Food Trucks in Round Rock

Watch out, Austin.  Round Rock just approved its very own food trailer park.  12 vendors are all set up for the grand opening this coming weekend, October 6-7.  And since we’re in the small, but rapidly growing city of Round Rock, you know it’s done with careful planning and preparation with families and kids in mind.

Food trucks plus free movies every other Monday! Eat your heart out, Austin.

For the full article, click here.

Plus Four Dining in Georgetown, Texas

bread salad

Plus Four Dining

I’m not sure if the number 4 means how many courses you get with the main meal, or how many tables will be filled on a Tuesday night, but it was eerily empty when my wife and I visited for the first time.  The waitress that served us did an average job and didn’t seem to talk about the menu too much, not what you would typically expect from a “fancy” restaurant.  At our experience at Hudson’s on the Bend (I’m still procrastinating on that review), the waiter would tell us the menu and describe almost any dish in painstaking detail if you needed him to.  We were a little reluctant to try this place because it’s been the third restaurant in that same location in probably the past 4-5 years.  If we liked it, would it still be around a year from now?

The Review

The first two dishes we got were a bread starter with 3 types of compound butter and a nice mixed salad.  The bread and butter was good, although I was really hoping for more butter.  As you can see from the pictures above, we really had to spread the butter thin to make it last and I almost licked the plate just so I wouldn’t have to stick a piece of unbuttered bread in my mouth, but reminded myself that I was in public.

I ordered the Pork Tenderloin with Cider Sauce, Bacon-Wrapped Apple, Acorn Squash Risotto and Brussels Sprouts.  Autumn got the NY Strip with Mashed Potato, Spinach and Messy Grilled Corn.

pork-and-cabbage steak

As you can tell by all of the pictures, the restaurant was very dark!  The pork dish (on the left) was good:   The Brussels sprouts had a nice smokey flavor and the Risotto was cooked nicely.  The steak was ordered medium-rare and was cooked perfectly.  Autumn liked my sides better, and we both preferred the steak over the pork.  If it weren’t for the large portions of these main courses, I think we both would have left very hungry.  The dessert was nothing too impressive and ofcourse the portions were pretty small too, but by then we were pretty full.

Conclusion:  This is a nice restaurant in Georgetown, Texas that is convenient to the square and not as pricey as Silver and Stone (Total bill was under $60).  It’s a novel idea to throw in a few courses with your main meal “for free” and prolong the enjoyment of a good meal.  If you’re in a rush to go somewhere, avoid dinner here and skip to the Monument Cafe instead.  If you want a nice meaningful conversation with somebody and nibble like a rabbit before you get stuffed with the main dish, then this is your place.  We would be open to visiting it again, maybe when the menu changes to try something new.  Check our the Plus Four Dining website and let me know what you think!

Coopers Old Time Pit BBQ in Llano, TX

We made a family trip out to Coopers Old Time Pit BBQ in Llano, TX a few weeks ago and our friends Brett and Lisa came with us.  We decided to go easy and not over-order like we normally do.  We picked a variety of their meats for comparison purposes and overall the meal was pretty good, sausage was better then Snow’s BBQ, but nothing was really “out of the ballpark” for me.  No disappointments, but no “wow” factor either…just good ‘ole dependable BBQ.  Afterwards, we hung out at the Llano River Bridge for some rock-throwing and picture-taking.

Coopers is just about 1 hour and a few minutes away from Georgetown and is an easy drive down Hwy 29.  Check it out and feel free to share your comments on how you feel this place compares with others!  The readers of this blog would love to hear your opinion!  Check out the pictures below:

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Wink Restaurant in Austin, Texas

100_8158Last week I took my wife to Austin for a date…complete with babysitting and everything:)  We were going to go to one of our favorite restaurants in Austin, Texas:  Wink

The last time we were here, we saw the sampler menu and thought, “Gee, this looks yummy!  And it’s only $65 for all this food!”  For some retarded reason, we thought it would feed the both of us.  Over an hour later, to our surprise, we got the bill and it was $65 per person!  So needless to say that meal was memorable in many ways.

