"...Many of our old favorites remain, some with new enhancements, such as more cascading decks below the venerable Oasis, the beautifully landscaped full-service party pavilion behind the Hill Country Pasta House, and a busy Hey Cupcake! trailer in the parking lot between the Boat House Grill and Smoky J's Bar-B-Q. Lake-area demographics now support more chain restaurants, a few national retailers, and more than one Pan-Asian sushi bar..."
"...The success of the restaurants on Barton Springs Road certainly has something to do with the quality and consistency of their food and beverage offerings, but being in the right place at the right time was a major contributing factor. During the Eighties, formerly sleepy Barton Springs Road became a major traffic artery from downtown to the burgeoning developments in western Travis County, and new Austinites from all over town ran the gauntlet of restaurant row on their way to and from recreational activities in Zilker Park..."
"...When we were exploring area neighborhoods for our inaugural First Plates Awards this spring, we discovered that the former suburban culinary wasteland at the intersection of Highway 71 and RR 620 is now a bustling culinary destination that extends all the way to the Lakeway area. Not only does the Hill Country Galleria boast its own Whole Foods Market and a fine selection of local independent restaurants as well as a few national chains, but several of Austin's most popular homegrown chains (Mandola's Italian Market, Waterloo Ice House, Maudie's Tex-Mex, Blue Bamboo Viet-Thai) are doing big business across the road in the Shops at the Galleria..."
"...This summer, business is so good at LemonGrass they've expanded the dining space, there's plenty of water in the lake, and the Lighthouse has been closed for months, with no word of its revival. The buzz this year is all about the area's overall dining diversity and two new restaurants, the open-air Cafe Bleu near the water's edge at the Sandy Creek Yacht Club and the Vineyard on RR 620 in the Lakeway Commons Shopping Center..."
"...It has become Chronicle custom to check out lake-area restaurants by renting a boat in mid-July and sending some writers and a photographer on an all-day dining cruise, while the rest of us eat our way up and down Ranch Road 620. Last summer, there were plenty of restaurants, but the lake level was disappointingly low..."
"...Three years ago, when we checked out the lake cuisine scene, the entire area was still reeling from the devastating effects of the one-two punch of a severe drought followed by a 100-year flood. Some restaurants on the water were closed at that point (Las Brisas, Carlos 'n Charlie's) and the entire area was still sprucing up after the big flood of 1997..."
"...Fans of the Flores family's other Austin restaurants (Anderson Lane, 290 W.) will be happy here as well, considering this third outlet boasts the same delicious grilled items, affordable lunch specials, friendly service, and good margaritas. Lunch specials that offer substantial value for the money keep this cool, casual place packed at noon, and the attractive list of tasty grilled items also has a loyal following at dinner..."
"...Shopping opportunities were limited to beer, bait, and rental boats, and what few dining options existed were simple and casual, at best. It was a challenge for restaurants to survive year to year..."
"...The Austin area is home to very few nationally known restaurants, and Hudson's on the Bend is definitely in that small, select group. Hudson's has been a comfortable, civilized outpost in the lake area for the past 12 years..."
"...Lake Cruise: A Kid's Perspective Splash! For a great summer water adventure, go down to Lake Travis and take a boat cruise. Recently, me and my mom went out to Lake Travis and visited many restaurants..."
"... 2) 300 S. Lamar (Site: Former Binswanger Glass Co.)A planned five-story, 137-unit apartment building, with ground-floor retail and restaurants..."
"...However, the well-kept secret that international racing enthusiasts are about to discover is that Austin's premier Downtown hotels are home to some of our city's best fine dining venues all year round. Here, Chronicle contributors Wes Marshall, Gracie Salem, and I share our thoughts about the hotel restaurants we admire..."
"...As a native Austinite who grew up in (and worked for) a few Tex-Mex restaurants over the last couple of decades, I can honestly say that absolutely none of the six restaurants that your readers selected in the "Best Tex-Mex" category ["Restaurant Poll," Vol. 16, No..."
"...One group concerned about the effects of downtown encroachment south of the river is the South Congress Avenue Merchants Association. Gail Armstrong, the group's representative to the council meeting, said he feared that such high-dollar, high-density uses as Gotham would get property owners along South Congress seeing green, and selling out the buildings that house all the groovy little shops and restaurants for which Austin is so famous..."
"...8, 7-10pm at the Driskill Hotel (604 Brazos). The party will feature food from 12 area restaurants against a backdrop of food-related films and benefits AFF's Young Filmmakers Program..."