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New job in Round Rock - What's Good?

I just started a new job in RR and don't know the area very well. I know there are several restaurants (mostly fast food) in the WalMart and Lowes shopping centers, and I went with a friend to Longhorn Cafe recently (OK but not great for the price). On the north end there are Cracker Barrel, Chuy's, Saltgrass, etc.

I eat out most every day so I need a variety of suggestions, cheap or midrange mostly. I like mostly any kind of food.

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  1. Chola's does a decent buffet spread for lunch. I like their chili chicken and goat curry. biryani is usually pretty good too. not every day but often they'll serve up a fried bread in a sweet cream desert that's wonderful. They face home depot, and are next to Zorba's greek.

    4 Replies
    1. re: slowcoooked

      Thanks for the rep lie. I have eaten at Chola's and thought it was OK but nothing spectacular; I have had far better Indian buffets elsewhere but they are now too far from where I work. I will have to give the others a try.

      1. re: slowcoooked

        i've been spending some time eating in RR, and i really liked my lunch at zorba's. since it's near dell, the lunch menu is more limited and cafeteria style. dinner menu is more expansive.

        although i did not try any, sichuan garden (in the same plaza as sprouts, origami, etc.) had some surprisingly non-american items on the menu. lots of offal and ma la stuff.

        origami is very good, and the owner is very nice.

        taquerias arandinas and teji's over on RR ave near the highschool are solid choices for mexican and indian, respectively.

        got a living social deal for the RR location of french quarter grill, so will be trying that soon.

        1. re: dinaofdoom

          Yes I always used to like Zorba's. The last time I went they had changed to "order at the front" instead of wait staff (I don't know when they changed, may havbe been long ago).

          I will have to try taquerias arandinas.

          1. re: danny_w

            that's just for lunch. at dinner it's sit down (and there are more options).

            taquerias arandinas has a complimentary bean soup which is pretty good, and the salsa's got kick.

      2. For Indian, there's Chola's and Teji's (my favorite).

        For bbq, there's Johnny T's on 620. There's also the Curly's Perfect Pig food truck on Mays. Up the road on May's, the grilled chicken at Pollo Rico's is good.

        At the 620 and 35 SW corner, there's Sichuan Garden which has very good Sichuan style food, but I wouldn't order the standard American Chinese stuff there (well, I almost never order standard American Chinese dishes, so I'm not a good judge, but the sweet and sour shrimp was awful).

        I like the breakfast tacos at Taqueria Arandinas (on 620, same shopping center as Teji's and Hao Hao). In that same shopping center, there is Hoody's Sub Shop; I like the meatball sub.

        Downtown, Junior's has decent burgers and I love the fries and chips.

        On 45 (Louis Henna), Pho Viet is very good, and Pita Fusion in the same shopping center is also really good.

        7 Replies
        1. re: rajat

          Cafe Java on Gattis School, Brooklyn Pie (slices) in the back of La Frontera, Fire Bowl Cafe in La Frontera (Singapore Vermicelli),

          1. re: WSZsr

            Thanks I did not know Brooklyn Pie head a store there. They are my favorite in Austin. I've been to Fire Bowl and like it.

          2. re: rajat

            Wanted to point out the food trailer park on Mays shut down, but I heard Curly's Perfect Pig is opening a brick and mortar on Main St. downtown.

            1. re: KevinCooks

              yes curlys will open in oct 2013 on main street

              1. re: nytexan

                I just saw on their facebook page that they partnered with a Texas BBQ guy and opening a Carolina/Texas BBQ place on Main St.

            2. re: rajat

              I tried Johnny T's today with a coworker. The brisket was very good, tender and moist, but a little bland (needed bbq sauce to spice it up), and the cole slaw was good, but the beans were out of a can. The sausage was just OK, nothing special (it is not theirs however so that is not a fair comparison). My friend said his pulled pork sandwich was the best he has had. Overall I would give it another try, but I prefer meat that doesn't need bbq sauce (just my preference).

