Owner Ronnie Lieberman started with a small coffee shop four years ago, slowly adding pastries and savory foods to his menu. Customer response was so positive that the original Java Dive outgrew its little place and now resides in a spacious corner of the attractive Oak Grove Plaza. In addition to excellent coffee roasted on-site, Lieberman's eclectic menu also features breakfast, soups, salads, wraps, panini, pastries, and smoothies made with organic and gluten-free ingredients whenever possible. Health-conscious lake-dwellers are certainly taking notice.
Honey Bee franchise founders Gayle and Neil Laminack retired to the lake area a few years ago and opened an expanded version of one of their stores in the neighborhood. The deli/store offers gourmet spiral-cut ham; roasted, smoked, and fried turkeys; barbecue with traditional sides; deli meats and sandwiches; daily, hot blue-plate specials; and party trays. The friendly spot provides both eat-in and takeout service and will add beer and wine to the menu later this summer. We're also told that it does huge holiday business in hams and turkeys.
I was a big fan of Jessica and Rodolfo Buonocore's the Daily, a sandwich-delivery business, a few years back, so discovering their cheery cafe in the lake area was a genuine treat. The new eatery is a recent outgrowth of their popular weekly dinner-delivery service. The cafe now offers breakfast and weekday lunches, and long-range plans include the addition of Spanish tapas in the evenings, complemented by beer and wine. The food we sampled here – sandwiches, salads, sweets, and fresh lemonade – was by far the best we had on this lake visit, and we look forward to returning.
Former Finn & Porter chef Chris Bauer expects this new venture to debut in late July. The expanded Mizu will feature a New American menu enhanced with some Asian-inspired dishes, five prime steaks, sushi, an à la carte weekend brunch, and a full bar with late-night food and hours. Bauer's ambitious plans also call for an organic herb and vegetable garden complete with sugar cane and exotic fruit trees. Check out prospective menu items and the progress of the new restaurant at www.facebook.com/pages/Austin-TX/Mizu-Prime-Steak-and-Sushi/75853587777.
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