There were two items that left an impression on us so we decided to order them again:  The Scallops and the Foie Gras.  Disclaimer:  These pictures were taken with my dinky point and shoot in a very dimly lit restaurant.  So they are bad pictures.

Seared Dayboat Scallops with mixed bell peppers, Italian roma beans and shellfish veloute:


These scallops are unlike anything you’ve ever tasted.  They’re velvety smooth in the inside and have so much more flavor then those dinky scallops you normally see in restaurants.  The difficult thing to do is to cook these right.  You undercook them and they’re too fishy, you overcook them and they’re too tough.  These were done perfectly.  You can order this as an appetizer or a meal.  Since Autumn and I were splitting everything, we got the meal size for $29.  Too much of this can be a little overwhelming, so make sure you share and don’t be greedy.  Or just ask the waiter for more bread.

Seared Foie Gras on brioche with pickled rhubarb, black pepper strawberries, and almonds:


Now this was an appetizer…but for $22, it sure wasn’t priced like one.  If you’ve never had foie gras, you’ve got to taste it at this restaurant.  It’s full of flavor and just melts in your mouth.  Why do they give you so little of it?  It must be bad for you that’s why.  I’m not even sure I know what it is.  Something about fat and liver is what Autumn told me.  Hey, it’s French, what can I say?  Just eat it and quit worrying.

Word of advice: Get reservations.  I thought I could just mozy on in the restaurant, but good thing I called.  The guy on the phone told me I had a choice of 6:30 PM or 9:30 PM.  Gee, thanks for the choices.  We went for 6:30 PM and decided to catch a Realtor event afterwards.  We didn’t eat too much here because there was supposed to be food at the following event (turned out that there wasn’t much there either).  When you get to Wink, they also usually give you a little pre-meal tasting of something they made to whet your appetite.  This time Autumn and I got to try some Ginger tea with a Ginger snap cookie.  Impressive, I know.  What’s impressive about these restaurants is how they can serve you so little and give you the silliest things and yet they taste so good and seem to cost so much.  In the end, is it worth it?  Well remember, we came back for a second time…and considering that we only had a choice of two reservation times that night… other people come back as well.
At the Realtor event, the food was pretty lame, but check out the fire dancer!

Louies 106 – My Autumn’s Day Experience

This post is a little late, but it’s a restaurant review nonetheless.

Autumn and I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day anymore, we celebrate Autumn’s Day which is the day before.  Awww, how romantic I know.  However, as we were driving into Austin to celebrate a day early there was a TON of traffic heading into the city at the same time!  Hmm, looks like the rest of the world has their own “Autumn’s Day.”

This year we decided to double date with our good friends David and Melissa and we headed down to Louie’s 106.

Here are the two happy couples:


David and Melissa have two children, Claire and Jonah, and they play well with our three kids:  Joshua, Chloe and Sabrina.  We’re just happy to be friends with ANYONE who has kids that will play with ours:)  But Claire is the best when it comes to watching Chloe and Joshua so that Autumn can have a sane moment during the day.    What would we do without her?!dsc_4917

Back to the food: We tried the crispy calamari with red pepper rouille and roasted garlic aioli (not pictured), Prince Edward Island Mussels and House made mesquite smoked salmon for appetizers.

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For our main course, we ordered The original Baby Louie’s Hot and Crunchy Trout, some meat dish (my memory is fading fast), and creme brulee for dessert:

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Notice that somebody (ahem, Autumn), couldn’t wait for me to take a picture before diving into the dessert!  This was a fun place to go and the presentation, as you can tell from the pictures, was very nice.  The Prince Edward Island Mussels were my favorite as they reminded me of our honeymoon when we went to Prince Edward Island and had these for the very first time.

This is another great Austin restaurant located in the heart of downtown.  They have valet parking and accept resrvations!  My only gripe?  Well, I made reservations and indicated that it was also for the celebration of David and Melissa’s anniversary (which it was) and I was hoping they would have given us a free dessert or at least mentioned it to them.  Nothing happened…maybe it was because we had already ordered dessert or maybe because it was super busy that night.  Nonetheless, great food at decent prices.  Check it out and let me know what you think!  Have you been here before?  I love reader interaction, please comment!

Restaurant on the Georgetown square – Wildfire

It seems like restaurants in Georgetown go out of business just as quickly as new ones pop up. I just thought I noticed Stone Canyon Cafe disappeared and one of the restaurants I reviewed on this blog, Chantal’s, is also gone. What a shame. Chantal’s was good.

Well, here’s one that has been around for awhile and is located on the historic square in Georgetown, TX:


My wife and I took an afternoon lunch date and ordered the following:

Hickory Smoked Pork Roast, Red Eye Gravy
Red Bliss Mash Potatoes, Pearl Onions & Baby Carrots

Maple Leaf Duck-Spinach Salad
Hot Applewood-smoked bacon dressing

The pork was a bit dry, but the overall dish had a good smokey flavor. The duck was tender and salad tasted good. Autumn and I thought that the serving was a little small and hoped they would have crisped up the duck a bit more. For an entree the salad seemed to be sized more like a side dish. We were still hungry so we downed about 4 of their dinner rolls, which by the way, are served warm with a generous side dish of butter.

wildfire_exterior_twilightThe nice thing we noticed is that they finally renovated the nasty old ceiling. It used to be white and moldy looking, and now it’s a nice elegant maroon color. The setting in this restaurant is nice, not too expensive (lunch came to about $20) and ideally located downtown so you can walk off that side dish of butter that comes with your rolls.

So, if you want to meet a local real estate agent to talk about buying and selling, this could be a good place for lunch (hint, hint). Since I added that plug about real estate and talked about my experience, I guess that lunch with Autumn is a write-off right?

So, have you been here? What’s your favorite dish? This blog is boring without reader interaction, I value your comments! Want the latest updates on Georgetown Texas Real Estate, news and latest developments? Sign up for the blog by clicking the link below:

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Best steak in Georgetown, Texas

…is unfortunately 30 minutes south (in Austin).

I celebrated my 6th anniversary with my wife, Autumn, on January 4th.  So we dropped off the kids at a friend’s home and headed off to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse.  I’ve been here a couple of times and this is my all-time favorite steak place.  What doesn’t make sense to me is that although the stock price has been going down, the prices have been going up on the menu. Go figure.

Rather then order two steaks and clog up our arteries, my wife and I usually split a steak and then we buy a side item or two.

dsc_4277We started off with the Oysters Rockefeller, which looked like it was topped with the same type of creamed spinach that they serve as an appetizer.  Not too creative in my book, but it sure tasted good!  We then tried a Ruth’s Chris chopped salad next and decided to split it.  Good thing we did, because both of our portions were humongous!  If we had to do it over again, we would ask them to bring the salad out with the steak.  The salad almost looked too good to eat, but that lasted about 2 seconds before I stuck my fork into those beautiful greens and started gobbling it up like a rabbit that is about to have his last meal.  Don’t ask me what those green dots were or how they tasted, I’m not that kind of food critic.  All I know is, it was crunchy, tasty and to balance out the meat, make sure to have them bring both out together.


Our next course was an overdose of meat.  As usual, the restaurant cooked it up to perfection.  After 1600 degrees in an oven and served to you on a 400 degree plate, you wonder how they can keep medium-rare so perfect.  Yet they did it again.  My ribeye was sizzling up a tune when it arrived at our table and the waitress split it on two plates since we were sharing.  That was a nice gesture.  The worst type of steak you can get is a lukewarm one.  I love a steak that is hot.  How many times have you had to blow on a steak to eat it because it was that hot?  Exactly.

