Retail Roundup: Manchaca Area Shopping, Dining and Entertainment

Manchaca residents are about 15 minutes from Arbor Trails Shopping Center, a 70-acre, 365,000-square-foot center that has twice won a “Best Real Estate” award from the Austin Business Journal. Arbor Trails features more than 30 stores and businesses including Whole Foods and Costco. Other major retailers in the center include Haverty’s Furniture, Radio Shack, a Bikram Yoga studio, salons and more. Several popular local restaurants such as Kerbey Lane Café, Mandola’s Italian Market and Torchy’s Tacos are also located here. The center also features lovely hike-and-bike trails and a soothing water feature.

Sunset Valley Market Fair shopping center, also about 15 minutes away, includes more than 80 stores and restaurants, such as Home Depot, GameStop, and Nordstrom’s Rack. Other popular retailers represented are Barnes and Noble Booksellers, Bed Bath & Beyond, Buy Buy Baby, Coco Salon and Day Spa, Dress Barn, Kohl’s, Pier 1, World Market and Old Navy. Restaurants include IM Thai, Mama Fu’s Asian House, Tarka Indian Kitchen, La Madeleine Café and Zoe’s Kitchen.

Three more major shopping centers are within about 15 minutes or less of the Manchaca Neighborhood. Altogether the three centers — Escarpment Village, Barton Creek Square Mall and Southpark Meadows — host more than 330 fine national department stores and retailers, local merchants, services and restaurants.

Homey Barbecue, Pulled Pork and Waffles

For meals close to home, Manchaca residents enjoy visiting Railroad Barbeque. Here, good old-fashioned Texas barbecue is served in a setting that is not so much country themed as it is authentically country, with simple décor and the savory smell of brisket in the air.

More adventuresome locals are excited about their own homegrown food truck, Nutter Buster BBQ and Comfort. While the trailer is only open on weekends – and even then, checking their online calendar is always a good idea in case there’s been a change of plan — the faithful turn out whenever they can. Pulled pork and waffles? Yes, it’s a favorite here. And fried mac and cheese bites ride the short menu with more traditional selections like brisket and pulled pork sandwiches and sides such as fresh, homemade slaw.

Your Next “Go-To” Mexican Restaurant

Locals feel lucky to live just five minutes from Mi Ranchito Taqueria, a modest-looking and inexpensive place that a number of reviewers and chefs around town have called their “go-to Mexican restaurant.” Mi Ranchito Taqueria’s menu looks like many other menus of little taquerias around town — the biggest difference is in the quality and flavor of their food. Diners who order breakfast tacos, tortas, gorditas or platters with entrées such as carne guisada or pork in salsa verde, the lightly-breaded chile rellenos (or even hamburgers) rave that it is some of the best Mexican food in town.

Mi Ranchito’s special hamburger comes with a tremendous beef patty topped with jack cheese, generous amounts of bacon, ham and avocado. The regular burgers come topped with Mexican chorizo, and people who have eaten them before suggest always ordering them with cheese to keep the crumbly chorizo from falling out.

Of course, residents need only take a short drive on the nearby highways to quickly access all of Austin’s dining, nightlife and entertainment opportunities.