              1. re: danny_w

                suasage is meyers im told

            3. off the top of my head here ar our favourite rotaions

              Jack Allens is awesome
              Dans Puffy tacos is a dive but makes great puffy tacos
              Red Wagon Burgers same
              pacific star oyster
              Tarka
              Beluga
              Rio Grand

              7 Replies
              1. re: girloftheworld

                I've yet to hit pacific star, I'm a seafood snob explant from eastern shore Maryland. What's great?

                1. re: slowcoooked

                  the oysters
                  stuffed crab

                  You are not going to get Maryland seafood satisfaction but it is good

                  have you eaver had the crab cakes at counter cafe on lamar?

                  1. re: girloftheworld

                    Thanks Girloftheworld. I'll try the oysters. And no, I haven't tasted Counter's crabcake yet. If it's simple and not overly seasoned / southwestern-o-fied, I'd probably enjoy it.

                2. re: girloftheworld

                  Where is Pacific Star? I went to the SE corner of I35 and Palm Valley (79) but could not find it. Their website says that it is behind the DQ. Is it still there? The only things in that area that I found were Baskin Robins, ShortStop, Long John's, and a Mexican place that looked closed (no cars).

                  1. re: danny_w

                    There is one on 183, Anderson mill exit, North side of the road before you get to Lake Creek.
                    edit:
                    just looked, I didn't know there was an RR location.

                    1. re: danny_w

                      That's exactly where it is. You didn't see the DQ?

                      1. re: danny_w

                        yeo it is on the corner.. right on the corner grayish building more next to the DQ than behind,, the mexican place is way behind them both... I

                    2. Noble Creek, about a 10-15 minute drive S-SW of Round Rock.

                      9 Replies
                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        Noble pig? Now Noble Sandwich? Agreed!

                        1. re: saticoy

                          noble pig is not round rock though it is clear over by lakeline mall and lunch lines are a bit long.

                        2. re: ipsedixit

                          Aren't you from LA?

                          1. re: TroyTempest

                            Yes. Why?

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              Because you'd know that Noble Pig is not that close to RR, and Noble Creek is not a real place, that's all.

                              do you ever get to Round Rock?

                              1. re: TroyTempest

                                Yes, quite a bit this year.

                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                  my condolences,
                                  I live in Austin, but i try to stay away form round rock :-)

                                  1. re: TroyTempest

                                    There is one major employer in Round Rock, and we have many issues with that employer.

                                    :-)

                                    Usu. stay in Austin and drive to RR.

                                    1. re: TroyTempest

                                      :( hey! give us a break! we have that lovely historic round rock! and Dell Diamond and.... ummm Dans Puffy tacos oh and IKEA dont forget that! ;)

                          2. I'm a fan of Rosie Pho's. And love Juarez Bakery for breakfast tacos and lunch.

                            1. I like Round Rock cafe in the downtown area. I have only been for breakfast but have family that frequents for lunch and enjoys it. I hear the chicken salad is particularly good. They can be slow at times, so maybe best for take out. For breakfast, I love their omelets, sausage waffle (has sausage inside the waffle and one half is covered in syrup and the other in sausage gravy) and their breakfast potatoes are delicious. You know, just in case you get a hankering to get breakfast before work sometime.

                              Also, I like La Silla off I-35 (where Michael's tacos used to be). Once again, I mainly hit it for breakfast. Recommend - La Silla burrito, heuvos rancheros and all breakfast tacos. They are pretty quick. The lunch tacos I have seen look good, so might be worth investigating.

                              1. I just saw a Groupon for The Blind Squirrel Sandwich Shop. I haven't tried it (honestly never heard of it) but it looks very interesting and reasonably priced. I'd go if in the area.

                                http://blindsquirrelsandwiches.com/menu/

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: Rene

                                  Looks very interesting, I'll have to try it out. Thanks.

                                  1. re: danny_w

                                    The reviews and menu look great... will look forward to your review!

                                  2. re: Rene

                                    Tried to go there today but couldn't find it, probably because I didn't go far enough north. There was road construction about where I think it should be so I just went on.

