Austin >Food & Dining > Waterloo Ice House
9600 Escarpment Blvd, Austin, TX | Directions 7873930.202988 -97.878982
Neighborhoods: Escarpment Village
After giving the southpark meadows location several tries, I can honestly say I will never venture into this place again. The service is consistently terrible. Like they train their staff to be horrible or something: Either "non-smiling with no skills or personality" is a prerequisite on their application or they beat the soul out of their employees, from the hostess to the server to the bartender, I don't know.... I work in the service industry myself and understand everyone has an off day, but ALL their servers are bitter, unqualified, and unprofessional. The food is not good enough to sit for an hour of terrible service and vile drinks. I gave this joint many chances, inviting friends, family, and clients, but my enticements began with" It's close by and so Austin and...." to "Well the service sucks, but..." to "Stay away..Don't bother. Microwave some tots at home and whip yourself while drinking a Mr clean Margarita and you'll have the experience of Waterloo at Southpark." All I can say now is BEWARE!!!
Consistently bad food and the worst service I've ever had... – Very Disappointing....Again.
We just got back from probably our 4th or 5th trip to this Waterloo. The food is never very good (the wings are shockingly bad, completely dry, I honestly make better from HEB's frozen wings), but my daughter likes the playground and there is no competition in terms of a family friendly restaurant in Circle C with a playground.
This time a group of the local moms was trying to find a good place to take the kids so that the dads could have a guys night, so we opted for Waterloo. We knew we had 15 (with the kids) so one of the ladies tried to call up to see if we could get a reservation. They don't do reservations, but the manager was nice enough to say he would put us on the list early. Good start...but it went completely down hill from there.
We got there at 6:20pm to meet up at 6:30pm and we were on the list (like I said, good start). From there we hit the playground while we waited. I believe my friend was quoted 25 minutes, but I can't be sure. About 30 minutes later it started raining so we had to bring all 10 kids (2-5 yrs old) into the tiny waiting area.
Despite the rain, and the fact that we had all these children who had now been waiting almost 45 minutes, the bar tender was not the least bit accommodating on happy hour (literally a 7:01 purchase didn't qualify for a 5-7 happy hour even though my friend had been standing there waiting for service since 6:55), nor would they allow us to sit at the MANY empty tables in the bar area so that we could get the kids fed. Finally we ordered some nachos for the kids, which they had to eat off the WAITING AREA BENCH since children are not allowed in the completely empty bar tables. (I am 99% sure there is no Texas law that says that children can't sit at a table near a bar, we were not trying to sit them AT the bar).
Nowhere in the process did anyone think to say..."I know you wanted the patio, but we have lots of large parties, and with the rain, we could seat you inside faster." Finally, we did...
After about an hour wait, still raining of course, my friend who had called about the reservation went up to confirm with the hostess that we were not waiting for the patio (they had sat 4 very large parties out there already). The hostess must have missed that, because an hour and 40 minutes after we arrived we were STILL NOT SAT despite the fact that there were MANY open tables inside. My friend had even gone in AGAIN and asked if we could split the group up and take some of the inside tables and the incompetent hostess said NO!
At this point it was thirty minutes until my daughter's bed time, so an hour and 40 minute wait, one very rude bartender and two completely incompetent hostesses later we finally gave the little buzzer back and I called for the manager.
He was apologetic, but only to the tune of "Now that I know you don't mind sitting inside (his hostess knew that an hour ago) I can seat you right now". Thanks, but no thanks. I had to go home and make my daughter dinner literally when I should have been putting her to sleep!
Needless to say I will NEVER patron this restaurant again, no matter how good the playground is. They should be very worried. They are packed now because they have no competition when it comes to something family-friendly in the area, but they better hope that nothing with half-way decent service, half-way decent food and a playground shows up in the new Alamo Draft House shopping center. The monopoly that allows them to treat their customers like they don't matter will be over.
To be honest, it's like they were asking to get this review. I really have never had worse service, across the board, at ANY RESTAURANT, ANYWHERE.
great place – tried this out a few weeks ago...took the family...wife and kids...very kid friendly, great food and exceptional service. This place will be a regular stop for us!
Friendly staff, good food – I like the Escarpment location. The staff is friendly and the food is good. It's a great place to catch sports (or occasionally Jeopardy, depending on who is controlling the remote!).
bad, bad and bad – i would never eat at waterloo again, managers are rude and food sucks,,,,i try waterloo located at 360, dirty bar , rude managers (if u want to call them managers) and very lazy service. with all new restaurant opning at domain i would never have to eat waterloo.......
Best catfish in Austin – This place has the best catfish in Austin. I grew up with Arkansas style catfish and have only found one place in town with that type - Cherry Creek Catfish on Manchaca Rd - it is very good.
What makes the catfish at Waterloo the best in town is the crust. They use tortilla chips along with other ingredients to create a slightly sweet and crunchy batter for the catfish. The fish comes out crispy, fairly light, and not greasy. I have tried many catfish spots in town and this is the best tasting catfish in town.
Waterloo should consider somehow branding this "Austin catfish". It is different from traditional southern fried catfish and should not be compared with those types. It is unique and delicious.
Old-fashioned hamburgers, laid-back Austin setting. – In Short
This no-frills hamburger joint opened on Congress in 1976 and now has several locations. Creaky hardwood floors and big wooden chairs make up a casual environment where buddies relax with suds and grub. Old photographs and signs decorate the walls, reminding you of the days of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Willie Nelson. Everything is made to order. Aside from the famous burgers and fries, regulars crave the Texas Philly sandwich and queso chopped steak.
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