Dining del Lago

Lakeside Dining 2000: Many Restaurants, Not Much Water

Oasis Cantina del Lago

6550 Comanche Trail, 266-2441

Mon-Thu, 11:30am-10pm; Fri, 11:30am-11pm; Sat, 11:30am-11pm; Sun, 11:30am-10pm

The Oasis is all about the view. This multi-decked mammoth of a restaurant hangs high on a cliff overlooking Lake Travis and boasts quite possibly the best view of all lakeside restaurants. Folks come from miles around -- more and more of them arriving in charter buses -- to enjoy the panoramic view of the Austin sunset, which at the Oasis is marked by the enthusiastic clanging of a bell followed by hearty applause from the masses. Eating at the Oasis, in my experience, happens more or less by accident. Once you're parked in a deck chair, a margarita or specialty cocktail in hand, it's hard to pull yourself away from the view. So while the restaurant certainly can't be considered a culinary destination, it ends up "doing the trick" by filling your stomach. The menu is full of Tex-Mex and Southern American classics in the $10-$25 range, in addition to a slew of burgers and appetizers. Bean and cheese nachos are a big sell at the Oasis, and you can't really go wrong with the sizzling fajita platters -- beef, chicken, shrimp, or wheat roast. Those in the mood for a little more upscale dinner might choose a fat shrimp brochette ($19.29) or surf and turf ($24.99), or go for broke in the calorie department and order the Monterey chicken, which is brushed with honey mustard, topped with bacon and buttery mushrooms, then literally smothered with melted cheese ($13.99).

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