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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Casual restaurant

Mon–Fri 7:00am–10:00pm
Sat 8:00am–10:00pm
Sun 8:00am–9:00pm

Features Kid-friendly, live music, outdoor dining, Wi-Fi
Bar Beer, wine
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Accepted


Seton Medical
1106 W. 38th St.
Austin, TX
(512) 451-5245

8600 Burnet Rd.
Austin, TX
(512) 458-6544

6203 N. Hwy. 360
Austin, TX
(512) 418-9700

Waterloo Ice House
An Austin original, with good burgers and lots of beer but a family-friendly feel

Since first opening in 1976, Waterloo Ice House has been an Austin fixture for live music, beer, and down-home Texas cooking. The classic cheeseburger is cooked to order and served with all the fixin’s. Opt for crispy, nicely battered onion rings rather than the scorched fries. A pulled pork sandwich is substantial and pretty with pickled purple cabbage, but the meat is dry and the barbecue sauce tastes bottled. We prefer Waterloo’s chicken ranch soft tacos, which sport flavorful grilled chicken, bacon slices, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and spicy Tabasco ranch dressing. It’s hardly a revelation, but the flavors all work in passable harmony. There are several kids’ meals to choose from, but price-wise they are a bit steep.

What really sets Waterloo apart is the service. Servers come outside to let you know that your food is ready. The manager frequently stops by tables to make sure guests are happy and to talk to children. A three-year-old dumps a glass of water all over himself, begins to scream, and starts stripping right there at the table—and the manager simply brings out some nice, distracting Blue Bell with the check. There are certainly places in town with better food and lower prices, but if you are trying to dine with mercurial children, Waterloo is one of the best bets in Austin.

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