Retail Roundup: Circle C Ranch Area Shopping, Dining and Entertainment

With its close proximity to downtown Austin, residents of Circle C Ranch easily find shopping, dining and entertainment opportunities right around the corner.

For most daily needs, Circle C residents shop at Escarpment Village located in the immediate area. Austin’s first green retail center, Escarpment Village features rainwater-harvesting cisterns and solar panels, as well as more than 25 shops and stores. Locals enjoy the wide selection at the “hybrid” HEB grocery, which incorporates many of the gourmet aspects of Central Market, in addition to Starbucks, Oasis Day Spa, Massage Envy, Eye Tech Optometry, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Allstate Insurance, an Animal Hospital and Tomlinson’s Pet Supplies, among others.

Escarpment Village also has six restaurants. For a casual meal, hungry shoppers have a choice of several beloved Austin institutions such as Torchy’s Tacos, Waterloo Ice House or Kerbey Lane Cafe (famous for its pancakes and Bacon Pesto chicken with parmesan mashed potatoes), followed by ice cream at D’Lites, which boasts 150 gluten free, naturally flavored varieties.

Planning a special event? Executive Chef Jaime Arevalo of the Circle C Café caters and delivers — ideal options for hosting spring garden parties or for an easy night at home.

For date night or family fun, movie buffs love the convenience of Austin’s illustrious Alamo Drafthouse only 5 minutes away. Part theater, part restaurant and bar, the Drafthouse screens new releases as well as some of the most distinctive cinematic events like the ever-popular comedy show, Master Pancake Theatre.

A Full Menu of Casual Comfort Food to Upscale Dining

The variety of restaurants near Circle C Ranch run the gamut from casual and down-home comfort food to upscale fine dining.

Taqueria Chapala is one of those casual, easy and down-home eateries. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, frequent diners rave about everything from the breakfast tacos to the dinner plates. Among the standouts are the barbacoa tacos — tacos with shredded beef in a flavorful sauce, served with fresh cilantro, grilled jalapeños and caramelized onions, and the tacos al pastor — pork marinated in dried chilies, spices and pineapple. Other popular dishes include the selection of enchilada plates – stuffed with chicken, beef or cheese with red or green sauce – and the carne guisada plate — stewed beef in a Mexican gravy served with rice, beans, guacamole and pico de gallo.

Another popular local restaurant, Thai Taste, serves inexpensive but addictively delicious Thai food in a modest setting. Regulars recommend the Tom Kha Soup — coconut milk soup with chicken, galangal, lemon grass, and kaffir lime leaves, and spiked with spicy hot chilies. The traditional Thai curries are also very flavorful, as is the Thai Taste’s take on Pad Thai. Specialties of the house include intriguing and delicious dishes such as Gang Phed Pen Yang — grilled duck breast with coconut milk, fresh tomato, pineapple and Thai basil. It’s easy to fill up on the tasty appetizers, soups and entrees, but frequent diners often try to save a little room for virtually irresistible desserts such as sticky rice with mango or fried bananas with honey.

Even though Verona Ristorante Italiano is located in a nondescript strip center, experienced foodies eagerly step past the bland exterior into the charming, romantic and intimate ambiance found within. Featuring top-quality Italian dishes, Verona elevates classic, sometimes rustic, dining traditions by approaching each dish with care, creativity and an abiding respect for the ingredients. Many of the dishes are familiar — for instance, the calamari fritti, Caesar salad and a selection of pasta-based creations including ravioli, lasagna and tortellini. But the restaurant also serves more epicurean entrées such as the very popular Scallopini di Verona — veal cutlets with capers, garlic and mushrooms in a light white wine sauce, as well as a variety of fish and chicken dishes. Great for a date night getaway or lunch with co-workers, Verona’s is a popular destination for homeowners in Circle C.