Retail Roundup: Park Ridge Area Shopping, Dining and Entertainment

Residents often do their grocery shopping (and all kinds of other shopping) in the nearby Southpark Meadows Shopping Center. This center is a huge shopping, entertainment, and dining complex in South Austin with 99 stores and 29 restaurants. Some of the more popular stores include Ross, Bed Bath and Beyond, Best Buy, Dress Barn, JCPenney, Lane Bryant, Marshall’s, Men’s Wearhouse, Office Max, Payless Shoes, PetsSmart, SuperTarget, Hobby Lobby, Ashley Furniture, Walmart, Sam’s Club and many more.

SouthPark also features a variety of restaurants including the authentic Tex-Mex of Serranos, mouthwatering steak, chicken and fish at the Longhorn Steakhouse, as well as popular favorites Chili’s, Trudy’s and Friday’s, among 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.

Welcome to “The Grove”

Within Southpark Meadows sits “The Grove,” an oak tree-shaded central gathering place for shoppers, locals and folks who work at the mall. Homeowners and visitors in South Austin gather here to enjoy live music, watch their children play on the large playscape and cavort in the interactive splashpad during hot summer days.

People also hang out at The Grove to enjoy hamburgers, fries and refreshing juices or smoothies from restaurants in the shopping center. Circular seating, restaurant patios, and large walkways surround the natural stage. Most events in The Grove are appropriate for the entire family and almost all are free of charge.

Longhorn’s Legendary Steaks

The Longhorn Steakhouse is a favorite of many Park Ridge residents. Firecracker Chicken Wraps made with spicy grilled chicken and cheese wrapped in a crispy flour tortilla and served with a cool avocado-lime dipping sauce is a popular appetizer. Even though entrée choices include burgers, salads, sandwiches, seafood, and chicken and ribs — many diners would never consider ordering anything but one of Longhorn’s legendary steaks.

The Flat Iron Steak with stuffed portabella and the fire grilled T-Bone are both delectable and served with a loaded baked potato, seasoned rice pilaf or any one of the scrumptious side dishes. Irresistible hearth-baked bread is replenished continually throughout meals. If there is still room, desserts such as the Chocolate Stampede, Caramel Apple Goldrush, Key Lime Pie, Cinnamon Sugar Dough Bites and the Peanut Butter Cup Sundae round out the meal.

Exotic Indian Cuisine

Another local favorite is Asiana Indian Cuisine. While no one claims it will win any prizes on the way it appears from the street, locals who have dined here rave about the food and often come back to make converts of their friends and co-workers. The menu is long, and has a section devoted to South Indian food. This section features a number of delicious vegetarian options that will even make carnivores happy. The South Indian menu includes two varieties of masala dosa, as well as a number of other traditional dosas. Dosas are thin rice crepes stuffed with various vegetarian fillings.

The South Indian selections also include two varieties of Oothappam — Indian pancakes with savory toppings. They also offer idlis — delicious light, fluffy dumplings made of de-husked and fermented black lentils and rice, with sambar — a lentil stew flavored with tamarind. While idlis and sambar are normally eaten at breakfast in South India, they are a delicious meal at any time of day.

The menu also has dishes more commonly found in American Indian restaurants such as naan, meats prepared in a tandoori oven, and curries prepared with chicken, lamb, seafood, and goat. Popular vegetable side dishes such as varieties of dal, sag paneer, and delicious vegetable curries are also on the menu. While the dinner menu is a la carte, lunchtime is always a buffet, often with a few unusual and pleasant surprises. Whether you select North Indian meat dishes or South Indian vegetarian food, everything at Asiana is authentic and made with passion and care.