regular customers.

                                              1. re: jwynne2000

                                                You're right about the Sea Dragon connection. I haven't been there but Rob Balon had a favorable mention on his blog:

                                                "Many foodies in Austin are aware of the iconic Sea Dragon restaurant off 183. Later a Sea Dragon II opened which was forced to close due to landlord issues. Hal Lien, proprietor of Sea Dragon II, moved out to Cedar Park, and instead of doing Chinese, opened a seafood/steak/sandwiches restaurant called C. R. Surf and Turf. It’s on 1431 across from the Post Office and Just West of the Railyard Shopping Center.

                                                We stopped there over the weekend and sampled. The Gulf Oysters were cold and fresh and very tasty: the gumbo had a nice mild roux but still with a little bite; the Fried Shrimp were delicious with a lovely batter; the Ribeye with grilled shrimp was also very tasty..."

                                            2. I just got back from the first visit to the newly-opened "King Noodle", on Cypress Creek just a short ways west of 183. Took the family, including a wife who's allergic to seafood, and a couple of early-teen boys. The decor was mid-range Aisian. Nice enough, but without that veneer of faux-elegance that makes you warns you you'd better watch your wallet. Our waitress was very friendly and helpful, suggesting different items. But it's about the food, so here ya go:
                                              The Guude Wyffe (no seafood, remember?) got a rice-and-beef plate, which was simple and clean, with flavorful teriyaki-like beef strips. Number 1 Son (age 14) ordered Pho, which was good but not really anything special. Number 2 son (12) is a little less adventurous (read: picky), and ordered Bun, with no vegetables--just meat and noodles. They happily took his order, but a few green onions found their way into his bowl. I don't hold that against the cooks, but he did. Hopefully he'll start risking new flavors before too long. As for me, I ordered a "Las Vegas" roll, and perhaps it's been too long since I've had good sushi to make a fair comparison, but this thing was an explosion of flavor with every bite! Alas, I couldn't convince anyone else to order a roll to share, but if they're all like this, count me in. It's been hours since dinner's been over, but the memory of that warm, crispy, creamy roll keeps coming back to my mind. Fantastic.
                                              There are no generic Chinese-American dishes on the menu, it's categorized into Japanese salads,soups, and appetizers (edamame, tempura, squid salad, yellowtail neck...), Pho (beef and chicken), Bun, and a fairly large selection of sushi rolls. Try it out yo' own dang self and let us know what you think.

                                              1. thanks for the tip

                                                1. This may be more appropriate to Hard Hat, but I have been to 1431 Cafe (where Traxx was) a couple of times now, and will definitely be back. It's kind of diner food-patty melt's, burgers, meatloaf and breakfast items. The service is really quick, and the food is quick too, making it a great lunch spot.