Retail Roundup: Crystal Falls Shopping, Dining and Entertainment

The enviable lifestyle of Crystal Falls homeowners doesn’t just include beautiful vistas and great golfing. Despite the area’s quiet seclusion there are plenty of convenient opportunities for shopping, dining and fun close to home.

For starters, locals do much of their grocery shopping at the Leander HEB plus! grocery superstore just about five minutes from Crystal Falls. This isn’t just another supermarket. In addition to a full inventory of quality groceries, produce, meats and dairy, it also includes a garden center, bakery, and pharmacy. Other nearby grocery options include Wal-Mart and Sam’s. In addition, the area’s freshest organic produce can be picked up at the Leander Farmers’ Market on weekends.

1890 Ranch is a Complete Shopping, Dining and Entertainment Destination

One of the area’s most popular shopping destinations is the 1890 Ranch, adjacent to the new Cedar Park Regional Medical Center. Less than 10 minutes from Crystal Falls, homeowners enjoy the more than 80 stores, services, restaurants and entertainment options at 1890 Ranch, including SuperTarget, Academy Sports and Outdoors, PetSmart, Hobby Lobby, and Bealls.

Among the fun and tasty restaurant options are the area’s best burgers at Mighty Fine Burgers, or the fabulous fajitas at the award-winning Rosa’s Cafe. There is also a 12-screen Cinemark multiplex movie theater at 1890 Ranch, making it a complete shopping, dining, and entertainment destination.

Five other major shopping centers are within about 20 minutes of the neighborhood, including the decidedly upscale Domain, The Arboretum at Great Hills, Gateway Shopping Center, Round Rock Premium Outlets, and Wolf Ranch Town Center, as well as Central Texas’ only IKEA. Together, the five shopping centers host more than 400 additional shops and restaurants.

Southwest Zest and Texas-Style Surf & Turf

Local dining includes two outstanding Japanese restaurants, Soto and Umiya. Other notable restaurants include Teji’s Indian Food, Gloria’s Café, Pho What!, and Mouton’s Southern Bistro. The Leander/Cedar Park area boasts a full complement of national and regional chain restaurants as well.

Cedar Park’s Surf & Turf and Oyster Bar is one of the many popular local restaurants. The signature surf & turf platter invites diners to choose one surf and one turf item, and then chose two side dishes. The surf options are fried, broiled, or stuffed catfish; fried or grilled shrimp; stuffed crab; or fried or grilled scallops. On the turf side, the menu offers a flat iron steak, grilled chicken breast, grilled or fried pork loin, or a steak kabob.

In the parking lot of the HEB Plus in Leander, a gem of a food truck, Elotes Locos, sells the best authentic Mexican al pastor (marinated pork) and bisktek (steak) tacos, plus their very popular Corn-n-Cup — a creamy blend of tender and sweet corn, cream, and spices that is apparently somewhat addictive.

Blue Corn Crispy Salmon and Farm-Fresh Vegetables

For more sophisticated (but still fun) fare, locals love The Blue Corn Harvest Bar & Grill. It adds a spicy twist to the local dinner scene with fresh Southwestern-style dishes. The owners, who together have almost 40 years of experience in the restaurant business, take their food seriously. According to their mission statement, they are “committed to continue the legacy of Southwestern cuisine using only the best quality and traditional ingredients to create delicious and authentic Southwestern dishes.”

The menu boasts Southwestern items like New Mexico Pork Verde and vibrant Southwest-influenced salads. Popular entrees include the Blue Corn Crispy Salmon. This, one of several signature dinner offerings, is accompanied by crab and avocado salad, roasted tomatillo buerreblanc, a cheddar seared potato cake, and farm-fresh vegetables of the day. The bar offers a number of specialty margaritas and mojitos as well. The Sunday brunch from 10:00 in the morning until 3:00 in the afternoon is quite popular.

Live Sporting Events and Entertainment for the Whole Family

The newly completed Cedar Park Center provides a wide variety of live entertainment in a state-of-the-art, 8,000-seat venue. The center hosts more than 130 events per year including live concerts by popular touring acts, family shows like Disney on Ice, and sporting events. Both the Austin Toros basketball and Texas Stars hockey teams play their home games at the center.