Subject: Re: Tamales in Austin?
Hi Jennie,

Welcome to Austin. It's a fun place. Since I'm not a real great tamale fan, I'm no expert on the subject. I have a source to get homemade ones for my son's visits and try to keep them in the freezer. I've always heard that Rosie's is a great place to get tamales. I'm not certain if it's still there, but she used to have a location on the service road of I-35 near Highland Mall (which is at the intersection of Hwy. 290) not too far south of Round Rock. Don't know if this will help. There are tons of good restaurants, so your husband should be happy here.

If you venture farther into town, I can tell you quite a few, but I don't know the Round Rock area that well. In the Gateway Shopping area (at the intersection of MoPac, 183 and Loop 360) one of my favorites is Iron Cactus. One of the best is in a strip shopping mall at Spicewood Springs and Mesa Drive. It's called Mirabelle. Wonderful food and beautiful presentation and service. I've also run across some great wines there, i.e., a Chateau Neuf du Pape Blanc, at an excellent price (last year, alas there is no more). Another favorite, near the Arboretum, is Zee Tejas, and right next door (same owners) is Eddie V's, specializing in seafood. Downtown, by Four Seasons, is the Shoreline Grill, and you can stay and watch the bats fly out from under the bridge (not my favorite passtime but very popular with tourists).

There are many great Italian restaurants, and near me, in Lakeway, is Hudson's on the Bend, that specializes in the unusual -- a lot of wild game, ostrich, rattlesnake and such. I've been there several times as a guest, sticking to the mundane choices, which are quite good, but it is very pricey. It's right on RR620, in an older one-story house that was converted (probably 18 or 20 miles west from Round Rock). Dan Rather has a home in our area, and I understand it's one of his haunts. Right next door to it is one of my favorites, House of Pasta, nothing fancy as far as ambience, but good service, good food and never a long wait. My frequent choices there are Tequila Chicken (served over pasta) and a Smoked Chicken pasta in an avocado sauce that is really great for my taste. This will at least give you an idea of the variety.

Do have a great visit in the city. My kids will be here for the holiday, so we'll be chowing down on barbecue brisket with all the trimmings.

Happy Fourth to all,

Lou Matthews (Lakeway, TX)