                                    1. re: danny_w

                                      its on mays

                                      1. re: nytexan

                                        Ate there today and had the Godfather (NY strip). The sandwich was good (although it could have used more meat) but the chips were the blandest I have ever tasted (no salt at all). They were only marginally better when I doused them with salt. Also a sign on the door said that the A/C was out, but fans were keeping it acceptably cool.

                                        A little on the expensive side and hard to get to with the construction in front, but I will be back to try some of the other choices.

                                  3. Krave Wine Bar & Bistro--I love their Gnocchi, I add grilled chicken.
                                    Main St. Grill
                                    Louisiana Longhorn cafe
                                    These are all on Main St.

                                    1. I love Teji's and Jack Allen's Kitchen. I have to add Niki's Pizza, which is in the same shopping center as Teji's and Taqueria Arandinas. Niki's is New York style pizza and is the only one around here my NYC born husband enjoys around here.

                                      Edited to add my fav coffee/lunch place. Cafe Java on Gattis School Rd. Breakfast and lunch have always been great there.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Fiddi

                                        Has he tried Brooklyn Pie in La Frontera?

                                        1. re: WSZsr

                                          No, but I'll put it on our must try list. Thanks!

                                      2. Our go to place in Round Rock are:

                                        1. Pho Viet - Great Vietnamese food on Louis Henna...
                                        2. Torchy's
                                        3. Tarka - good quick and casual Indian
                                        4. Jack Allen's - Excellent, especially the Sunday brunch
                                        5. Teji's
                                        6. Thai Spoon - fair Thai, just started going here but seems about as good as any you can get in the Austin area
                                        7. Chola - lunch buffet

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: grillo7

                                          there is much better thai in doiwntown austin than thai spoon

                                          1. re: nytexan

                                            nevermind,
                                            Could someone delete this post

                                        2. Greenhouse Craft Food is now open:

                                          http://greenhousecraftfood.com/

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: jwynne2000

                                            Have you tried Greenhouse Craft Food yet jwynne ?

                                            Looks promising. Someone took an interesting and thoughful approach with the menu.

                                            ex: Breakfast menu
                                            RISOTTO House-made bacon, roasted poblano, leeks, farm egg, parmigiano-reggiano

                                            THE GREATEST BREAKFAST SANDWICH IN THE WORLD
                                            (Good to see that the chef aims high :-). I love breakfast sandwiches.)

                                            and from their daily menu:
                                            The Greenhouse Special
                                            BLT made with house-made bacon, sourdough,
                                            baby greens, local tomatoes, fried farmhouse
                                            egg, jalapeño maple jelly $7.5

                                            and of course the:
                                            SOON TO BE FAMOUS GREENHOUSE BEIGNETS
                                            Fresh-fried, powdered sugar

                                            Maybe good to combine with an Ikea trip so I can walk off the Biegnet calories quickly.

                                            Love that they are open continuously between lunch - dinner.

                                            1. re: sweet100s

                                              Yes, I've been there once, for saturday lunch. Fun (albeit small) little selection of Texas beers. I had the BLT you listed above. Delish. I'm bullish on this place.

                                          2. There is a new BBQ place opening on Main St in downtown RR. Curly's Carolina TX. They will have Carolina style pork BBQ and Texas BBQ. It was two trailer owners that partnered up. Looks like they will be open First of Nov. according to what I've heard.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: KevinCooks

                                              They've been serving up NC style BBQ pork for over a year out of the trailer and it's fantastic. If that's your thing, and it sure is mine, it's authentic and delicious. I lived in NC for a few years as a kid and rapidly developed an obsession for that vinegar red pepper sauce.

                                            2. Annapurna Gardens is MUCH better than my recent visit to Chola's. I take Chola's recommendation back with force. It just sucked the last time I ate there a few weeks ago.

                                              1. It looks like Annapurna Gardens (in the shopping center with Target) is getting decent reviews in another thread here. That's another option.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: rajat

                                                  indeed :-)