Well Zoot is off Bee Cave, so I wouldn't classify that as Oak Hill.
I'd define Oak Hill as West of Mopac and South of 71(Ben White). You can go as far South as necessary, but past Nutty Brown there isn't much netween nutty Brown and Dripping Springs. This boundary is kind of fuzzy, because of the curving nature of 71/BenWhite.
But since you raised the post, you are right. There is a lack of good places to eat that aren't chains. And many of those are local chains (chuys, maudies, brick oven) While it is true, South Austin has a lot of places and is close by, but that wouldn't fit with my definition of Oak Hill. With apologies to Amysue, Oak Hill is the true "land of the bland". The crowds at Cheddars bear this out.
So after living in this part of town for 4 years, in the spirit of Neighborhood Chow Part I, this is my list of places I can come up with off the top of my head. I have eaten at some of these, so I will give a quick review or blurb where appropriate.
In no particular order
Chuys - I like it, i know it doesn't get a lot of love on this board, but it's pretty good Tex-Mex. Only been once to htis location, but the chips were nice and fresh. Everybody liked their Enchiladas.
Cheddars - Never been
Costco - For $10 you get pizza that better than most
Yaghi's - their normal pizzas are better than average. I'd staqy away from the pizzas with white sauce.
Cypress Grill - Got food to go once from there, no one was impressed enough to go back
Satellite (on escarpment) - pretty good
Austin Pizza Garden
Mangieries Pizza - thin crust is good for that style
Blue Bamboo - Never been
Natural Planet (or something like that) - in same strip center as previous 5
Burger-Tex - Never been to this one
Croissant time - in same strip center as burger-tex
T and N cafe - passable Viet
Mexican Restaurant (forget the name) in same strip center as the previous 3 - Never been
Panera - skip the Bagels, all else above average chain - pretty good crusty french loaf
Taste of Mexico (where Giss's Cafe used to be) - never been
China Hill - They deliver all over the area, but i wouldn't recommend it. Just your standard Americanized chinese food.
Dimassi's Med. Buffet
Donn's BarBQ - Been twice. Had some pretty good brisket and sausage both times. Better than Green Mesquite.
Chapala - not related to the one on anderson. I liked the menudo. Bkfst tacos on the smallish side
Senor Buddy's - Owned by curras people. I like it. I have only gotten Bkfst tacos to go, though.
These are actually east of my boundary, but so far south I lump them in anyway:
Galaxy Cafe - My wife really likes it. Good variety.
Also of note:
Segovia - I heard it closed down
Also, not really Oak Hill, but if you are driving from Oak hill, In Spicewood are.
There is also some new upscale Mexican Restaurant on Hamilton Pool road. - Never been
I'm sure i left some out, so feel free to jump in, as if anyone needs an invitation.
wow, how could you forget the McDonalds at the Y and the Jack in the Box just up the hill from the cemetary on William Cannon. Just kidding.... We also have a Golden Fried Chicken next to Jim's, a Mr. Gatti's down by Big Lots and a chinese restaurant next to the Mr. Gatti's.
The sub shop just recently changed names and are using Boar's Head meats.
The Golden Fried Chicken is actually pretty good. We also have Donn's BBQ right behind the old Albertson's. I see it get mixed reviews, but I actually think the brisket is much better than the Salt Lick. Out close to Nutty Brown is Cartwright's BBQ, which was pretty good when it opened but not consistent now. The Burger Tex at 290 and William Cannon is actually very good. Flores is the Mexican Restaurant in the same center. They just recently opened a new location just this side of Dripping, it's a nice big building but I haven't been to it. Have been to the one in Oak Hill and it's ok.
Out past Nutty Brown and before the new Flores is a place called The Stadium.
Fun place with sand volleyball courts and like a sports bar in the inside. The food is good. Normal sports bar stuff. The little restaurant in the Chevron at Fitzhugh and 290W is real Mexican food. Not so much Tex-Mex. Has a large hispanic following. Closes early. The taco trailer,Gordo's, across the street from the Valero before Fitzhugh has really some of the best breakfast tacos around. They close at 3. Really good food there.
I would suggest that you call them, 507-2606, before going to make sure that they are there. It is worth the trip.
I haven't been there but the Mexican Grill on Hamilton Pool looks packed all the time. They are more of a grill than traditional Tex-Mex fare. The name starts with a V.
Rosie's is still there just past 71 and 620. If you haven't had the suicide taco, you just gotta go.. Only served in the mornings.
that's all for now.
tuckspop, I'm intrigued by your breakfast taco comment regarding Gordo's.
Which Valero location? What do you normally order? Our fave bfast tacos in the state are in Rockport, TX...go figure. So it would be nice to change it up from our normal Rudy's/Maria's Taco Xpress/Maudie's/HEB/Taco Cabana/Jim's choices for breakfast.
