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Within 20 minutes of Lakeline Mall

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  • Rene Sep 25, 2007 02:40 PM
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We were planning to go to Cafe Blue at the lake and I checked their menu online and they are closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. Can anyone tell me of a good backup plan in the area? We don't want Mexican or Asian and prefer not a chain or counter order type place. I went to Reales last Friday so that's out.

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  1. This thread might help: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/436041
    Tino's Greek Cafe, Midori (actually scratch that, no Asian), and Shandeez were all mentioned in a favorable light.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Hsien_Ko

      I read that thread but nothing inspired. Thanks, though!

    2. Hey Rene, what about Reed's Jazz & Supper Club in the Arboretum?

      It looked interesting while walking by a month or so ago, but I couldn't find any reviews here.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sweet100s

        That is a great idea! I really enjoy Reed's and haven't been in several months. However, we were having an early meal (6:30) and wanted a slightly less bustling environment since we had planned on the lake experience.

        We stopped by Mood and Food to look at the menu. It was nice with escargot and an interesting looking fried polenta appetizer with a large Mediterranean influence, but again a bit more fine dining and date type place.

        We settled on Mesa Ranch which my friend had tried once for lunch and enjoyed. I had never been.

        Mesa Ranch is the first restaurant that I've been to in awhile that did not disappoint me and lived up to it's claim. It's a casual spot but not grungy casual at all. The ambience is Texas Steakhouse with live music (that was terrific) and a decent happy hour (1/2 price apps and drink discounts) which we missed due to our stop at Mood and Food.

        The server, Amanda (who was practically perfect), took our drink order and brought out some cornbread that was shaped like cactus and fence posts - served with a chive butter. I really liked the cornbread but it had pieces of corn which is not my preference as it seems to make the bread a bit too sweet and chewy. Nonetheless, it was tasty.

        We selected the Fried Cactus app which comes with queso and a tequila ranch dressing. The cactus was very flavorful, but mostly from the seasoning, I suspect. I really liked the queso and the ranch was okay.

        We shared the filet which comes with a salad and side item (optional seafood or choice of three tempting sauces for an upcharge which we elected not to order). My friend ordered the house salad with Avacado Cilantro dressing and I ordered the Ceasar which was very good and interesting. The cheese was cojita and the croutons a crispy cornbread. Obviously not traditional but very, very good!

        For the side item, the poblano mashed potatoes were so good... buttery, very slightly spicey and peppery, and a great consistency with a few small chunks of potato still noticeable.

        While the tenderloin was quite tender and delicious and cooked to the requested med rare, the error made was that they cut the steak In half (since we were sharing) before cooking. I think that was quite unfortunate as a smaller cut will be drier. I will definelty remember to make sure that this never occurs in the future.

        For dessert, my friend ordered the apple pie with blue bell vanilla. I'm not so fond of sweets but she was really pleased.

        All in all, a very good experience! I will suggest that Mesa Ranch competes with or exceeds the best steak and upscale casual dining expereince north of town.

        http://www.mesaranchaustin.com/index....

        Backstage Steakhouse is in the works for Sunday evening and I can't wait... I just have to make sure they are open and that Raymond will be working.

      2. I live by Lakeline mall. It takes me 15 minutes to get downtown. :-)
        Jump on 183 and you're there. There's no need anymore to limit your dining choices to "out here".

        1 Reply
        1. re: scoutaustin

          I agree with scoutaustin. I live at Parmer and 620. Yesterday it took me 19 minutes to get from Red River and 7th to the house. Granted, there was no traffic...
          I was having lunch at Koriente.
          But as for the neighborhood eats, I would recommend Tomo Sushi on Parmer...Cool River (ask for the Three Forks salad), Asia Market, Spicy Pickle Deli, or Shandeez Grill on Anderson Mill.