Sinking a hot-pink plastic spoon into workhorse standards like French Vanilla, Rocky Road, and Rainbow Sherbet, will make your taste buds think it's 1972 again.
The area hosts a thriving Mennonite farming community, so the Brewhouse has a reliable supply of organically raised produce and meats to work with. Friday night is Steak Night, when locally raised grass-fed beefsteak is offered; the menu also boasts barbecue pastured chicken and pastured pork ribs, Texas trout, and hamburgers made with 100% Bastrop-raised ground beef.
601 Chestnut, Bastrop 512/321-1144
You'll find hand-cut Angus steaks and baked potatoes, hand-cut french fries, and fresh cold dinner salads with gorgonzola cheese and crispy onions. The service is excellent, if slightly theatrical, and there's also a solid wine list and a cozy bar.
912 Main, Bastrop 512/321-3577
Owners Stewart Scruggs and Mark Paul (also of Wink) created this upscale eatery as a replacement for the venerable Zoot. Happily, their comfort food menu has not abandoned resourceful gastronomy. Four versions of mac and cheese, burgers, steak frites, and pot roast are standouts, but the the crispy-skinned roasted chicken breast takes the starring role. The prices on this menu are lower, guests can now dress casually, and the food is still dependably delicious. Well-made drinks and a skillful wine list with many by-the-glass options makes this local hangout a worthy destination. Read our review.
11715 Bee Caves Rd., Bee Cave 512/477-6535
Irish music, excellent pub grub, and Guinness and Smithwick's Ale by the 20-ounce imperial pint make this a great place to watch sports. Check out six 42-inch hi-def plasma TVs and the 65-inch "ScreenZilla" Mitsubishi in back.
204 E. Sixth 512/494-1335
3006 Bee Caves Road Ste. A-3155
401 S. Main, Boerne 830/816-2327
464 Becker Farms Rd., Stonewall 800/946-9463
500 North Mays, Round Rock 512/554-4849
Austin's premier raw food spot, Beets serves gluten-free all year long. Read our review.
1611 W. Fifth #165 512/477-2338
Hwy. 16, Fredericksburg 830/685-3297
3700 Bell Springs Rd., Dripping Springs 830/483-9463
This place offers a wide variety of fresh, affordable sushi and tempura. Try the pork belly with kimchee and honey-mustard teriyaki.
661 Louis Henna Blvd., Round Rock 512/255-6454
The cuisine at Benihana has been influenced by its surroundings, resulting in the Texas Roll – smoked salmon, avocado, cucumber, cream cheese, and jalapeño.
9070 Research 512/451-7505
13995 Hwy. 183 N. 512/257-7713
12415 N. I-35 512/821-1319
The Irish-themed grill and tavern has a lengthy menu with something for just about everyone.
2500 Hoppe Trail, Round Rock 512/671-1500
4205 N. I-35, San Marcos 512/392-5511
In addition to a full complement of coffee and tea beverages, Bennu offers pastries and prepared foods from local companies 24 hours a day.
2001 E. MLK 512/478-4700