New to Round Rock
Hello fellow foodies!
I recently moved to Round Rock and am looking for some delicious NON-CHAIN places to eat. I haven't been out and about too much off the main roads, because I am directionally challenged, so haven't seen much besides chain restaurants.
So, I know this is a really old string but I figured I would add my two cents anyways. :)
Morelia Grill- On 79 and Georgetown in RR. Awesome selection of Fajitas at a great price. The fried avocados are also amazing. You must try the Fajitas Romanas which is mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, scallions and a jalapeno cream sauce slathered all over your choice of Steak, Chicken or Shrimp. YUM!
Dos Salsas- On University and Austin in G-Town. This is the closest thing I can find to "California" Mexican food here in central Texas. The Barbacoa is out of this world good. Ask for Irais... he's an awesome waiter!
Hao Hao- 620 right next to RR High School. I never go here for Chinese... they do, however, have the best Pho Tai Nam in the area in my opinion. I also love their Pork Banh Mi... super delicious!
Beluga- Louis Henna and Greenlawn in RR. I know it's already been mentioned as a great sushi place but I wanted to update that they have awesome HH specials from 5-7 M-F and all day on Sunay. Saturdays they have all you can eat sushi all day for $35/person. It's made to order and most of the menu. AMAZING!!
Pita Fusion- A few doors down from Beluga- Awesome pita using fresh pita picked up daily from a Lebanese bakery in Austin... so very yummy.
Juarez Bakery- Mays and Gattis School in RR- It's been mentioned but, the Pastor Tortas are INSANE... so delicious, cheap and HUGE... and you absolutely have to get a house made churro filled with Cajeta. YUM!
Okay... now I'm hungry... Hope you've been enjoying your time in Round Rock!
Taqueria Arandinas is a gem.
Pozole - Red Jalisco style pozole served in half a bucket with cilantro and cabbage (they actually asked whether I wanted lettuce or cabbage, so beware if you don't speak up you might end up with the dreaded lettuce), and tasty small corn tortillas (i don't know whether they were made on the premises or not).
The soup was so loaded with hominy and chunks of pork that I only used half my allotment of cabbage. The rich red broth was the right balance of savory pork fat with a slight spice that builds on itself.
Chips with three different types of salsa that were all flavorful, though not necessarily to my taste. My favorite (the verde) appeared to be liquified hot chilis. It is very nice on tacos. A small bowl of frijoles a la charra is also complimentary and a solid tasty bowl of beans it is.
Carne Guisada is good enough for me to head there next time we have a cold and rainy evening. They are not San Antonio good, but they are in the upper class of the Austin guisadas.
For an Ex - South Austinite that needed a go to Mexican - Tex Mex place, this is a very welcome find.
ditto teji's in the same strip mall as saccones (haven't been there--whenever I see teji's I can't stop salivating, thinking about their samosas and dal makhni).
also, georgetown, monument (so so for me but everybody seems to like it). there's a new thai place in georgetown called...dia...on 7th street east of the square. great fried tofu. on main in gtwn just steps from the sq...laurie's too which is seriously home cooking.
I am also from illinois! teji's will remind you of the great places on devon avenue. they also have english sweets and indian grocery items. i've wanted to go to friar tucks (a bacon butty! unbelievable. now I MUST go.) but haven't made it at the weekend.
I'll add another recommenation to try Pizzeria Corvina. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/619931
Also near to RR is Taylor, where Louie Mueller's is a destination BBQ joint.
And if it's not controversial enough to recommend both pizza and BBQ (!), please allow me to add:
Hounds, could we please stick to recommending restaurants and stop trashing areas of town? It's getting really old really fast. I love this board because it's helped me find hidden gems in unexpected places.
I spotted El Mariachi on Sam Bass Road (just west of 35 and Chisolm Trail) a couple of weeks ago. It's in a colorful little house and the sign says authentic Mexican food. We are also new to this far north so we checked it out today for lunch.
We had the Carne Asada plato and Huevos Rancherous. Both excellent.
The awesome: homemade corn tortillas, fluffy, delicious, toothy, perfect. The breakfast potatoes were sauteed with onions, yellow and red bell peppers. The rice was freshly made and the best I have ever had in a restaurant. It was like being at a friend's house whose mom makes moist and flavorful rice. The eggs were cooked to perfection (for me) which means runny but with yolk spots cooked to just almost firm. The sauce on top of the Rancherous was spicy without interfering with actually tasting the food. The refried were not thin or runny but had some beans still whole and were salted perfectly for me. We were there at lunch but it was slow so they were accommodating to make me a breakfast plate. Lot's of awesomeness here.
