Photography by Kathy Tran
Hide your calorie counting app and bust out your stretchy pants because these Lake Highlands restaurants will encourage you to treat yo’self. Whether your cravings are sweet or salty, we’ve got you covered.

BRICKHOUSE BURGERS & SHAKES

The mega shakes are the indulgence of a lifetime at Brickhouse Burgers & Shakes. Co-owners James Richardson and Dudley Dort are cousins from Brooklyn, but they’ve quickly acclimated to “everything’s bigger in Texas.”

The mega shakes are presented in sizable, retro glassware. The Cookie’n’creme shake features Oreo cookies on the rim and a whipped cream topping. The RPO is a peanut butter shake topped with Reese’s crumbled peanut butter cups and pieces. The restaurant added a shake bar, so any milkshake layman can be inspired to create malted artistry.

If you prefer savory over sweet, the Brunch Burger includes applewood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese and homemade hash topped with a fried egg.

Richardson and Dudley work closely with the Lake Highlands Public Improvement District to help cater neighborhood events. Richardson says he enjoys the conversations customers are always willing to be part of when stopping by.

“We just got attached to it because everyone that walks in here, they give you a little piece of Lake Highlands,” he says.

9090 Skillman St., brickhouseburger.com

SNOOZE: AN A.M. EATERY

Snooze may not have invented brunch, but it definitely does it best. From icing- topped pancakes to lavender-infused mimosas and extravagant Benedicts, it’s a favorite for brunch-loving millennials.

The signature item is the Pineapple Upside Down Pancake with buttermilk batter, brown sugar and chunks of pineapple. The flapjack is then flipped and topped with whipped cinnamon, brown sugar and vanilla cream.

The Danish is made with cream cheese, blueberry coulis, cream cheese icing, almond crumble and powdered sugar. Recently, the restaurant served a Pride pancake with vanilla cream, strawberry glaze icing, sweet cream icing, blueberry marzipan and shredded coconut.

“We have a pancake flight where you can enjoy three different types of pancakes, it’s definitely the way to go if you are new to Snooze,” senior brand manager Becky Fairchild says. “We love to bring high energy to the morning and have been known to say that our Snoozers have a dancing problem.”

Snooze started out in Denver, Colorado. Brothers Jon and Adam Schlegel opened the first location in 2006 and swiftly expanded to Texas, California, Arizona, Kansas and North Carolina.

Focused on ethical practices, the restaurant composts and recycles nearly 90% of waste, cooks farm-raised eggs and provides paper straws upon request.

“We love making a difference and leaving our planet better than we found it,” Fairchild says.

During the pandemic, Snooze fed over 2,500 meals to frontline workers and brought breakfast to families with immunocompromised children.

8041 Walnut Hill Lane, #846, snoozeeater.com

 SHADY’S BURGERS & BREWHAHA

The quintessential Lake Highlands burger joint caused quite the “brewhaha” in the neighborhood. Shady’s opened in 2016 and became a natural favorite for spirit nights and family outings.

“We bring the community together,” general manager Natalie Garrett says. “We’re just a good place for everybody to come in, relax and get a burger and a beer.”

The New Pig On The Block burger is a brisket patty topped with a BBQ pork and cheddar stuffed onion ring, bacon, lettuce and pickles.

“It is one out of many popular burgers, but it’s definitely the messiest one we have and the biggest,” Garrett says. “We hand batter the onion ring ourselves.”

The shakes are made from ingredients created in the scratch kitchen, all the way down to the caramel sauce that tops off the beverage. Baskets of fried pickles and loaded French fries complement the vast selection of local beers.

“Whenever COVID-19 first hit, I was absolutely terrified of what was going to happen,” Garrett says. “The community came together, and it was so amazing to see.”

9661 Audelia Road, shadysburgers.com

ZATO THAI CUISINE & SUSHI BAR

Traditional Japanese sushi is very simple; no frills, just gills. Sushi rolls made at Zato Thai Cuisine & Sushi Bar are covered in generous amounts of toppings and sauces.

“For Japanese culture, these are decadent,” owner Hugo A. Mejia says.

The Red Dragon Roll, a customer favorite, is covered in layers of spicy tuna, wonton crunch and spicy mayo. Shrimp tempura and cucumber fill the roll.

The Zato Tower is stacked high with layers of rice, crab meat, avocado, spicy tuna, three kinds of fish eggs and the chef’s special sauce. Customers use chopsticks to disassemble the tower and mix the ingredients thoroughly.

Zato opened 10 years ago in the Royal Highlands Plaza Mall shopping center.

“There’s not too many sushi places in the area,” Mejia says. “We wanted to be a part of Lake Highlands.”

9090 Skillman St., #190a, zatotexas.com