8 Reasons You Should Be Eating in Round Rock
Okay, so we’ve occasionally made fun of Round Rock, with repercussions like creating a rift between proud Round Rock-ians and proud residents of Austin "proper" in the comment section of this. However, after doing some investigating concerning the land North of 183, it turns out Round Rock has some damn fine places to eat and drink. It's true! Behold, the best of Round Rock:
Greenhouse Craft Food is a casual, counter-service eatery with food sourced from Texas farmers and ranchers, meaning the sandwiches, burgers, pasta, salads and specials are made with the best ingredients. We have to mention that it carries Texas craft beers and wines and has rotating weekly chef specials. Try "The Greenhouse Special": a BLT made with sourdough bread, uncured bacon, baby greens, local tomatoes, fried farmhouse egg, mayo, and jalapeño-maple jelly. Pro tip: during brunch hours, be sure to get your beignet fix!
Imagine a restaurant that mixes Texas-centric comfort cuisine with craft cocktails and a playful Alice in Wonderland theme throughout the restaurant. The Scarlet Rabbit is helmed by executive chefs Rob Snow (of the aforementioned Greenhouse Craft Food) and Rich Taylor (Quality Seafood). You’ll want to Instagram everything, from the lighting to the names of dishes. You can't miss the chicken & waffles (butternut waffle, crispy boneless breast, veggies, and chipotle maple syrup). Cocktail-wise, try The End (gin, serrano-infused Chartreuse, maraschino, lime juice).
New modern, family friendly Fire & Ice Pizza Bar specializes in thin-crust, artisan pizzas; salads; toasted hoagies, and more. In addition to making everything in-house, they’ve got a full bar serving Texas craft beer and unique cocktails. We can’t decide between the Urban Cowboy (Italian meatballs, pepperoni, marinated tomatoes, red onion, and garlic) or the Kickin' Chicken (olive oil, chicken, bacon, red onion, and house-made "Almost Famous" hot sauce). Guess it’s gonna have to be both.
Locally owned "Mexican icehouse," Tortuga Flats serves tacos, enchiladas, tortas, fajitas, and mouth-watering appetizers. The cuisine is Mexican with a fresh and bright Texas spin. It also boasts a very decent tequila selection. Try the el puerco tacos (roasted pork shoulder, pork belly, Buffalo Trace bacon bourbon jam, arugula & crispy onions) or the torta la chilanga (beef Milanesa, black beans, chorizo, ham, cheese, cilantro aioli, cabbage, tomatoes, onions & avocado). Mmmmmm!
For over 25 years, Hoody’s has been a Round Rock favorite. The sandwiches, made with Boar’s Head meat and cheese, are kind of a big deal. The number one picks from loyal customers are the Philly cheesesteak (grilled rib eye steak, mushrooms, onions, peppers) and the meatball sandwich (meatballs, provolone cheese, onions, peppers).
Fire in the Hole is a perfect choice for someone who wants authentic Italian pizza but also wants a selection of small plates and sophisticated desserts. It prides itself on using "modern techniques and old-world sensibility." The pizza is baked for a short time in a wood-fired oven, which creates a crust that is crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. What pizza would we recommend? The Salumeria (craft salamis, spicy sausage, smoked mozzarella, and chili flakes).
Using a "world famous" recipe from the 1940s, Round Rock donuts continues to keep fans of the yellow donuts coming back for more. The distinct yellow color comes from fresh eggs -- and unlike donuts made in the typical manner, these cannot be machine-made. Each one is hand-rolled, cut, fried, and iced. On busy days, you’ll see a long line of people who can’t wait to get the freshly made, still warm, glazed original donuts.
Every Monday, join MiLB team, the Round Rock Express for $1 hot dogs and sodas. Oh yeah, and baseball. Spring and Summer evenings don’t get any more American than this. Check out the schedule and get tickets here.
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