At Vila Brazil, summoning tender, hand-cut steaks is as easy as flipping over a card at your table. That action alerts the servers, who then present and slice several types of meat on towering skewers. Beef, chicken, pork, and lamb all make an appearance at dinnertime after a stint on the open grill where they are typically seasoned with just a sprinkling of sea salt to enhance their natural flavors. A few exceptions––the restaurant's signature picanha, a flavorful cut of the sirloin, may be enhanced with garlic, while pork loin arrives covered in melted parmesan cheese.
To counterbalance the meaty main courses, guests can peruse the salad bar, where 25 Brazilian sides await tasting. To add a sweet touch to the meal, servers also bring skewered whole pineapples tableside, where they slice off syrupy slivers to reveal the juicy ham inside.
Waterloo Ice House was named best restaurant in the Austin Chronicle Best of Austin 2010 Readers Poll. Yelpers give the Escarpment Boulevard, 38th Street, Southpark Meadows, Bull Creek, and Burnett Road locations an average of three stars.
Since 1984, Champps Americana's kitchen has sizzled with made-from-scratch dishes, satiating sports fans and families with a comfortable atmosphere. Amid sunlit dining rooms, diners seated at wooden tabletops can root for their favorite pixels on flat-screen TVs broadcasting live sports. In the kitchen, chefs prepare pastas with grilled chicken and roasted artichokes, pile buns with barbecued pulled pork and spicy buffalo chicken, and fill soft taco shells with grilled steak. Behind the bar, bartenders whip up specialty cocktails and margaritas and fill goblets with wine and local craft beers on tap.
Celebrity photos, including a portrait of former regular Mickey Mantle, line the wood paneled walls of Jaxx Steakhouse, known for its flavorful steaks, seafood, and pasta and its 1930s-style decor. Inside the kitchen, Chef Marcelino grills juicy pepper steaks with brandy demi-glace and pairs crabmeat-stuffed jumbo shrimp with tender filet mignon and garlic mashed potatoes. Lighter fare includes pan-seared ahi tuna, zero-gravity tossed salads, and low-carb lemon-basil chicken. An extensive wine list stands by to add accompaniment to meals, while single-malt scotch and espresso drinks tap in to finish off dinners along with a tag-team of desserts, such as white-chocolate bread pudding and crème brûlée.
In 1853, two founders of the colony that would come to be known as Castroville built a classic Sunday Haus near the center of the new settlement. A century and a half later, that structure stands as one of the oldest in the city, and the restaurant that now calls it home doesn't take that fact lightly. The Old Alsatian Steakhouse and Ristorante retains its historic air, seating diners in one of two main dining rooms lined with old-world art and antiques, while displaying many of the building's original structural elements. Here, they serve a menu that nods to tradition, anchored by a hearty lineup of hand-cut steaks and European dishes. The selection ranges from 6-oz. cuts of sirloin and 7-oz. filet mignon to 16-oz. rib eyes, which can be eaten onsite or brought home. Cooks round out meals with plates of alsatian sausage and bratwurst, served with mustard and pickles, as well as fried calamari, jumbo shrimp, schnitzels, and more.
With the historic nature of the grounds, it's not surprising that a recent archaeological dig revealed a bounty of artifacts dating back to the Civil War. Ginger beer bottles, leather holsters, saber belt-buckles—these and a trove of other 150-year-old finds line the shelves of the restaurant's former smokehouse, which now acts as the onsite museum. Both everyday diners and attendees of special events—the space also features a grape arbor, a patio, a spacious lawn, a beer garden, and a full event center—can peruse these unique finds to learn the history of not only the restaurant itself, but a great deal of Castroville as well.
Bagel Express fashions its bagels from scratch every day, dishing up breakfast and lunch fare alongside delectable dozens of its homemade baked goods. Unfurl eyelids with a three-egg omelet, such as a quartet of american, swiss, provolone, and cheddar cheeses ($5.95) or a version as stuffed with lox, eggs, and onions ($8.95) as an Old World teddy bear. At lunch, sandwiches including a classic reuben ($9.95) and deluxe grilled cheese ($5.25) arrive on palanquins of the restaurant’s signature bagel bread. Extend the epicurean excursion by scoping out the deli case’s panoply of Boar's Head meats and cheeses, available by the pound for picnics and back-to-school salami socials, and browsing a selection of gourmet cream cheeses whipped into such enticing flavors as walnut raisin and garlic herb ($2.95–$5.95).