Dining del Lago
Lakeside Dining 2000: Many Restaurants, Not Much Water
Carlos 'n Charlie's Bar & Grill5917 Hiline Road, 262-3764
CnC knows its place in the world and its target demographic. Their high-level planning shows in little amenities like air-conditioned fans, a live music space, and a "by-the-beach" feel that is very enticing. They handle the details well, like good chips, hot sauce and queso ($5.95), and a clear, easy-to-use menu. Service is casual and friendly. The view from the dining area and bar is panoramic. As you might guess from their reputation, the whole thing screams "Party!!!" Where better to start than the bar?
First up, a top-shelf margarita ($5.75), made with a mix and good tequila and triple sec. If you like your margs made with a mix, you'll like this. It's a personal thing. I don't like mixes. I ask if they have any fresh lime juice and they produce something called a Pick Your Poison ($7.75). It tastes as though it's the top-shelf margarita with lime juice added over the sweet and sour mix. I settle for iced tea ($1.95).
The food was a completely different experience. Snapper con Pico ($16.95) is a sweet, tender piece of very fresh snapper topped with shrimp, grilled corn, and tomatoes with some Mexican rice and grilled squash on the side. One of CnC's signature dishes, jalapeño en brochette ($16.95), features jumbo shrimp stuffed with jalapeño cream cheese, wrapped with bacon, and grilled. Rich, rich, rich. But not very picante. The fajita salad ($8.95) was enough to feed a small army. Several of my dining companions remark that this food is as good as you would expect in town. CnC's is well worth a stop.
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