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What I Ate: October 31, 2009 (Pao's Mandarin House, Serrano's)

Posted 1 November, 2009 at 2:19am by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Food, What I Ate)

Lunch: We met up with a couple of new friends (and a bunch or even newer friends) for a twelve (or more) person gathering at Pao's Mandarin House (2300 Lohmans Spur, Lakeway, TX‎ - (512) 263-8869‎). Tina and I had been to Pao's almost a year ago on one of our scouting trips to Austin, but didn't think too much of it. The food was better this time around, but some of the dishes could have been better (the steamed dumplings and potstickers) while others were quite good (crispy tofu, scallion pancakes, and sesame pancake with roast beef).

Pao’s Mandarin House - Crispy Tofu
Crispy Tofu

Pao’s Mandarin House - Fried Rice
Fried Rice

Pao’s Mandarin House - Scallion Pancakes
Scallion Pancakes

Pao’s Mandarin House - Spicy Won Tons
Spicy Won Tons

Pao’s Mandarin House - Potstickers

Pao’s Mandarin House - Steamed Dumplings
Steamed Dumplings

Dinner: Tina and I dropped in on a Serrano's Tex-Mex Mesquite for dinner. After the unsatisfying fish tacos at Satellite Bistro a few days ago, I wanted fish tacos.

Fish Tacos Two Mesquite Grilled Tilapias served on Home Made Corn Tortillas with Lettuce, Red Cabbage, Pico de Gallo, and Chipotle Ranch Dressing. Served wtih Pacifico Rice and Black Beans ($10; I got charro beans instead of black beans). Two decent sized fillets were served (one on each taco) with a pile of lettuce, cabbage and wonderfully acidic pico de gallo. The salty and creamy ranch dressing worked really well with the bright tones of the vegetables and really made the tilapia (which eaten on it's own was bland and unflavorful) pop. I really enjoyed the fish tacos and found the flavors to be refreshing. There was quite a bit of food (especially compared to how much fish is served at other places for a similar price).
Serrano’s - Fish Tacos

1 comment to What I Ate: October 31, 2009 (Pao's Mandarin House, Serrano's)

Optimista, November 1st, 2009 at 7:35 am:

  • I'm surprised you've had two mediocre experiences at Pao's. I think they're one of the better Chinese places in town. We often try to get out there to celebrate Lunar New Year - they have great Peking duck, and I love their salt and pepper squid.