Surf and Turf, Travis-Style
Lakeside dining 2002: by boat or by car, bring your appetite
The Lakeside List
1. HEB Grocery, northwest corner Hwy. 71 W. and Bee Caves Road: Good wine selection here according to our wine expert, who lives in the general neighborhood.
2. Calame's Canyonside Dining, 3595 S. RR 620, 263-4205: Calame's is a comfortable dinner house with a spectacular second-story view of the lake to the west, a reliable Sunday brunch, and Mystery Dinner parties by reservation.
3. Hansen's Wines & Spirits, 2300 Lohmann's Crossing, #122, 263-7130.
4. Pao's Mandarin House, 2300 Lohmann's Spur, #134, 263-8869: Well-loved for its spicy dishes marked with stars and its sizzling platters, this Pao's location will now be a destination for fans of the former downtown location.
5. Guadalajara Restaurant, 2303 S. RR 620, 263-8888: See review.
6. Texas Star Kitchen, 1602 S. RR 620, 402-0222: See review.
7. Thai Spice Cafe, 1310 S. RR 620, 263-2221: Thai Spice Cafe owner Vicky Vicha and her staff took over the former Lemongrass Asian Bistro location as of July 1. Menu changes are ongoing.
8. Flores Mexican Restaurant, 1310 S. RR 620, 263-9546: Affordable lunch specials keep this local chain outlet packed at lunch, and grilled items, such as the Pollo Caliente, are great for dinner. The margaritas are some of the best in the area.
9. Ciola's Italian-American Restaurant, 1310 S. RR 620, 263-9936: See review.
10. Cafe Lago, 1200 Lakeway Dr., 261-8141: This friendly little coffee shop cafe in the heart of Lakeway offers fresh, delicious breakfasts and lunches, smoothies and shakes, coffee drinks, and sweets.
11. The Travis Room at the Lakeway Inn, 101 Lakeway Dr., 261-6600: Though it primarily serves guests at the Inn and Lakeway neighbors, this casual fine dining restaurant is reliable for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with a pleasant view of the lake.
12. Shades Cafe, 18200 Lakepoint Cove, 267-1845: Shades is known for the consistency of its friendly, efficient service, good, simple food, and margaritas, as well as the convenience of the water taxi from the Lakeway Marina for those of us who don't own boats.
13. Johnny Fin's, 16405 Marina Point Rd., 266-2811: Johnny's is the kind of place meant to be enjoyed with a rowdy group of sun-parched friends after a day on the lake -- live music and big signature bar drinks.
14. Paradise Ice Cream, 900 S. RR 620, 263-0363: Former engineer Mark Alsup went into the ice cream business to be around happy people, and his handmade premium ice creams make us very happy.
15. Mulligan's, 900 S. RR 620, 263-3305: Though it's a pool hall, Mulligan's is just this side of elegant, with a comfortable full-service bar and restaurant, big-screen TVs always tuned to sports, and separate pool rooms for smokers and non-smokers alike.
16. Legends Cafe, 900 S. RR 620, 263-4111: See review.
17. Rocco's Grill, 900 S. RR 620, 263-8204: See review.
18. China Pacific, 107 S. RR 620, #107, 266-9328: This secluded little Chinese spot hasn't changed much in years and still does a big takeout business selling reliable Americanized Chinese specialties to lake-area dwellers.
19. Sandy's Hamburger Hut, 113 N. RR 620, 266-1524: This great neighborhood staple hearkens back to the days when burgers, fresh-cut fries, and hand-battered onion rings were sold in little drive-through mom 'n' pop operations. Same as it ever was, and we love it.
20. Buster's Bar B Cue, 303 N. RR 620, 266-3926: We can't say enough good things about the wonderful dry-rubbed pork chops, smoked garlic-stuffed pork loin, and Carolina-style pulled pork sandwiches. Go for the pork!
21. Big Dave's Dam Saloon, 1113 N. RR 620, 266-2279: See review.
22. Helen's at Yacht Harbor, 16410 Stewart, 266-9386: See review.
23. Iguana Grill, 2900 N. RR 620, 266-8439: Fans love the drinks, the "Lake-Mex" cuisine, and the multiple-award-winning homemade salsas at this place, which also sports a pretty fair sunset-viewing deck.
24. Hudson's on the Bend, 3509 N. RR 620, 266-1369: Proprietor Jeff Blank and chef Becky Barch-Fischer are still "cooking fearlessly" after all these years, and Hudson's devoted clientele are mighty glad about it.
25. Hill Country Pasta House, 3519 N. RR 620, 266-9445: Wood-oven pizzas, fresh focaccia, and good Italian-American menu items complemented by an affordable wine list keep the neighborhood regulars and newcomers alike very satisfied.
26. Highlands Cafe & Pizzeria, 3611 N. RR 620, 266-3335: See review.
27. Carlos 'n' Charlie's Bar & Grill, 5973 Hiline Road, 266-1683: Another popular waterside party palace, C'n'C packs 'em in with big drinks, live music, and robust portions of food. Everything about this place says party!
28. Oasis Cantina del Lago, 6550 Comanche Trail, 266-2441: The self-proclaimed "Sunset Capital of Texas" offers sunset viewing on multiple decks that spill down the cliffs toward the water, well-known margaritas, Tex-Mex, and Texas cafe menu items.
29. The Boat House Grill, 6812 N. RR 620, 249-5200: Proprietor Terry Collins inherited good-cooking genes from both sides of her family, and it shows. The only thing that this excellent Texas roadhouse cafe needs is more dining-room space.
30. Smokey J's Bar B Cue, 7008 N. RR 620, 331-4888: A definitive Texas country BBQ joint with a smoking pit out back, window service, and a screened-in set of picnic tables where you can chow on down. Meats by the plate, the sandwich, and/or the pound.
31. Sundowner Grill at Volente Beach, 16107 FM 2769, 258-5109: Always call ahead before making the drive to the Sundowner Grill, because our experience is that hours and levels of service can vary widely.
32. HEB Grocery, northeast corner of RR 2222 & N. RR 620: Conveniently located at the "Four Corners," it's the perfect place for picnic supplies before a day on the boat.