Shades Cafe

Lakeside Dining 2000: Many Restaurants, Not Much Water

Shades Cafe
Shades Cafe (Photo By John Anderson)

Shades Cafe

Point Venture Marina

18200 Lakepoint Cove, 267-1845

Daily, 11am-10pm

Shades sits right on the water, which means two benefits for diners. First, unlike some of the other restaurants reviewed in this issue, there is no trek up a steep hill to get to the food. At Shades, you just park your boat in their free parking area and walk in the restaurant. Second, you get a free show. Just off the deck, you will find hundreds of carp and catfish, swimming close to the surface with hopes of getting your unwanted tortilla chips and French fries. Some of these critters get upward of four feet long with mouths big enough to swallow a grapefruit whole. The children (and lots of adults) squeal with delight every time some food hits the surface and the fish come thrashing after it. Everyone I've ever taken to Shades has enjoyed the fish show as much as the food.

If that isn't enough, Shades seems to consistently have the best service of lakeside restaurants, friendly and efficient. The staff seems willing to go a little further to keep you happy. Children are catered to and respected.

The food is good pub grub. Their grilled tuna steak sandwich ($9.75) has a nice texture and features a sizable chunk of fish. The cheeseburger ($5.95) is moist and delicious with some very good French fries. Fajitas ($12.95) are plump and juicy, with only the guacamole letting down the dish. Thankfully, after some truly bad margaritas at some other lake joints, Shades' were tasty and appeared to have some tequila in them ($4.50).

Shades is also available to non-boaters. Just go to the Lakeway Marina and descend in the cable elevator, where you will find a direct telephone to Shades. Call them up and, in about five minutes, a water taxi ($1) comes to pick you up. Add to all this a nice misting cooling system to keep the temp down a few degrees and you come up with a winner.

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