Saturday, December 10, 2011

Cedar Park, Texas offers great food and parks

Today's guest post is by Tara Marlow, an Australian travel writer, blogger and photographer living in the U.S. After an ‘ah-ha’ moment, Tara decided she was done with corporate life, so now her photography and travels consume her. She believes a photo can tell the story, but sometimes there is more to the story.

Tara has travelled through Australia, the U.S., the U.K. and Europe. She’s also been on some great mother/daughter adventures. A world adventure is planned once her daughter graduates high school. Until then she travels where she can, while she can.
Cedar Park, Texas offers much to visitors and residents
Just northwest of Austin Texas, there is a city called Cedar Park that approximately 49,000 people call home. I am one of them.

Cedar Park tends to be a thoroughfare to somewhere else. It’s a strip mall city to many, but as it expands, so have funds to beautify it.  Scratch under the surface and go beyond the main highways, and you’ll see that Cedar Park has a lot of offer.

Over the last decade, I have found some true gems within my own ten-mile radius. Here are my recommendations for the Cedar Park area:

Best Coffee: 
Caffe Yolly

On the corner of Parmer and Avery Ranch. Australians tend to be a bit snobby about their coffee.  We expect a great cappuccino when we go to any café. After trying many other places, I finally discovered Caffe Yolly. Not only does it deliver a great cappuccino, latte or basic cup of joe, but they do it with enthusiastic service. It’s a great café to relax and enjoy the moment—or try frozen yoghurt if you’re not into coffee. 

Best Mexican:  
Los Chilaquiles

On Hwy. 183 (North Bell) near Ace Hardware. We had tried every Mexican restaurant in a 20-mile radius, but when Los Chilaquiles opened, we thought ‘hey, why not’.  We’ve returned at least every other week and always receive quality, flavorful food with prompt service.  The salsa is fantastic, the chips crispy, and every dish we’ve ordered delivers above our expectations.  Their margaritas aren’t too shabby either.

Best Asian:
Hunan Ranch

On the corner of Parmer and Avery Ranch. Dine-in, Take Out or Delivery--all great options.  Fresh, hot, and delicious.  The service is always pleasant, and water glass always full when you dine in.  A hot-meal delivery exceeds expectations. 

Best Burger:
Moonies Burger House

On Hwy. 183 (North Bell) near Ace Hardware. Home grown business.  I agree with the Austin Chronicle that they have the best burgers and fries around.  The onion rings are also a treat! Although service is slow, it’s worth the wait. Come hungry because the burgers are HUGE.

Best Park and Trails:
Brushy Creek Regional Trail

This park stretches from Twin Lakes YMCA on Hwy. 183 and trails through to Brushy Creek for almost 7 miles.  This huge park is rarely busy although it offers trails for hiking or biking, soccer and baseball fields, skate park, bocce course, volleyball nets, playscapes, waterscapes, fishing…the list is long.  Wildlife includes a number of water birds and deer at dusk.  Restrooms and water fountains are plentiful. 
Photos by Tara Marlow

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