Second Helpings: American Cafes III

America is the land of opportunity ... to eat! "Second Helpings" gets you started.

"Second Helpings" offers tasty, bite-sized restaurant listings compiled from new and previous reviews, guides, and poll results. This week's entries were updated by Erin Mosow. For quick, reliable information about Austin eateries, check here.
TGI Friday's

10000 Research (at the Arboretum), 345-6410

Daily, 11am-2am (kitchen open until 1am)

111 E. Cesar Chavez (at the Radisson), 478-2991

Daily, 6pm-2am (kitchen open until 11pm)

2702 Parker, 218-4632

Daily, 11am-midnight

TGI Friday's is a good place to take a large group of clients from out of town if your expense account can't handle Steak and Ale. Their extensive menu reads like War and Peace, so everyone should find something to their liking. Half-pound burgers, chicken, pasta, steaks, fajitas, wraps, and seafood are just a few of the items that could arrive at your table, adequately prepared with no surprises whatsoever.

Bennigan's

7604 N. I-35, 451-7953

Daily, 11am-2am

301 Barton Springs Rd., 472-7902

Daily, 11am-2am (kitchen closes at 1am, Monday-Thursday)

You know a food trend has become ubiquitous when it shows up at Bennigan's, an Irish-themed grill and tavern headquartered in Plano. Their Joyce-length menu includes something for just about everyone, including Oh Baby Back Ribs, New World Fajitas, and the Turkey O'Toole sandwich. The health-conscious can stick to Bennigan's Health Club Stir-Fry and the Pacific Rim Pasta Salad. Wash it all down with an Irish coffee drink for dessert.

Cain & Abel's

2313 Rio Grande, 476-3201

Monday, 5pm-2am; Tuesday-Thursday, 4pm-2am; Friday, 3pm-2am; Saturday,

12pm-2am; Sunday, 11am-6pm

This longtime UT Greek hangout in West Campus is best known as a watering hole, but they'll keep you from going hungry with American-style pub grub like fried appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, and chicken-fried steak. Green Bay Packers fans (or "cheeseheads," as they're affectionately known) have also been known to gather at Cain & Abel's on NFL gamedays.

District Bar & Grill

301 W. Sixth, 476-2399

Daily, 11am-2am (food served until 9pm)

The District Bar & Grill is extremely popular with sports fans, but then how could they miss with a 100-inch screen TV? Reasonably priced brick oven pizzas, pastas, burgers, and sandwiches keep the minions happy as they cheer on the home team. The District also has a "Diner" menu featuring pot roast, meat loaf, and catfish. This is a fine starting location for Warehouse District sojourns.

Hickory Street Bar & Grille

800 Congress, 477-8968

Daily, 6:30am-10pm

With hungry-student prices and a central business district location, Hickory Street Bar & Grille is jam-packed come lunchtime. The quantity-minded will want to partake of the Food Bar Combo, which includes unlimited trips to the soup, salad, baked potato, and ice cream bars. Hickory Street also serves above-average hamburgers and a New Orleans-style breakfast menu. If you've spent a mint scoring front row seats at the Paramount, a pre-show dinner here will put you on the road back to solvency.

Hill's Cafe

4700 S. Congress, 851-9300

Monday-Thursday, 11am-9pm; Friday-Saturday, 11am-10:30pm; Sunday, 11am-8:30pm

www.restaurant.com/hillscafe/

Hill's Cafe has been around off and on since 1947, and the current incarnation is operated by local radio personality "BBQ Bob Cole." Well-known for their chicken-fried steak, you won't leave hungry after partaking in the fried appetizers, sirloins, and barbecue. A new dinner menu is in the works and a few things might be dropped, so hurry in and make sure you get your fix.

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