Dining del Lago

Lakeside Dining 2000: Many Restaurants, Not Much Water

Dining del Lago

Three years ago, when we checked out the lake cuisine scene, the entire area was still reeling from the devastating effects of the one-two punch of a severe drought followed by a 100-year flood. Some restaurants on the water were closed at that point (Las Brisas, Carlos 'n Charlie's) and the entire area was still sprucing up after the big flood of 1997. This summer, it's quite a different story. Development near the lake is booming, just like it is everywhere else in Central Texas. There's a huge new HEB just north of the Four Corners (RR 620 & 2222) intersection where you can stock up on picnic and party supplies and plenty of indoor and outdoor dining options. Several new places are open (Willie Nelson's Lighthouse, Lemongrass, Mulligan's, Paradise Ice Cream) with more scheduled to follow soon (Chef Happy's Steaks & Seafood). Our interest was especially piqued when two new lake-area eateries (Lemongrass, Paradise) showed well in the recent Chronicle Restaurant Poll, and we weren't the least bit surprised, once we'd tried them ourselves. While one intrepid group (Wes & Emily Marshall, Barbara Chisholm, Rosalind Faires, and photographer John Anderson) boarded a pontoon boat at the Lakeway Marina and sailed off to check out the waterside restaurants, the rest of us (Rebecca Chastenet de Géry, Pableaux Johnson, Rachel Feit, and myself) traveled up and down the lake area's main drag, RR 620, noshing and taking notes. We found burgers, catfish, barbecue, pizza, ice cream, and plenty of chicken-fried steak. The only thing in short supply on the lake this summer is water.

1. Willie Nelson's Lighthouse, 406-B Sleat Drive, 264-9061

2. Calame's Canyonside Dining, 3595 RR 620 S., 263-4205

3. Pao's Mandarin House, 2300 Lohman's Crossing, #130, 263-8869

4. Lemongrass Asian Bistro, 1310 RR 620 S., 7-A, 263-2221

5. Flores Mexican Restaurant, 1310 RR 620 S., 263-9546

6. Paradise Ice Cream, 900 RR 620 S., C-105, 263-0363

7. Mulligans, 900 RR 620 S., 263-3305

8. Cafe Lago, 1200 Lakeway Drive, 261-8141

9. Travis Room at Lakeway Inn, 101 Lakeway Drive, 261-6600

10. Shades Cafe, 18200 Lakepoint Cove, 267-1845

Food writers Barbara Chisholm and Wes Marshall get their grub on.
Food writers Barbara Chisholm and Wes Marshall get their grub on. (Photo By John Anderson)

11. Sam Hill Waterfront Grill, 16405 Marina Point Road, 266-2811

12. China Pacific, 107 RR 620 S., #107, 266-9328

13. Sandy's Hamburger Hut, 113 RR 620 N., 266-1524

14. Buster's Bar B Que, 303 RR 620 N., 266-3926

15. Iguana Grill, 2900 RR 620 N., 266-8439

16. Hudson's on the Bend, 3509 RR 620 N., 266-1369

17. Hill Country Pasta House, 3519 RR 620 N., 266-9445

18. ZZ's Gourmet Pizza, 3612 RR 620 N., 266-3335

19. Chita-Rita & the Chimp's, 4919 Hudson Bend Rd., 266-6919

20. Carlos 'n Charlie's Bar & Grill, 5917 Hiline Road, 262-3764

21. Sundowner Grill at Volente Beach, 16107 FM 2769, 258-5109 (Leander)

22. Oasis Cantina del Lago, 6550 Comanche Trail, 266-2441/266-2442 (for reservations)

23. The Boat House Grill, 6812 RR 620 N., 249-5200

24. Smokey J's BBQ, 7001 RR 620 N., 331-4888

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