Retail Roundup: Hillcrest Area Shopping, Dining and Entertainment

Hillcrest homeowners do their grocery shopping at either the nearby Randalls or HEB Stores — both less than two miles away. Also, a Walmart Supercenter and a SuperTarget are located in the nearby Southpark Meadows shopping center.

Less than ten minutes from home, Southpark Meadows is a large commercial center with over 125 stores. Some of the most popular retailers include Bed Bath & Beyond, Sam’s Club and Best Buy, PetSmart, Hobbytown USA, Carter’s Children’s Apparel, and Olympia Hill Gymnastics, to name just a few.

SouthPark also features a variety of cuisine including the authentic Tex-Mex of Serrano’s, mouthwatering steak, chicken and fish at the Longhorn Steakhouse, as well as popular favorites Chili’s, Trudy’s, Friday’s and others. For a dinner and movie date night, locals take advantage of the 14-screen Cinemark movie theater followed by something sweet from Amy’s Ice Cream. Both are also conveniently located in SouthPark.

Major Malls Near at Hand

Barton Creek Mall, about 15 minutes away, is a popular destination, with more than 180 upscale and mainstream stores such as Nordstrom, Macy’s, Abercrombie & Fitch, Ann Taylor, Williams Sonoma, and Sephora. Stop by one of the more than 20 restaurants and snack vendors to recharge for more shopping or to relax and enjoy a satisfying meal.

Three other major shopping centers are within a 15-minute radius of Hillcrest including Arbor Trails, Escarpment Village, and Sunset Valley Market Fair. Together these shopping centers host almost 150 more quality retailers, department stores, restaurants, movie theaters, and services.

Top Quality Mexican Cuisine

Locals are lucky to live less than five minutes from Mi Ranchito Taqueria. Mi Ranchito is 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 entrees such as carne guisada or pork in salsa verde, or the lightly-breaded chile rellenos, rave that it’s some of the best Mexican food they’ve ever had. 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 some Mexican chorizo — and seasoned foodies advise you always order these with cheese to keep the crumbly chorizo from falling out. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, frequent diners will tell you to go early or later, but go often.

Deep-Fried Jumbo Shrimp, Happy Hour Margaritas and Live Music

Evangeline Café’s authentic Cajun culinary experience is also popular. Gold Band Creole — deep-fried jumbo shrimp served over fettuccine pasta with a savory combination of creole sauce and a Cajun aioli — is a must. The etouffée and classic jambalaya served with red beans and rice are also crowd pleasers.

Also nearby, La Fuente’s is noted for their heavenly migas for breakfast or brunch. Migas are a Mexican scramble with eggs, tomatoes, onions, peppers, cheese and tortilla chips. Happy hour specials on generous 15-ounce margaritas are also a highly popular draw.

Many restaurants and bars around the neighborhood feature periodic live music, and the Southpark Meadows Amphitheatre has a long running series of local and national musicians who routinely play family shows at the venue.