Restaurant Review: Dining Del Lago 2011

Low water, haute dining

Parrain's Louisiana Kitchen

18653 FM 1431, Jonestown, 512/215-9319
Tuesday-Thursday, & Sunday, 11am-9pm;
Friday, 11am-10pm; Saturday, 11am-11pm

Parrain's, a small and unassuming storefront cafe uphill from the lake, houses some delicious food, yeah! The place began as a small shop inside the gas station across the street and has expanded to its own site, where it hosts a songwriters' night on Sundays from 7 to 10pm, with acoustic sets for one to three artists on the tree-shaded back patio. The menu offers a selection of moderately priced Cajun standards, with daily specials such as bacon-wrapped quail with honey citrus glaze, asparagus, new potatoes, and homemade coconut cream pie for Father's Day.

Luckily for me, the crawfish cakes still graced the appetizer specials ($7.99), so we started with those. Crispy on the outside with plenty of tender crawfish inside, the two generous cakes sported tasty seasoning and a hint of corn and red pepper to tingle the taste buds. Served on the side, the Mermaid Sauce offered a nice rémoulade touch. The chicken and sausage gumbo ($6.50) proved a hearty, smoky, thick serving with a large mound of perfect rice and plenty of tasty meat. The blackened catfish plate ($11.99) arrived hot and smothered in some of the best crawfish étouffée around, in my expat Cajun opinion. Buttery and smoky with amped-up spicy smoothness, this étouffée will knock your socks off.

And finally, as the ultimate test of goodness for a Cajun place, I had to try the fried shrimp po'boy (5-inch, $6.50; 10-inch, $10.99). Served on a nice chunk of French loaf and piled high with cornmeal-battered shrimp, the sandwich offered all the shrimp you could want with minimal lettuce and tomato and just the right amount of mayo. Other po'boy choices include pecan-smoked turkey and pork loin, sausage and peppers, boudin, and fried oysters. Along with gumbo and étouffée, the menu offers red beans and rice, boudin balls, and shelled oysters. The by-the-pound menu options include boudin, andouille, turkey, pork loin, and pralines. Oh, and I almost forgot: ice-cold Turbodog! Parrain's serves lots of other beer as well, and it has quite the wine selection. The chalkboard wine list shows a nice variety, including Tempranillos, Zins, Cabs, and several white wines. What a great place to end a day at the lake, cher!

Sign up for the Chronicle Cooking newsletter

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

If you want to submit a recipe, send it to

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Food Reviews
A Trio of Mediterranean Dining
A Trio of Mediterranean Dining
Just when you thought you couldn't possibly get any shawarma, right?

Wayne Alan Brenner, Sept. 4, 2020

Hot Sauce: Your Lifestyle Is the Target
Hot Sauce: Your Lifestyle Is the Target
What does your favorite condiment reveal about who you are?

Wayne Alan Brenner, Aug. 28, 2020

More by Sarah Hamlin
Red Onion Market
Setting the North Austin standard for delicatessens

Aug. 14, 2009

Restaurant Review
Dahlia Cafe
Home-style cooking at its best

Nov. 7, 2008


Parrain's Louisiana Kitchen, Cajun, Lake Travis, Jonestown, po'boy, po-boy, etouffee, étouffée, crawfish cakes, boudin balls, andouille

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle