Read every Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto restaurant profile we wrote in 2018

Restaurateur says Hutto’s Hit the Spot Cafe is becoming known for breakfast, brunch and lunch
Jesse Solis started in the restaurant business as a dishwasher, immediately finding the spark for a joy of cooking and the restaurant business that eventually culminated in opening the doors of his first restaurant when he was 21-years-old.

Now, more than three decades later, Solis owns several restaurants across Texas. His most recent restaurant, Hutto’s Hit the Spot Cafe, is beginning to carve out a niche in the town as a go-to breakfast, brunch and lunch spot —especially on Saturday and Sunday, according to Solis.

Couple forgoes retirement to bring Cajun home cooking to Round Rock
Y’all’s Cafe’s menu is speckled with bayou-influenced modifications to Texas home cooking classics such as the restaurant’s spiced mashed potatoes or the Bayou Fried Chicken, a half-chicken that is deeply seasoned and breaded before it is lightly fried.

“We’re Cajun and home cooking, and you don’t see that in too many restaurants,” owner Geoff Beverly said.

Pflugerville couple serves up fresh, handmade Asian cuisine
When Jose Lopez and Meili Wu, owners of Oriental Kitchen Restaurant in Pflugerville, relocated their restaurant in 2017, they left most of their menu behind, too.

The couple’s former restaurant in Rockdale, a small town approximately halfway between Austin and College Station, featured more than 200 menu items. Now, Oriental Kitchen Restaurant’s menu features approximately 35 items, all freshly made from scratch.

Lifetime Round Rock residents aim to cultivate unique downtown eatery
URBAN eat.drink celebrates its two-year anniversary in May after carving out a foothold in downtown Round Rock’s culinary scene. The contemporary American cuisine restaurant has since expanded to include a rooftop bar and event venue that opened in December.

The Notgrass’ vision was for Urban eat.drink to provide a unique dining experience they felt was not being provided in Round Rock, the couple’s lifelong hometown.

For Hutto-area entrepreneur, restaurants are all in the family
Thirteen years after Trung Pham opened Bien Hoa, the owner said very little has changed. Pham continues to use the same meat vendor that he started with in 2005. The Vietnamese and Chinese cuisine menu has only turned over a few items, and Pham still makes the restaurant’s homemade signature Chinese sauce alongside his brother.

Pham’s brother and niece own their own restaurants in Austin, too. In fact, much of Pham’s family both in Texas and in his native Vietnam operate restaurants. Pham asserts the industry is in his family’s blood.

Round Rock restaurant serving Peruvian dishes with a healthy twist
Christian Mariategui said he made quinoa the namesake and a staple ingredient of the restaurant because the grain originated in the Peruvian Andes between Peru and Bolivia. The area is the only natural source of quinoa, Mariategui said, although it is now grown in other places.

One of the vegetarian items on Quinoa Grill's menu—the quinoa burger—is made from his mother’s recipe and uses quinoa in place of a hamburger patty.

Family restaurant making its mark on downtown Pflugerville
Blanca Medrano operates Taco House with her two daughters—Bianca and Jaime—and three other employees. They welcome first responders and said they make sure their orders come out as soon as possible so they can eat before being called to an emergency.

The Taco House menu is made up of a variety of dishes, including breakfast and lunch tacos, migas and quesadillas. Customers can even choose items—such as omelets—that are not on the menu, Medrano said.

“If we have everything here, we will make it,” Medrano said.

Brothers aim to bring something unique to the table at Warpath Pints and Pizza in Round Rock
The Chenoweths opened Warpath Pints and Pizza in May 2017 with the goal of making the best hand-tossed pizzas, Joel said.

As for as the restaurant’s name, Joel said they found inspiration from an “X-Men” comic book character and from there the business’ identity evolved.

“We wanted Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton and Metallica and Iron Maiden all on the same jukebox–that’s kind of what we were going for,” Joel said.

Warpath offers its customers a menu as eclectic as its jukebox with pizza toppings ranging from more classic items—such as pepperoni—to less common ingredients like eggs or potato.

Six years in, Hutto’s Baked ‘n Sconed serving daily-made pastries
Tiffany Anders, founder and proprietor of Hutto’s Baked ‘n Sconed, has fashioned herself a specific title for her position. Anders considers herself, first and foremost, an “Executive Scone-ologist.”

“This is the best job ever,” Anders said. “I get [to eat]cookies and [drink]coffee.”

After customers of a previous restaurant kept returning to specifically buy her scones, Anders went into business with her family and opened Baked ‘n Sconed in November 2013. The native Texan has been serving uniquely flavored scones on a daily basis ever since.

Round Rock restaurant dishes out diverse flavors of Latin America
During his time in Costa Rica, Jorge Alcocer said an Argentinian friend criticized his deployment of empanadas, eventually showing Alcocer how to make the beef empanadas of his hometown, Cordoba. Now, Fuego Latino offers the Argentinian empanadas—a pastry pocket filled with flank steak cooked with caramelized onions and golden raisins—on its dinner menu.

Fuego Latino’s offerings are a sampling menu of cultural Central and South American dishes, ranging from Alcocer’s take on queso fundido to ceviche. All of the dishes are made from ingredients hand-selected by Alcocer himself.

Pflugerville chef aims to serve quality Japanese dishes at Iron Fish Sushi & Grill
Although Peter Kim, the owner of Iron Fish Sushi & Grill in Pflugerville, said he has received comparisons to popular restaurants in Austin, he thinks his restaurant does a better job with some of the dishes.

“I could say some of the food we do better,” Kim said with a laugh. “When customers try our food they will say, ‘Wow this is different,’” Kim said. “Even the basic chicken teriyaki tastes different. We want to keep it basic; we don’t want to take out the taste, but we want to add our kick to it.”

By Iain Oldman
Iain Oldman joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2017 after spending two years in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he covered Pittsburgh City Council. His byline has appeared in PublicSource, WESA-FM and Scranton-Times Tribune. Iain worked as the reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's flagship Round Rock/Pflugerville/Hutto edition and is now working as the editor for the Northwest Austin edition.