We also paid $8 for glorified potato chips that were supposed to be “shoestring potatoes” according to the menu.  It was worth it, since we brought it home and the kids loved it for lunch the next day.  Ok, I admit it, I loved it too.  If you have a special occassion, be sure to tell the restaurant about it and usually you’ll get a free dessert.  Autumn was wondering whether they would or not and I told her that most definitely they would hook us up.  She asked me, “how can you be so sure?”  And I told her, well, I asked them for a free steak, and they already told me “Sorry, nice try, but we’ll get you a dessert.”  So, my shameless Realtor negotiating technique was to ask for the bigger item and settle for what I really wanted.

So, here’s the freebie in all it’s glory:


Dang, this looks so good that I didn’t even feel like I should shrink the image.  That would just not be right.  Chocolate molten cake with fancy caramel and ice cream on top.  I’ll let the picture describe itself.  Usually we go for the Creme Brulee which is done very well here.  However, we were both so stuffed that we wanted something to bring back home for the kids and could be enjoyed as a leftover.  Are we great parents or what?

Hopefully, the restaurants in Georgetown, Texas will slowly improve and one day there will be a steak worth eating.  I’ve never tried the Montana Mike’s but I don’t have a good feeling about it.  For now, take the 30 minute drive to 6th street, order up a medium-rare ribeye that is perfectly marbled and sizzling at the table and enjoy.  Total bill was around $90 with tip.

I don’t celebrate Halloween in Georgetown, TX, but…

…I will celebrate any discounts I can get!

If you like to try out new restaurants (and who doesn’t?), then is having a promo. Typically you have to spend $10 to get a coupon worth $25 at a local restaurant. The only “catch” is that you have to spend $35 on your total bill or get 2 entrees or something like that. However, if you enter the promo code: PUMPKIN you’ll get an 80% discount! That means you spend $2 for a $25 gift certificate! Not bad eh? Coupons are good for 1 year, so I bought 4 coupons for: Wink, Zoot, Louie’s 106 and Aquarelle

Those are all new restaurants for me with the exception of Wink, and it was good enough to want to go again! Look for these restaurant reviews in the next 12 months on my blog! Have you been to any of these restaurants? I would love to hear your experience and recommendations. Feel free to comment and share with other readers!

By the way, do you want an even better discount? Sign up for an account with and register your credit cards. If you purchase these gift certificates through the link on your account and you purchase your meal with the credit cards that you have registered you’re also saving money towards your child’s education! Man, what a deal! So far, I’ve amassed a total of $83! Wowzers!

3/17/2008 – Louie’s 106 Review

9/2009 – Zoot Restaurant – We went here for lunch, nothing too impressive and enjoyed the sister restaurant “Wink” much better.

10/23/2009 – Wink Restaurant Review

10/26/2009 – Ahhh, I didn’t have enough time to use this coupon before it expired!  If you were a fan on my Facebook page you could have gotten this coupon for free as a giveaway!  What are you waiting for?  Sign up now!

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Where to get cajun food in Round Rock, Texas

Yes, it’s that rare moment in the Lui household where we all go out to eat…and I actually get pictures…and I actually blog about it. I’ve been meaning to talk about this place because it’s one of my favoriteS.

Welcome to Gumbo’s, a cajun-style restaurant that doesn’t overdo the spicy stuff!

The special occasion was that it was Autumn’s Birthday, she turned 32 on September 4th so we went out and ate here. First – the non-food related observations:

I called the restaurant before it opened and left a message for my reservations. I asked for a return call and never got it and so I had to call again. A small annoyance, but one that I remember nonetheless. Second, is the website. I went to and registered to be a a “VIP member” of the VIP club. Ok, I’m not sure what that means either, except that I’m supposed to get a free gift via e-mail and I still don’t have it. I was hoping to get a “percent off” coupon so I could use on my meal. And no, that’s not being cheap, thats good stewardship baby!

