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Feb 13, 2007 06:15 PM

cedar park?

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 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.

                      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!