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Apr 17, 2007 06:40 AM


Will be staying on Lake Travis and would like to know of some really good eating places?

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  1. Well, if you want to go all out try Hudson's on the Bend and Ciola's Italian-American Restaurant on RR 620. If you don't want to spend a lot of $$ while enjoying some food and a little local atmosphere try Buster's Bar-B-Que (the brisket bombs) on RR 620 and the fajitas tacos with pico, "suicide" breakfast taco or the "broasted" chicken at the Rosie's to Go tamale house on Hwy 71 past RR 620 (it's real shack across the street from Rosie's restaurant). These are all locally owned joints and they are each very unique in there own way.

    1. The only place we like out there is Rocco's. Good, consistent food and a great patio.

      1. I'd suggest that you drive a bit further west on Highway 71 until you get to Spicewood, where you should then try the delicious chow at the Backstage Steakhouse.

        I've never gone wrong there.


        8 Replies
        1. re: MPH

          not to mention, Opie's. Damn fine bbq (very close to Coopers, imho)

          1. re: amysuehere

            Good point. I tried this place last year on the recommendation of Texas chowhound Scott. I like their ribs, pork chop, and brisket, and I think their beans are pretty good, too, if I recall correctly.

            Another option is the burgers at Poodie's Hilltop Cafe in Spicewood. I can't personally recommend them yet—I’ll have a firsthand experience on Saturday, I hope—but I trust the advice of Austin 'hound scrumptiouschef.

            1. re: MPH

              After a recent return visit to Spicewood, I can now personally recommend the burgers at Poodie's. While I usually go for just a plain hamburger, this time I went with their specialty “Poodie Burger,” with onion rings. (Chips or fries are the other optional sides.) This burger comes with a generous, totally-melted slab of Monterrey-jack cheese; soft, grilled onions; and a couple of canned green chiles that add a sour, chewy, not-too-spicy component. It was a perfectly satisfying flavor combo. The patty is a little more than a quarter pound of flavorful meat, shaped about a half-inch thick and maybe 5 inches in diameter. I believe scrumptiouschef said that it's cooked in a pat of jalapeño butter. The burger is griddled rather than grilled.

              The sesame-seed bun was toasted to a nice golden-brown, and it held up very well through the entire eating process. This burger didn’t come with mustard, but it might have had a schmear of mayo on one side of the bun. No lettuce, tomato, or pickles came on the Poodie burger, either, but all of these are options for plain hamburgers or cheeseburgers.

              Everything that came from the fryer was served piping hot. The onion rings were battered, not breaded. There was nothing unusual about the slightly sweet batter, and they were a bit underdone. Yet they were tasty enough. The well-salted fries were of the standard square-cut variety; they were also underdone in the middle but had decent flavor. My dining companion ordered some fried mozzarella sticks, which were a well-executed guilty pleasure.

              This was the best burger I’ve had in a really long time. In fact, if I hadn't been completely stuffed after eating it, I would have wanted to order another one just to prolong the pleasure. Lord knows how people manage to consume the double-patty version, but there is one on the menu. I’ll happily make the drive from Austin to have this exact same meal again. Many thanks to scrumptiouschef for pointing me to a truly delicious option.

              1. re: MPH

                The only odd thing I find about MPH's post is Poodies using canned green chiles...I was hanging out in there late one night a fewyears ago and a couple trail worn,Mexican Honchos rolled in with a gunny sack stuffed full of Hatch peppers....they had just cruised in from Hatch NM and were straight delivering the goods to Poodie himself who was camped at a table with a handle of booze...we all had a round of the burgers with the fresh chiles...a memory I'll take to my grave.

                  1. re: amysuehere

                    I believe that Poodie's has no connection to RO's, amysuehere. Poodie's is an unreconstructed small-town honky-tonk/bar, not the Disneyfied version of same. I mention this because I drove all the way out there a couple of weeks ago, with colleagues from work who refused to stay. Poodie's is located just a little down the road from the Backstage Steakhouse, before the turn-off to Opie's (I'm almost positive), on that same side of the highway.

                    And scrumptious, the green chiles weren't pickled, but they weren't fresh, either. Maybe the gunny sack of Hatch peppers runs out sometimes?


                    1. re: MPH

                      Here's my dilema...

                      Getting outhere is highly unlikely (there are plenty of places here in town I'm ashamed to say I still haven't tried, Uchi being one...)

                      So, I finally get out there and now I have a choice - Poodies, RO's or Opies. I've had Opies and to me it's as close to Coopers as I can get without the long drive - hard to resist.

                      I think that's my same problem I had with Freddie's Place and Polvo's, but I'm glad I stopped at Freddie's. Now I can go to one without lamenting the other depending on the mood I'm in...
                      ...but I digress.

                      1. re: amysuehere

                        Here's one thought. Go to Poodie's for their namesake burger; drive down to Opie's for a sausage chaser and maybe some 'cue to go, which you can stash in a cooler; then, stop at RO’s for a slice of pie.

                        To me, the delicious burger at Poodie's was worth a trip in and of itself; the CFS at RO's, while not bad, was not. RO’s sides and appetizers were fresh out of a can and the barbecue disappointing (except maybe for the smoked turkey), but the pie was housemade and quite good.

        2. Some of the better Chinese in this area can be found at Pao's Mandarin House. They have Dim Sum early on Saturdays and Sundays and their specials board generally offers some real winners.