Dining Beyond the Chains

Good food moves to the 'burbs

Dining Beyond the Chains
Dining Beyond the Chains
Photos by John Anderson

Jack Allen's Kitchen

2500 Hoppe Trl., Round Rock, 512/215-0372
Mon.-Thu., 11am-10pm; Fri.-Sat., 11am-11pm; Sun., 10am-10pm

I have to admit a little personal antipathy to comfort food restaurants, but somehow JAK's consistently outperforms my expectations. Take the delicious Carl Miller's Layered Chunky Queso ($8.99): A spoonful of tasty pork plus a scoop of fresh guacamole lift this queso from boring to yummy. Unfortunately, ours came out lukewarm. The server immediately noticed the problem and brought us a piping hot replacement. The last time we dined at JAK's, we devoured their chicken-fried beef ribs ($13.99). So, to partially atone for prior sins, this time we both chose seafood. The Baja-style fish tacos ($12.99) featured tender black drum with a slice of avocado and a generous hit of JAK's scrumptious pico de gallo. The chile mango shrimp tacos ($12.99) were drenched in a tasty sauce and served with a side of small tortillas and guacamole. It also arrived at a tepid temperature. The recipes are usually delicious, but the kitchen's single Achilles' heel seems to be serving temperature, even with the fresh seafood. We finished with a peach and blackberry cobbler ($7.99) with a crispy crust and decadent ice cream topping. If I lived in Williamson County or was shopping at IKEA, this would be my restaurant of choice.

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 by Wes Marshall
Weekend Wine: Australian Winery Yalumba Stays the Course
Weekend Wine: Australian Winery Yalumba Stays the Course
Making varietally correct, exemplary wine for 166 years at a fair price

April 20, 2019

Weekend Wine: Nothing Says Spring Like Rosé
Weekend Wine: Nothing Says Spring Like Rosé
Four delightful – and affordable – lightweight, full-flavored wines

April 6, 2019

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

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

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