Alice carries on FrankYi’s legacy at Canyon Grill

May 15, 2012  

When Dynasty Buffet restaurant at the “Y” in Oak Hill closed their doors a few weeks ago, original owner Alice Yi was able to buy back her four foot tall lucky Buddha. “I needed my good ‘chi’ back,” she stated.

It has been a rough year for Yi, who lost her husband and business partner Frank in January after a 10-month battle with cancer. Frank and Alice Yi ran Dynasty Buffet for 10 years, from 1995 to 2005. Frank had arrived in America in 1966 from Taiwan with $5 in his pocket. After earning a Masters degree in Library Science, he landed in Austin and soon opened up his first restaurant, Hunan on North Lamar, soon followed by Yunnan Dynasty and several more. Many of his restaurants were designated “Restaurant of the Year” by Texas Monthly magazine.

The Yis opened Canyon Grill Icehouse on Highway 290 just west of Cedar Valley in 2005. “Frank and I loved the hill country,” said Alice, “this was our retirement restaurant.” Canyon Grill has a decidedly laid back, family friendly, hill country atmosphere with pool tables and tv’s in the back room and a large deck for outdoor dining that is bordered by a large bird cage housing exotic species including chinese pheasants and an albino peacock.

The food at Canyon Grill Icehouse is American and Chinese. There are Chinese specialties on the menu and a Chinese lunch buffet. The menu also includes burgers, seafood, wraps, salads, fajitas and more. Steak nights are Friday and Saturday— a 15 oz. New York strip or t-bone with a loaded potato or two sides can be had for $11.95. The restaurant is closed on Sundays, but is available for private parties. “We can provide any kind of food for parties,” said Alice Yi, “It doesn’t have to be something we have on the menu.”

Canyon Grill Icehouse has a full bar, plenty of parking and free WiFi and is an easy drive from Oak Hill out 290 just past Sunset Canyon Baptist Church. Former Dynasty Buffet customers can feel right at home with the Chinese buffet, Alice Yi’s welcoming presence and the lucky Buddha.


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