The not as awesome was mainly related to there was really no waitress refilling our drinks, though the cook/server was helpful with this once we were given our plates. Also the lady who sat us mentioned at least 5 times in the first 60 seconds we were there that they serve "Authentic Mexican food." Okay, I know we're super pale and all but we like that. I guess they have gotten alot of "where's the enchiladas?" comments. I don't think she meant to be offputting but it was.
The menu is limited but we are planning to go back and try more. This place is a little bit of flavor in the land of the bland. I hope others try it and report back. I'm interested to see what others think.
Another vote for Origami. Best Sushi in the Austin area. In terms of Sushi I'd put it above Uchi, but I prefer the overall menu at Uchi - move inventive and interesting.
Sichuan garden - great chinese, some interesting choices on that menu though.
Jonny T's BBQ
Main Street Grill, traditional menu, well-done
Friar Tucks pantry, good coffee shop English food. Getting yourself a sausage sandwich or bacon buttie for breakfast one day.
Z'Tejas, outpost of Austin restaurant, decent adequate food, tend to kick you out a little quickly though.
Breakfast, Java Cafe, near the Randalls or the 620 Cafe.
Zorbas good for Greek cafeteria style.
I had breakfast on Sunday at the Juarez Mexican Bakery. It's in the same strip as Gino's on S Mays. The breakfast tacos were really good. I didn't get a pastry, but they looked fabulous. For sushi we always go to Oragami. For general American style Chinese, we really like Happy Dragon in the HEB strip on the toll road. The lunch specials are well priced.
For more genuine Chinese food, try the Sichuan Garden in the same shopping center as Origami. But be careful ordering. The dishes that are "American" Chinese aren't too good (don't try the sweet and sour shrimp), but other dishes (like the boiled fillet with spicy sauce and bean curd) are really good. Oily and spicy, but good.
Some of my favorites:
Teji's on 620 for Indian food. Johnny T's BBQ restaurant right near there. Saccone's pizza (if you like New Jersey/New York style pizza) in the same shopping center as Teji's.
Thai Spoon, out on Gattis School Road, does a really good fried whole fish on weekends, particularly if you get it La and Pla style (I don't know whether to call them sauces or what, but both are much more refreshing and clean tasting than the usual red curry sauce) .
Pizzeria Corvina in the Target shopping center off 35 has some really good pizzas made in a coal fired oven. I also like their pastas, particularly the seafood one in a white wine sauce. The lasagna is also quite good.
For great sushi and good Japanese food, there's Origami on 620 and 35. Beluga is good, but I think Origami is one of the best places in the Austin area for sushi. Yama Sushi on 620 is also a good place.
For Tex-Mex, Garcia's is pretty good. I like their Cabrito Plate.
There's actually no good reason to eat at a chain in Round Rock anymore (unless, of course, you get a real craving for french fries from McDonald's or something like that). Add in some fine restaurants in Georgetown, and there's a lot to choose from without braving traffic going downtown Austin.
Try out the Old Town area (Main @ Lampasas). Two of my favorites are there the Louisiana Longhorn Cafe which has cajun food and Main Street Grill which falls somewhere between casual and fine dining.
Across from Hoodie's & Saccone's that LakeLBJ mentioned is Johnny T's BBQ, which ranks as my favorite in the category of barbeque-joint-that-you-don't-have-to-drive-two-hours-to-reach.
Not sure if that means you're a transplanted austinite or somebody not from the area at all, so you may already know about these places. Assuming you're not from this area at all:
For latin american grilled chicken try El Pollo Regio off N. Mays - stop in and pickup a whole chicken, tortillas, beans, rice, and the wonderful green sauce.
For some decent Q, check out The Salt Lick at Dell Diamond parking lot.
Sacconne's makes a quality pizza, right next to Round Rock High School.
Hoodie's makes great east coast style subs, also right next to Round Rock High School.
Head to Georgetown to The Monument Cafe. Great food there. Am especially fond of their maple vinaigrette salad dressing and onion rings, among other things. They try to use local ingredients when possible.