Retail Roundup: Meridian Area Shopping, Dining and Entertainment

For people who live in Meridian, shopping is both easy and convenient. Nearby Escarpment Village, Austin’s first green retail center with rainwater-harvesting cisterns and solar panels, features more than 25 shops and stores. For groceries, the very popular hybrid HEB incorporates many of the gourmet aspects of Central Market with an impressive variety of fresh meats, produce and just about everything else on the weekly shopping list.

In addition, Escarpment Village is home to Starbucks, Oasis Day Spa, Massage Envy, Eye Tech Optometry, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Allstate Insurance, an animal hospital and Tomlinson’s Pet Supplies, among others.

Escarpment Village also has six restaurants. For a casual meal, locals have a choice of several beloved Austin institutions such as Torchy’s Tacos, Waterloo Ice House or Kerbey Lane Cafe (famous for their pancakes and bacon pesto chicken with parmesan mashed potatoes), followed by ice cream at D’Lites, which boasts 150 gluten free, naturally flavored varieties.

For a more extensive shopping spree, locals travel a short 15 minutes to Barton Creek Square, one of the largest malls in Texas. Featuring 180 specialty retail shops and department stores, shoppers can take their time browsing Nordstrom, Dillard’s, Macy’s, Abercrombie & Fitch, Ann Taylor, Apple, Banana Republic, Bath & Body Works, Chico’s, Foot Locker, Frederick’s of Hollywood, Gap, Lane Bryant, LEGO, Nine West, and Old Navy as well as Sears and many others. The mall also offers some great dining selections, including favorites such as California Pizza Kitchen, Charley’s Grilled Subs, Frullati Café & Bakery, Ruby Thai Kitchen, Sarku Japan, Steak N Shake, Villa Pizza, and more. And for date night or family fun, movie buffs also love to check out the latest blockbusters at the 14-screen AMC Barton Creek cinema.

Melt-in-Your-Mouth Brisket and Local Live Music

People from all over Austin make it a point to visit the legendary Salt Lick BBQ for a real Texas flavor experience. The lucky folks in Meridian can visit the iconic eatery on a whim. (It is just 10 minutes west of the neighborhood.) An open ranch restaurant with a rich history and plenty of outdoor seating, Salt Lick has been an Austin family outing staple for decades. The smoked barbecue is truly revered — one bite of the melt-in-your-mouth brisket is all it takes to see why the Austin Chronicle awarded Salt Lick “Best Texas BBQ” 11 years in a row.

For entertainment close to home, residents enjoy both food and music at Nutty Brown Cafe & Amphitheatre, a premier local music hub with an enormous, live oak-shaded patio where favorite local musicians play. The food is classic Hill-Country style cuisine. Locals rave about the Cedar Valley Smothered Chicken, a massive grilled chicken breast with grilled onions, avocado, bacon and Monterey Jack cheese.