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Cool River Cafe, Steakhouse & Southwestern Grille - 27 Reviews - 4001 Parmer Ln, Austin, TX - Restaurants Reviews - Phone (512) 835-0010

Cool River Cafe, Steakhouse & Southwestern Grille

4001 Parmer Ln
Austin, TX 78727
(512) 835-0010
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Food & Dining


( 7 )
( 5 )
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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 ti...


'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 ...

Editorial review from Citysearch 12/30/2012

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. more

Editorial review from Citysearch 8/8/2012

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. more

Wow! This place has gone down hill! 4/19/2012

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! more

Awesome food, drinks, experience, Everything!! 1/25/2009

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! more

So close yet so far 10/7/2008

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. Pros: good bands, good atmosphere, good location Cons: cigar smoke, chairs and tables on the dance floor more

Best prime rib ever, great customer service 8/28/2008

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. Pros: parking, service, food quality Cons: noisy more

Impressive steaks. No charge for the cigar smoke 4/26/2008

'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? Pros: good steaks, beautiful place, gracious service Cons: strong smell of smoke, pricey, On average they got it right - one too done and one too rare more

Excellent steakhouse on the Northside!!! 4/5/2008

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!!! more

The eighties band was fun, but... 1/28/2008

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. more

Not worth the time or money! 12/14/2007

As a last minute decision ,and being somewhat hungry for Good food ,and due to hearing that this was a great place decided Ok let me try. A big mistake huge---(As from Pretty Woman)--My friend and I opted for eating in the Bar area,as we were hungry and didnt want to wait on table etc. more

For a special occassion, this place is fantastic 2/15/2007

My wife and I tried out the Cool River Cafe. Overall impressions..... it was *packed* on Thursday night, the day after Valentine's Day. A large number of waitstaff ensured that guests were very well attended to. The service was excellent on a scale I've not seen often. The steak was, to quote my non- beef eating wife....""aMAZing."" THe Tuna was delicious, and much larger than I expected. All told, it was a wonderful occassion. Pros: Waitstaff was great, food was delicious.... price is a bit high, but well worth it.. parking more

C R A P River Cafe 2/14/2007

We go to C R A P River Cafe about once a month needless to say I will try to stay away as much as possible. The last time we went to this establishment we had to wait 45 minutes for our food. The server never came and told us anything about how long the wait was or to even check up on us. To be objective, the food is good and the ambiance is great but if you like waiting close to an hour for your food come on a FULL stomach cause you will be waiting without anyone telling you what is going on. Pros: Food was great and ambiance was nice Cons: They no nothing about service more

Not So Cool River 2/14/2006

My wife and I planned a very special night out to celebrate our anniversary. We are a mature couple, near our 50s and we were properly dressed for the occasion. We arrived promptly at the restaurant for our reservation. We went into the bar area to wait for our table. After a 30 minute wait we were seated in a rear banquet room which totally lacked any ambiance. Every time the door opened the smoke and band noise came pouring in. We could barely talk with the constant thumping of music on the wall. This totally ruined our planned evening. Needless to say, our expectations of a fine dinning experience had been shattered. We got up and left the restaurant. If you are planning a nice night out to celebrate a special occasion do not go to Cool River. Pros: Ambiance Cons: Poor management, Poor service more

User review by jfun05 12/27/2005

I used to frequent cool river on a weekly basis, not anymore! I am very upset at the way we were treated at Cool River. Once the bartender overheard us say we were going to be safe and possibly take a cab home he said he could not serve us anymore. Just after this the manager came over to us and escorted us out of the building and as if we were completly inntoxicated. We were there for about 3 hours and had 3 drinks as well as eating at the bar and drinking water. I know that they are ultimatley held responsible for the people at the bar but we were being responsible by taking a Cab and it was clear we were just enjoying the evening and were not intoxicated enough to be excorted out. DON""T HAVE A GOOD TIME AT COOL RIVER THEY WILL KICK YOU OUT!!!!!!!! more

Pricey, but great place to start/end your evening 11/3/2005

I've frequented Cool River on a number of occasions. I have always found the wait staff, particulary in the bar area, to be friendly and helpful. Food is very good though a bit pricey. The last steak I had was the filet mignon - great. Cooked to my liking and great taste. Dining in the bar area might be even better. A little more laid back but still great atmosphere. The crowd in the bar tends to range from early 20's - 50's. A nice crowd and good blend of folks. Management came by several times to check on our evening. Nice touch. Pros: good crowd, live music, great steaks Cons: a bit pricey more

Majorly disappointed in their prime rib. 10/24/2005

How the hell can a joint have bad food, bad service, be overpriced for what it has and still rate a 9.1 I'd like to know please???? My post wasn't posted and the place was DREADFUL. Are they paying Citysearch to keep their ratings clean? The ratings system sucks! :-( Pros: Nice looking place, Parking okay Cons: Dreadful meal, Dreadful Mgmt, Waitress bad more

Revolution The Pretentious Unite 10/8/2005

The Cool River bar/club /restraunt is a very snobby place mostly full of high on themselves rich and wannabe rich people in there late 30's and mid 40's. If arrogance and pretentiousness is your thing ,then my friend this is the place for you. BUT minus the attidude of the staff and people who regularly patronize Cool River, the place is nice. Food is expensive for average. Oh and they have a cigar lounge for those who like cigars Pros: nice place Cons: too snobbish for me more

Not worth it 10/6/2005

I made reservations for dinner on a friday night. We arrived early and was told there was a wait. We took a pager and waited 20-30minutes. Finally one hostess asked our name. Apparently, we were paged but the pager was not working. The other hostess said,""Well, I paged you. Oh, I guess your pager wasn't working."" There was no apology and the hostess even told the manager that was standing next to them and again, there was not apology. Food was so, so. I do not think it is worth the price. I have previously been and ordered the lobster which was overcooked. The steak is not very good either. I will not go again. Pros: Nice bar area Cons: poor management, Rude more

A pleasant night out 8/23/2005

Went on a Wednesday night with a friend. Neither of us had been here before. I hear the place is well-known for it's steaks, which my friend had. It was quite excellent, but the escalloped potatoes he had with it were nothing to write home about. Same for the alfredo sauce on my angel hair. The service was excellent though; our waitress was freindly, present and offered good suggestions as well as promtp service. The dessert selections were amazing; the chocalate layer cake, with a scoop of cinnamon ice cream on the side, was excellent and large enough to share. The overall prices were moderate to high for the steak entrees and reasonable for others. And dinner for 2 for $80 plus tip is not unreasonable for a nice atmosphere and good service & food. Pros: service, steaks, valet available Cons: loud acoustics, could be expensive more

Slow service 5/26/2005

We went on a Thursday afternoon to celebrate my daughter's graduation. The dining room wasn't very full but, there were at least 3-4 big parties (5-8 people) and a few couples. The wait staff was scarse and very often there wasn't even an employee in the dining room. Service from the bar was ""very"" slow and it took a very long time to receive requested catsup. Our waiter however seemed flushed(?). Although this was somewhat bothersome, we did actually enjoy our dinner and our time together. All our food was served warm. Cons: poor service, expensive more
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Menu for Cool River Cafe, Steakhouse & Southwestern Grille

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  • In Short
    Patrons can eat among the clacking billiard balls in the noisy bar or in the quieter main dining room with high ceilings, dark wood and white tablecloths. Afterward they can...

  • 7/13/2006 Provided by Citysearch

Additional information

  • Hours:

    Mon-Sat 11am-11pm
  • Payments:

    Diner's Club, Master Card, Visa, Carte Blanche, American Express, Discover
  • Neighborhoods: