Full lakes, hot weather and long summer days means Hudson Bend is once again swarming with lake lovers and summertime celebrations.
Hudson Bend boasts local watering holes like Hudson Tavern, Infamous Brewing Company and Ernie’s on the Lake blended with a few tried-and-true eateries like Los Pinos and Saigon Cafe. With lake levels back up and waterfront businesses buzzing again, it’s safe to say, the ‘Bend’ is back, baby!
When you’re in the mood for fresh, delicious seafood in the Lake Travis area, we have two places for you to check out — Saigon Cafe and Seafood Shack.
Saigon Cafe, owned and operated by Sean Le, opened in 2015. Le has opened and operated many restaurants around the Austin area such as Mekong River, Tai Terra, and Non La since 1996.
Most recently, Le was pivotal in developing the menu and opening Thai Spice in Lakeway before bringing Saigon Cafe to ‘The Bend.’ For all you fishermen and women out there, Saigon Cafe even offers filet and cook-to-order services.
It’s a Family Thing
Obviously Sean Le has a legacy around Austin and many Austinites know Sean by name and vice versa.
What you might not know is Sean’s daughter, Mindy, spent her summers as a young girl in many of Sean’s restaurants. Over time, Mindy took it upon herself to fill water glasses and bus tables. Many locals still remember Mindy as the same little girl that would accompany Sean at work.
Traditional Vietnamese Food
Saigon cafe has some of the best Vietnamese food in the area from their authentic Pho (Vietnamese vermicelli soup served with fresh meats and a smooth ginger broth) to signature dishes like the Sizzling Seafood Plate (wok tossed shrimp, fish balls, mussels, squid, crab blend, fresh shredded ginger and assorted vegetables). All of the noodles at Saigon Cafe are handmade too.
The Evolution of Seafood Shack
Although the layout and lack of storage at the vacant space next to Saigon Cafe weren’t conducive to the needs of a restaurant, Sean, Mindy and her husband Ben, set out to transform the spa into what is now Seafood Shack.
Mindy and Ben took to painting and revamping the space. Ben built the wooden bar by hand and the couple used items from Ben’s personal collection of fishing gear to add to the nautical theme.
Initially, the restaurant had a pretty small menu mainly because Ben and Mindy were the only two employees working there.
Ben, an avid fisherman, has an affinity for seafood, all seafood. Mindy, with a background in the food and service industry, really designed the menu based on all of Ben’s favorites. The couple did a soft opening in Fall 2016 for family and friends and soon after Seafood Shack set sail.
Cajun-Style with a Smile
Today Seafood Shack is famous for their Cajun-style crawfish boiled in authentic seasonings and served hot-n-spicy with corn, potatoes, mushrooms and sausage. You can make you own Cajun combo by adding in boiled King or Snow crab and shrimp for an extra charge.
Raw oysters, blue tip oysters, grilled oysters, oyster po’ boys and oyster shooters are also crowd pleasers.
But, the offerings don’t stop there! There is something for everyone with fresh seared tuna, shrimp or chicken salads, fried platters (shrimp, oyster, crawfish, chicken strip or catfish) and a wide selection of grilled fare.
What’s your favorite dish at Saigon Cafe or Seafood Shack? Let us know in comments section on Facebook.