Tacqueria Puerto Vallarta, 3002 Highway 35N Rockport, (361) 790-7221
The place is unassuming, smells like bleach in restaurant, has a crazy drive-through box...and sllllooooow. Do not let any of these things turn you off. Expect to wait 15-20 minutes for your order. We always take ours to go and take back to condo. Salsa is really great too. I always get the bacon, egg and cheese. Fresh everything. Craving it.
Some other good places: Alby's (amazing shrimp, oyster po-boys (don't get catfish one) and jalapeno poppers stuffed with crab, and onion rings).
We are in Rockport every other month and those are two places we always hit. There are others. Just remember...you are on coastal time.
Gordo's is probably 3 to 4 miles past the Y in Oak Hill out 290W. The food is made by this guy and his mom. 3 different sizes of taco. They also serve lunch.
I really have like anything that I have ordered. I like the potato and egg and the fajita taco. Really good hot sauce. But let me warn you, it is a little warm. We go to Aransas Pass all the time. Eat tacos at the taco place behind the HEB.
Have you eaten at JJ's in Rockport. I hear it's good. Owned by the brother of a friend, but we haven't gotten over there. I do like Jamma's for breakfast over in Rockport.
Just ate at Tacqueria Las Palmas at Y, Texaco. The trailer was packed and took 20ish minutes to get our order. VERY good. I had bacon, egg and cheese, hub had chorizo and egg, and kids had bean and cheese. 7 tacos for $10!!!
Salsa was righteous and hot.
Will be back. Only downside, the wait and tacos on small size.
I've had several nice meals at the Tokyo Teppan sushi restaurant in the HEB strip near the Y. We split the Love Boat (off the menu now, but still available), which is a huge amount of sushi and sashimi with some beef and chicken teriyaki, grilled mushrooms, etc., and a veggie tempura app, for $40. Could esily feed 3 or even 4 reasonable people; we gorge ourselves. Their tako salad is delicious as well.
now that im living around this area i feel obligated to post about a few places here ive gone, just as updates!
taqueria escondida (the taqueria inside the chevron on fitzhugh): this place is for real. the formula for taqueria dopeness is take the number of mexican day laborers/construction workers you consistently see at the place and divide by five. yeah the telemundo/univision daytime tv shows they play are horrible but with breakfast tacos this good theres no need to. i hear their burgers and fried chicken are good too but honestly im never really in the mood for it, tho their chile relleno was pretty good as well. definitely the best taco spot in the deep, deep southwest of austin.
taqueria las palmas (right before william cannon on 290), gordos on 290: these trailers are great. gordos is run by some younger american(ish) guys while palmas is the standard hispanic woman with a shaky grasp of english. it warms my heart to know that the spirit of TACOS TACOS is alive in austin everywhere. havent gone to flores in dripping springs, but i guess in the spirit of exploration i have to: not expecting too much, though - if it lives up to these trailers that would be nice.
cypress grill (william cannon and mopac): while the reviews are middling, the food was great when i went there. had the crabcakes (awesome) and the rattlesnake pasta (with extra spiciness, because what am i, some kind of girl?) good service too, although its probably cause we came late at night and were the last people there lol
evangeline cafe (brodie and stassney) - had the roast beef poboy and a cup of gumbo, both were pretty good. i hear the burger here is also good so ill have to try it sometime. i could care less about crowds or 'ambience,' but this place is definitely a neighborhood haunt so props on that.
southside subs (290 and 71 next to the gattitown) - maybe my expectations were led too high by yelp reviews, but it doesnt really compare to the big dogs of the laughable as it sounds "austin deli scene" - fricanos, little deli, bella donna, hog island. i had a gourmet italian and while it was alright, boars head everything and whatnot, it just lacked that oomph that makes you go "id pay for that sandwich again!" ill give it another shot tho.
t&n cafe (290 and william cannon) - great vietnamese place. got a roasted pork bahn mi and my brother got pho - the pho was great and the bahn mi, while not a delicate, green-laden creature like a lot of typical bahn mis, did have a crapload of pork in it, so i cant hate! mos def worth exploring the menu
burgertex (same center as above) - come on, its fin burgertex. what else do you need to know. god bless those barbecuin koreans!
yaghis (71) - definitely the best pizza pick up option around the area. i mean, its austin pizza, what are you gonna do? nuff said.
also, while this is not at oak hill, i also went to cebuana filipino on oltorf, next to the 888. that place is for real, this nice filipina lady whos also very chatty cooks up different lunches every day in a video rental store owned by a cool black guy. seriously this would be my spot if i still lived in the 41.
there is still more work (aka eating) to be done, this is just the start!