SoCo COFFEE (was Red Table Coffee)

    See Red Table review.  Now serves beer but still no on-site fresh food (sandwiches & pastries) prep.

EL ALMA Restaurant Bar

    Now I have a favorite Mexican restaurant!  Located just a block E of S.Lamar on Barton Springs, the chef prepares creative, delight-to-tastebuds EVERYTHING quality - for a reasonable price.  Even the corn pudding is light insead of leaden.  During happy hour (M-F 3-7; S/S 3-6), the Antojitos (starters) are half-off.  


    This country cafe has been along Hwy 281 in Marble Falls for 80 years.  Now so well known for pies with "mile high meringue" they even have pie happy hours.  Well, 80 years ago, that meringue was undoubtedly made the traditional way with fresh egg whites.  Now it's obviously made with meringue powder (which is dried egg whites mixed with sugar & other additives = not so tasty & slightly granular). 


  The name of this modern place in Zilker says it all for the menu, but misleads for the cost - not upmarket, just overpriced.  Enough said. 


    Next time you visit the Half Price Books on S.Lamar past Barton, stop by this cluttered but comfy British pub for good food & beer.  Open 7 days a week from 11 AM - 2 AM, the friendly, willing servers will bring plenty of starters to accompany the large selection of beer.  AND they serve Chimay in the appropriate Belgian glasses.  Keep in mind that in England the Fish & Chips are served in newspaper to soak up the excess oil.  The fries here are not greasy but they are soft - not over seasoned though & tast

PORT A CAFE Seafood & Oyster Bar

    This Port A is not part of Port A Seafood Inc nor related to Port A restaurants in other states.  Serranos built it by their Southpark Meadows branch for their Chef Adam Gonzales.  As a Louisiana style seafood cafe, it's OK but those who've dined around the Big Easy will find it lacking.  There's a staff of 12+ servers to support the spacious interior, plus a patio w/umbrellas.  Open Su-Th 11-11; Fr/Sa 11-12.


    The new Mandola's has the best spot at Arbor Trails, so you're able to enjoy both good food & a special view.  It seems that all of their restaurant branches are raucous, but the large back room is quiet unless there are parties of kids.  Otherwise, it's the pleasant sound of water from the interior fountain.  Windows look out on a park - trees, winding walks, a large water collection pond (w/shallow waterfall after a rain), plus a playscape.  AND there's a bocce ball court attached!  This tradi


    The new branch that just opened at Southpark Meadows is worlds better than the one at the 'Y' that closed.  It's conveniently located down from CineMark Theatre and features 2 lunch specials that rotate daily.  For $7, I had 3 of the biggest, leanest smoked pork ribs I've had in Austin, plus 2 sides.  Open 11-10.


    There's a good new Indian restaurant at the corner of I-35 & E. Oltorf.  Finding it is no problem from I-35, but if youre looking for it from Oltorf, you'll have to enter thru the LaQuinta parking lot.  Open all day on Sa/Su.  Otherwise, it's a lunch buffet from 11-2 & then a dinner menu from 5-10.  The contents of the lunch buffet line change daily & all are tasty for $8.99. 

MAUDIE'S updated menu

    Maudie's Hacienda on Brodie has updated their menu.  Most choices remain but some old favorites like veggie fajitas & nachos are gone.  My favorite from last year (Spinach Tomatado Enchiladas w/grilled zucchini) remains in their new Vegetarian section.  Try the super Avocado Chicken Sandwich ($7.75) which is a large marinated chicken breast half topped w/white cheese, grilled poblano & onions rajas, plus avocado served open face w/tomato & shredded lettuce on the other half of the bun.  I did

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