One of the things I love about living in Austin is the abundance of really great family-owned neighborhood restaurants. Located in Wells Branch in the same spot as the original Gumbo's, It's Italian is one of those neighborhood jewels. The owners and their staff are friendly and a lot of care goes into creating each menu item. The food is not only delicious, the presentation of each dish is gorgeous.
No 4th of July is complete without barbecue. It was too hot to cook out this year, so the entire family went to County Line. Set in an old lake lodge on Bull Creek, you can get there by car or by boat.
Delicious chicken from a drive-thru take-out? You bet! Austin's El Pollo Rico is not your typical fast food. Perfectly seasoned charbroiled chicken is wrapped with a grilled onion to go in butcher paper. The Pollo Entero Combo — an entire chicken, rice, beans, a lime, eight corn tortillas and two kinds of incredible salsa — is only $11.99.
I have a new favorite restaurant — El Faro Taco & Cafe on Wells Branch Parkway in North Austin. The food at this family-owned restaurant is incredible. And so is the service. Owner and Chef Morales — as well as his wife, son and mother-in-law — made my husband and I feel like we were part of the family.