The bread at this place rocks. It comes with seasoned butter and right off the bat I asked for another piece of bread with butter. I could eat that stuff for a meal, but exhibited immense, almost super-human self-control, so I could have room for the entree. I even gave Sabrina, my 8 month old, small pieces of it to occupy her and she liked it too, despite just two small teeth in her mouth.

We didn’t order any appetizers and jumped right into two entrees:

Shrimp and Crawfish Tails – in a creamy mushroom, bacon and garlic sauce, topped with grated parmesan

and the Tortilla-Crusted Salmon – pan-sauteed, topped with a sauteed crab cake, and served over chipotle cream sauce, with sweet potato puree, sliced fresh avocados and jalapeno corn relish.

The salmon was cooked just right, medium-rare, for our tastes and the rich and creamy sauce on the pasta dish was just perfect with the crusty bread. Is your mouth watering yet? Well, the best thing was dessert!

You’re looking at the New Orleans Style Custard topped with chocalate liqueur and garnished with rolled wafers….it was free because of my wife’s birthday, but if you were to spend the $5.95, it would be worth every penny. We licked that plate clean…well, not literally, but close.

Total bill was in the neighborhood of $50 with tip and tax. Not bad for a family of 5….but somewhat pricey considering that this family of 5 only shared two entrees! Food quality here has never let me down and the waiter (Eric?) was very good. The only other restaurant in Round Rock that I equally like is Main Street Grill. I’ll have to write on that sone another day…unless you want to treat.

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Georgetown, Texas goes Greek

Finally. A restaurant I can brag about. That only takes me 10 minutes to drive to. That I can bring my kids to. That doesn’t break the bank. What more can a father want?

On Friday, Autumn, myself and our good friends, David and Melissa, went on a double date to check this place out. PLAKA GREEK CAFE is the newest restaurant in Georgetown, Texas so we just had to find out how good the food really was. The first thing you’ll notice as you pull in to the restaurant is that there is plenty of parking. If every table in that restaurant was full, I bet that parking lot would still have space. That’s not something you see everyday!

David, Melissa and Autumn ordered the Gyro Wrap Combo, which is sliced lamb and beef in a pita with some veggies and tzatiki sauce. It came with a choice of soup or feta salad and we all chose the salad. I wanted to try something different since I could mooch off of Autumn’s gyro, so I got the Mousaka. The menu describes the mousaka plate as Layers of eggplant, potato, and ground beef, topped with a béchamel sauce. Served with Avgolemono soup, spanakopita, and tiropita and topped with tzatiki sauce.” Uh, ok. Sounds Greek to me. (pun intended). I substituted the soup for a feta salad and they were cool with that.

Everything tasted very fresh…they were a little skimpy on the tzatiki sauce, but when I asked for a little extra they gave me about half a bowl full. Nice. The only downside is that they had to microwave my mousaka prior to serving it to me since all the food is prepared beforehand and is laid out cafeteria-style. Think Luby’s. What I like about Luby’s though is that they use heat lamps and broilers and all that fancy stuff to keep the food warm and the crispy stuff, “crispy.” I think if my mousaka was already kept hot and they served it like that it would have been a better presentation then “nuking” it in the microwave right in front of me for about a minute.

Besides that, it was all very yummy. We topped the meal off with some good ‘ole fashioned Baklava. We also brought our youngest, Sabrina, with us and she enjoyed the atmosphere too. Afterwards, we all went to City Lights Theatres to see the movie, Iron Man, and liked it very much…it put Sabrina to sleep though, but her ticket was free.

Plaka Greek Cafe is located in Georgetown, Texas at the intersection of I35 and Williams Drive. You can’t miss it. Stay in the far right lane because it comes up quick! Oh yeah, our bill for Autumn and I came to just about $20. Check it out and share your experience with everyone in the comments section below. It’s always beneficial to me when I get recommendations on what to order.

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