Iguana Grill

Lakeside Dining 2000: Many Restaurants, Not Much Water

Iguana Grill

2900 RR 620 N., 266-8439

Sun-Thu, 11am-9pm; Fri-Sat, 11am-10pm

If you're craving Tex-Mex or even Mex-Mex, the Iguana Grill may not be the place to visit. Billing itself as "Lake-Mex" cuisine, the menu at Iguana is characterized by an eclectic mix of south-of-the-border-style fusion cuisine. If you are craving superb views of Lake Travis, though, the Iguana Grill tops the list. This casual restaurant built inside a former lakehouse features a spacious balcony with an arresting view of the lake as it meanders through the juniper-covered cliffs of the Texas Hill Country. Sit outside at sunset and watch the horizon fade from brilliant orange to pale pink to blue as nighttime stealthily creeps into the hills. Offering a robust list of tropical drinks, the Iguana Grill has an atmosphere that evokes balmy nights and carefree days. Order one of their Texartinis (a Mexican martini) and put yourself in the mood for summer fun and sybaritic excess.

Meals at the Iguana are competent, but nothing to rave about. Crowd pleasers include tropical-tasting fajitas -- well-marinated in a mix of pineapple juice, orange juice, and cumin -- and health-conscious flautas that are grilled instead of fried and surprisingly light. Specialties of the house foray into Mexico's interior for their inspiration, but their execution is decidedly Americana. Enchiladas with spinach and mushrooms are brightened by a delicious poblano cream sauce, but weighed down by an unruly portion of melted cheese inside. The rice tastes like Uncle Ben's and the ranch-style beans come straight from the can. But who needs to eat when summer recreation beckons? Go for the view and the drinks; eating is only ancillary.

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