Retail Roundup: Escalera Ranch Area Shopping, Dining and Entertainment

Just because Escalera Ranch is secluded and quiet doesn’t mean there isn’t great shopping within easy reach. In fact, there are three major shopping centers within 15 minutes or less: Wolf Ranch Town Center, Round Rock Premium Outlets, and the 1890 Ranch Shopping Center. All together, these three shopping centers represent about 300 department stores, retailers, movie theaters, restaurants and more.

Wolf Ranch Town Center in Georgetown is a lovely outdoor shopping mall about 10 minutes from home. Among the more than 80 shops and restaurants, neighbors come here to shop at Kohl’s, Best Buy, Old Navy and Spec’s Wine and Spirits, to name a few. There’s a SuperTarget at Wolf Ranch, too, and casual eateries such as Souper Salad and Wing Stop. For groceries, neighbors shop at HEB, about 10 minutes away.

Shopping and a Movie Matinee at 1890 Ranch

The nearby 1890 Ranch shopping center has more than 70 stores and restaurants and is a popular choice for shopping or a night out. Some of the most popular retailers include Bealls, Academy Sports and Outdoors, Famous Footwear, Natural Grocers, PetSmart, Office Max, Ross Dress for Less, Bikram Yoga, Claire’s Boutique, Hemispheres, Mardel’s and Hobby Lobby, among others.

Sometimes, local families will put their children in the care of Adventure Kids Playcare while the folks take an hour or two to dine or take in a movie at the Cinemark Movie Theater. The whole family can share dinner at one of the center’s several locally owned and popular restaurants such as Buffalo Wild Wings, Longhorn Steakhouse, WhichWich sandwich shop, Naanfull Indian Grill, Mighty Fine Burgers, Takara Sushi or Rosie’s Pho Asian Noodles. For dessert, there are plenty of choices to satisfy even the most demanding sweet tooth at places such as Baskin-Robbins, YoYo’s Frozen Yogurt, Nothing Bundt Cake, or GiGi’s Cupcakes.

Supreme Breakfast Tacos, Root Beer Floats and Blackened Jumbo Shrimp

Neighbors with a taste for Mexican food have several options nearby, including supreme breakfast tacos at Jardin Del Rey, a converted doublewide in nearby Leander, and Casa Olé in Wolf Ranch, where Fiesta Cobb Salad and fajitas await (don’t forget $3 margarita Thursdays). Seafood offerings such as calamari, oysters and rainbow trout are part of the catch at Fish City Grill, a 6-minute drive from Escalera Ranch.

The Hollow, an American Brasserie, offers classical European techniques applied to new American Cuisine. The result is culinary creations that are at once familiar yet inventively conceived, intricately prepared, and artful. Sophisticated starters such as Carpaccio of tuna and snapper, pickled green beans, potato crisps, heirloom tomatoes, roasted olives, cured egg mimosa, dressed in tarragon dijon vinaigrette and finished with tomato salt are both exciting and extraordinarily delicious.

American classics such as burgers and root beer floats are available at Monument Café, a family favorite.  And for special occasions, locals head to Gumbo’s, a Cajun eatery where blackened jumbo shrimp are served over crawfish tails in creole etouffée.

Cedar Park Community Center — Big-Time Entertainment throughout the Year

Hockey and basketball fans watch the Texas Stars and Austin Toros take on visiting squads at Cedar Park Center, a newly completed, state-of-the-art multi-use facility. The 8,000 seat center features about 130 events every year ranging from children’s entertainment to sports and national headliner musical entertainment.