A trifecta of Texan, Mexican, and Hawaiian cuisine results in unexpected offerings at this eatery with up-close views of Lake Austin. Palm tree hugger nachos ($6.99) line the front of Hula Hut's hunger offense with black beans, carrots, spinach, and zucchini under a thatched roof of monterey jack cheese. Crusted coconut shrimp ($8.99) is another opening option and preps appetites for an entree of Hawaiian fajitas ($11.99 for half an order)––chicken glazed in Polynesian plum sauce and flanked by red-bell peppers, green onions, and pineapple. The chile-rubbed salmon tacos ($8.99) come topped with fresh cilantro and jalapeño-lime sauce and turn heat-loving taste buds into spiky, tropical blossoms. The gargantuan huli-huli luau platter ($22.99) is sure to satisfy tummies with any taste and includes ribs, chicken nachos, barbecue chicken tacos, chicken flautas, a chicken sink, a chopped salad, papas asadas, and chile con queso chips.
South American cuisine has roots in European cuisine, and the influences of Italy, Spain, and France are apparent on El Arbol’s menu. For a Spanish flair, turn to the four types of empanadas ($3.50–$9.50), and to taste a bit of Italy, request a side of ñoquis (gnocchi) ($7). Those looking to the core South American competency can look for South American tastes both well-known, such as ceviche ($13), and obscure, such as the use of quinoa—a grain-like crop that grows in the Andes—in the pancake that accompanies the pollo asado, a roasted chicken ($16). El Arbol has an oak-wood grill that emits smoke in the form of a beckoning finger to coax the finest flavors out of its beef and seafood. Texas Monthly’s favorite dish was the vieiras, “shimmering sea scallops showered with crisp bread crumbs and immersed in a mushroom-and-white-wine cream sauce.”
At The Brick Oven on 35th, which has run under its current owners since 2000, grains from around the world pervade the crusts of 10 signature pizzas baked in wood-fired brick ovens, and housemade bread accompanies pasta plates such as baked spinach ravioli. All-natural, range-free chicken and beef adorn dishes, and the staff also concocts vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free pies and entrees. Feasters can savor their Italian treats while sitting amid white tablecloths in the indoor dining room, luxuriating on the outdoor patio, or in the middle of a high-speed gondola pursuit via delivery and catering services.
The chefs at Kerbey Lane Cafe have spent decades combining locally sourced ingredients to craft a menu brimming with eclectic breakfast fare, Mexican-tinged entrees, and rotating seasonal dishes served all day long. Batter craftsmen flip stacks of Kerbey Lane's signature homemade pancakes ($2.99–$5.39), dressed up in a full wardrobe of adventurous flavors including gingerbread, apple whole wheat, vegan, and crushed velvet. The SoLa enchiladas pack tortillas with portobello mushrooms, spinach, and cheddar-jack cheese under a downpour of your choice of sauce ($7.99). Groups can scoop through an appetizer of the Kerbey queso ($8.09)—guacamole blanketed with queso and pico de gallo and served with tortilla chips for dipping and flinging at open-mouthed dinner dates.
Owned and operated by Austin native and bakery veteran Russell Millner, Russell's Bistro whips up an eclectic array of dishes designed to make elegant dining accessible to all. A friendly neighborhood café and bakery during the day, Russell's dims its lights at 6 p.m. and transforms into both an intimate dinner hotspot and a more owl-friendly environment. The dinner menu features a variety of Southwest- and Italian-inspired dishes crafted from the freshest ingredients. Warm up with appetizers such as the shrimp-and-scallop brochette ($9), featuring bacon-wrapped sea meats skewered and marinated in garlic and serrano, or dive right into an entrée list ranging from pecan-crusted tilapia ($13) to a parmesan-kissed grilled chicken-and-asparagus penne ($12). Russell's is also open for brunch and lunch and serves the same quality desserts and made-from-scratch pastries made famous at the cross-town Russell's Bakery.
Sequins, satin, and every hue of the rainbow. Muzzie’s Austin’s racks sway with elaborate ball gowns, flirty cocktail dresses, and formalwear for pageants. The store’s expansive collection of eveningwear hails from designers such as Tony Bowls, Jovanni, La Femme, and Flirt. The shop also offers shoes and jewelry as the perfect compliment to gowns and dresses.