Austin >Restaurants > Cool River Cafe, Steakhouse & Southwestern Grille
4001 Parmer Ln, Austin, TX | Directions 7872730.425530 -97.715460
I have been here a couple of times after work for happy hour. They have good drinks and the service is good, but I have not been impressed with the food. We had a friend's birthday dinner and I had steak. It was okay, but another special. This place has a great location and building. It could be so much more if they made the food better and had more variety.
What a disappointment, 4 of us had dinner, one round of drinks, appetizer and sald and the bill has over $250. I expected a pricier meal so that is not the issue but the food was awful. My steak tasted like the dumped a shaker of salt on it to add flavor and the bacon wrapped scallops were limp. The crab cakes should have been called bread stuffing since I could find no crabmeat. My scotch on the rocks was watered down and the meal was disappointing. This place used to rock and you needed a reservation and I have entertained here several times with meals exceeding $2,000. I should have noticed the missing valet service and empty parking lot at 6:30pm on a Saturday. Somehow this place has died and it is sad.
Wow! This place has gone down hill! – I must say I was in complete shock at how terrible this place has become.
I was enjoying a meal with my fiance and parents when a skinny black guy who claimed to be the head of security came up to our table and introduced himself to my fiance and told her how beautiful he thought she was and that he enjoyed her beauty while he finished his dinner! He gave her his name and asked that she stop back by and visit him sometime. WOW!
Are you kidding me? Im in the middle of a "nice" meal and the staff is interrupting to hit on my fiance with my family at the table? Horrible! Stay away from this place! Pure trash!
Great place for drinks and dinner – Food was great, I eat there often and food is consistent.
Awesome food, drinks, experience, Everything!! – We had an amazing night here. The food was AWESOME! The drinks were great, service was OUTSTANDING! We asked friends in this area where we should go for a good meal and great time and they all said COOL RIVER is top on their list!!! We made reservations but didn't need them on this Saturday night because the dining area side of the restaurant had very few people. Our waitress was extremely nice. In the middle of the restaurant in between the dining area and the bar is a Cognac Lounge with huge comfy couches. If you are a smoker it's the perfect place to step away for a moment without having to go outside. Our waitress held our food for a few minutes keeping it warm while we stepped into the lounge. From inside there is a glass wall facing the bar so you can check out what is going on in there and see how crowded it is or isn't. AFter dinner we went into the bar which is larger than I expected with a full bar. They don't make speciality or fancy drinks just normal anything you can conjur up drinks which is always fun too. The music from the band was a bit loud for our tastes but it was fun after being in the quiet peaceful elegant side of the place in the dining room. I liked the way the place was set up. Within a min. of sitting at our bar table another waitress came to order a drink for us...again, awesome wait staff. It is definitely a place for upper 20's and on up age group. It was wonderful though to see a bunch of people our age and older having a good time. Anyway, we would defnitely go back, especially for the food. I had the shrimp pasta, the shrimp was cooked and seasoned so well you could hardly tell it was shellfish (which sometimes tastes fishy, this didn't) and my hubby had the ribs which were so tender they fell right of the bone and he didn't even have to use his hands at all! We also ordered grey goose dirty martini's...ooohhhh...SO good!! And the calamari was excellent too! You should give this place a try!
So close yet so far – The bands are usually very good. Dance space is limited and they have tables on the dance floor. Also, when bands like Suede play people fill the dance floor and just watch.. People, this is a COVER BAND.. let the people who want to dance use the dance floor. I would like to see management control this more. All it takes is an announcement that the floor is for dancing, you can watch from anywhere. Another complaint is with the smoking in the bar area. I realize they somehow have special permission to allow smoking, but you really need to ban CIGARS from the area since you spent all the money on having a CIGAR ROOM to smoke in. There is nothing more offensive than a Ahnold Schwartzennegar wannabe pretending to smoke his cheap stogie in a crowded room. Lastly, the bartenders can be slow. It's not uncommon for them to be chatting amongst themselves when there is a line 3 deep at the bar waiting for service. If they address these three issues, its a great place for the 30 to 55 crowd.. I think it is one of the better places to hang out at up north if you like live bands and dancing to 70's 80's and 90's music.
Best prime rib ever, great customer service – I am a gourmet cook, and am very critical when dining out. Cool River Cafe exceeded my expectations. I have never written a review before, but feel compelled to rave about my experience there. We reserved a private dining room for our group of 11 and were treated like royalty. Our waitress was very attentive and fulfilled every request. Everyone was pleased with the quality of the food. My 22 ounce aged prime rib was the best I've ever eaten; very tender and absolutely delicious. Be prepared to pay a lot for this outstanding food and service. The bill was almost $100 per person including tax and tip; alcoholic beverages comprising half the bill. Entrees cost more than $30 each, and our wine ranged between $40 (mediocre) and $80 (good) per bottle. We felt we had made a good choice by going here for a special occasion. The only complaints I heard were: it was a little noisy (probably partially the fault of our happy group!), and the chocolate cake wasn't chocolatey enough.
Impressive steaks. No charge for the cigar smoke – 'We looked forward to returning to this place because I recalled they had very good steaks. When I arrived, I was surprised to smell cigarette and cigar smoke. The folks kindly explained they had separate A/C systems and it wouldn't be a problem. I guess some folks don't have a very sensitive nose. This is Austin. Where are the smoke nannies?
The very professional and gracious waitress explained we needed to order our steaks one degree more done than usual, as they cook them rarer than most places. So I ordered medium. What I got was well done, but I took a bite and it was nevertheless very good - tender and tasty. The watchful waitress noticed and insisted on taking it back. I felt it was perfectly edible, even if it wasn't what I ordered, but she took it away, and while my friend ate, I waited. In a few minutes, out came another steak, this time accompanied with a manger and a flashlight to examine the cut steak. It was rare by any standards. Not my preference, but I accepted it. The glass of wine was not so good at $11, but ok. I paid my bill, which came to almost $70with tip. What I discovered later was that it included a 28% tip before I added more! They had included a tip for both steaks, which I guess is logical since she served me two steaks, right? As I walked to my car, the fragrance in the parking lot was not that wonderful smell of steaks cooking. It was cigar smoke. Thumbs down.
Excellent steakhouse on the Northside!!! – There service is always top notch. Once you have been, they always greet you by name. There food is always fresh and they provide a very diverse menu and specials! Try their prime rib!!!
The eighties band was fun, but... – We sat at a table in the back of the bar which might explain why our server never came. Finally, I started a tab with the bar. The bill was way too high for the food and drinks, but since I don't get out much, I let it go. I'm still waiting for all the"other" charges to come off my account, since the bill that I signed has cleared the bank. The food was good. The ceasar salad caliente was good, but the chicken was bland. I shouldn't have added it. The ribs were great! The calamari with banana peppers was good. I don't think I'll be back.
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