5 Great Places to Eat

22 May

Hutto has a remarkable variety of places to eat for a small town. Below are my five favorites when you want to sit down, enjoy the food, and maybe the company of friends.

Bien Hoa:  846-2699
Located in Hansen’s Corner Bien Hoa features Vietamese and Chinese Cuisine. I was lucky to discover their food was great even before they officially opened in 2005. I dropped by to introduce myself and the Update and was given some samples. Best egg rolls anywhere. Open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner, their menu offers a wide variety of dishes. Portions are generous, the staff friendly, and most important of all, the food is absolutely delicious! During the week their lunch specials are hard to beat and it is the perfect place to take business guests. While I like just about everything on the menu I am particularly partial to their Pork Egg Foo Young, and for refreshing, their green ice tea is it. My wife highly recommends all of their Low Mein Noodles.

Blue Jay Garden:  642-3093
The big blue house corner of Farley St. and FM 1660. Sally Velasquez has put together a delightful coffee house and deli with a beautiful outdoor seating area under a canopy of trees. One can relax indoors or out, and enjoy watching the many birds that come to the garden and the fountain. Currently there are both bluejays and sparrows nesting and Sally provides binoculars to make the watching even more enjoyable. On Friday and Saturday nights she has live music in the garden featuring local musicians, and they play at a level that allows peiople to carry on a conversation, something I really appreciate.
Her menu featuresa Fresh made deli sandwiches, paninis, soup & salads, and some specialty desserts along with a variety of cold drinks including fresh lemonade, as well as coffee and expressos, all at reasonable prices. Children are welcome and there is a special children’s menu.

Mario’s Mexican Restaurant:  846-1778
You couldn’t ask for a friendlier place or a better place for breakfast. Mario’s, located at 209 East St. in downtown Hutto is an institution and the place to meet people – – There are always people I know eating there whenever I go in, such as Jeff and Kathy Svoboda pictured here. Mario opens for breakfast at 7am Mon-Sat, 8am Sun until 3pm. Personally I am partial to his migas rancheras with bacon, but his breakfast tacos are all good too. Breakfast isn’t all though with lunch specials every day, and usually open for dinner Thur, Fri & Sat. until 9pm., he has a wide variety of Mexican entres to choose from. He also makes his own salsa, which varies from a pleasant “bite” to a green with a lot of bite. Mario has been working on trying to get an outdoor area added to the restaurant but something always seems to drag with the city Planning Dept. Maybe now with the downtown redo and new “fast track attitude” that will finally come to fruition. In the meantime, enjoy the good food.

Rio Grande:  759-1449
For Tex Mex Rio Grande restaurant is the place to go. If you haven’t been in awhile they have expanded their dining area and can accommodate large groups (B3 Network meets there every Friday at 7:30am). They also “enclosed their patio with plastic curtains which allow for more pleasant dining when it is cold or hot outside but still providing the customer that “outdoor” experience. Open for lunch and dinner Mon-Sun, they also serve breakfast on Sat from 8-11 and Sun from 9-noon.  An extensive menu offers quite a choice including 13 different enchilada plates plus combinations, charbroiled platters and of course Mexican plates. The appetizers are always good and include quesadillas, nachos and dips. Drink wise they have a full bar including some outstanding margaritas, fruit daiqueries and both domestic and imported beers. If you are not driving I recommend trying the “hipporita”. It’s delicious and powerful. Located in Hansen’s Corner on Hwy 79, it is easy to spot so meeting out of town guest there is a breeze.

The Texan:  846-2885
The Texan Cafe has almost reached legendary status in Hutto, drawing guests from miles away thanks to articles in both Texas Monthly and Southern Living along with good, down home cooking. Open Mon-Sat 11am-8:30 and Sundays 11-3pm, they feature salads and hamburgers that are almost too much to eat (they’ll give you a “people bag” so you can take it home), steaks, fish, fried chicken and much more. And of course there are the pies – some 18 standard and another 16 or so that depend on the cook’s mood and the heat in the kitchen, along with cakes and two fantastic cobblers – and if that isn’t enough you can get a big scoop of ice cream as well. Pie “happy Hour – a slice and a beverage at a discount – is 3-5pm Tue-Sat. The Texan is easy to spot with its famous cow head on the building, and you’ll often see Ron, one of the owners, down on Hwy 79 waving people in.

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