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Smoke and Mirrors

Terry Black's isn't quite ready for the big leagues

Best of Both Worlds

El Sapo wows with Tex-Mex burger mix

Second to Naan

Daawat's Southern Indian excels up north

Behind the Case

Firehouse Lounge hits 'craft dive' stride


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Area: North
This is good, old-fashioned Italian – need we say more? Try the Linguine Luci Johnson. Mangia!
2521 Rutland + 512/719-3377
Cake balls: Not just for breakfast anymore. The menu here features appetizers, salads, entrées, soups, and desserts complemented by a well-chosen wine list, a selection of local craft beers in bottles, and a roster of custom cocktails. Read our review.
3401 Esperanza Crossing #104 + 512/215-3633
2200 I-35 S. + 512/448-9711
12407 N. MoPac + 512/833-8800
For weekday lunch try the tahli platter, with meat or vegetarian style, which includes nine items that change daily. Appetizers like Chicken 65, fried chicken morsels. Read our review.
12407 N. MoPac Ste. 200-B + 512/837-4444
10515 MoPac N. + 512/244-2536
This national chain serves "immigrant Southern Italian" cuisine. Dishes are served family-style or personalized for two with smaller portions.
3612 Tudor + 512/342-8462
9505 Burnet + 512/834-0788
10901 N. Lamar + 512/343-3688
You'll find the same big plates of gooey Tex-Mex goodness that lure you to the Barton Springs location, and quite a bit of the same atmosphere.
10520 N. Lamar + 512/836-3218
9717 N. Lamar + 512/873-8800
6406 N. I-35 + 512/452-7655
8557 Research #118 + 512/833-6588
3401 Esperanza Crossing, Ste. #104 + 512/215-3633
The menu here is simple: Gulf seafood is boiled, fried, or prepared in authentic versions of Creole and Cajun specialties. Try the soft-shell crab po'boy.
2013 Wells Branch Pkwy. #106 + 512/252-7556
11410 Century Oaks Terrace #104 + 512/339-9463
The authentic North Indian vegetarian menu here changes every day. Order an entrée and a side at the counter, and one minute later it arrives with rice and roti or paratha alongside. The aloo sabzi is available every day.
2121 W. Parmer #114 + 512/821-0000
Looking for a healthy brunch? Everything on the menu here is composed of raw vegetable matter of one kind or another. The gluten-free baked goods are terrific.
4500 Duval + 512/380-9046