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“Non-Vegan speaking...”

Mother's Cafe & Garden
Ranked #131 of 3,972 Restaurants in Austin
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $1 - $30
Cuisines: American, Cafe
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Reviewed July 30, 2012

This place is really REALLY good, and honestly? For being a place that has vegan food, I didn't expect it to be so reasonably priced.

I'm definitely going back:)

Thank aalderete008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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131 - 135 of 177 reviews

Reviewed July 19, 2012

I'm not a "real" vegetarian, but I do not eat mammals (haven't for about 18 years now -- fish and fowl are fine, though, so I guess I'm one of the pollo-pesco-veggie people) and I'm also currently trying to re-balance my diet to be heavier on the veggies and lighter on the carbs, starches, and meats so I thought I'd give this Austin institution a shot for lunch. Please factor my relative ignorance of veggie/vegan cuisine in when reading -- this will be more useful to people who are exploring these options for the first time.

So, nice room. Lots of fun artwork and soft music. Highly informative flyer on Soul Retrieval Training by a local shaman helped secure requisite Keep Austin Weird credentials within moments of entering. Despite incredibly congested parking in the area, seating was readily available and we were seated within a minute or so of arriving. Our waitperson was pleasant and prompt and painfully thin.

Started with a glass of the fresh squeezed carrot juice. As I mentioned, I'm trying new options -- buying and cooking with lots more organic, locally grown produce for example -- so I said to myself "Self? Let's try fresh carrot juice!"

Yes, it's true -- I am quite the daredevil.

It tasted, unsurprisingly, like fresh carrots. Pleasant, lightly sweet, not exactly challenging, not something I can see myself craving. That said, it prompted a brief chat about how adding a little ginger, some seltzer, and a splash of vodka could make it far more appealing. Note to self: try this with Yazi.

Seeing as their Bueno Burger claims to have been voted Best in Austin, I figured "Hey, why not?" and ordered one with a slice of organic jack cheese. Dining companions ordered Momma's Quiche and Jack Cheese Enchiladas. Food arrived quickly, was presented attractively, etc.

Overall, I found the bueno burger to be just OK -- nothing special, and nothing substantially tastier than other veggie burgers I've eaten previously. The vegan bun had a nice texture, but little flavor. The variety of mustards that were served alongside it alleviated some of the blandness, but overall the effect was pretty "meh." I prefer more punch and flavor and overall felt the patty itself needed more seasoning to really shine. Instead I mostly tasted the condiments and not much else.

My companions had similar luke-warm reactions to their food. Both felt the food was good, but nothing really blew anyone away. The price point was fairly steep for a lunch -- my burger and carrot juice and my friend's quiche and coffee came to about $29 before tip, enchiladas and tea ringing in around $14, so lunch for 3 was over $40. No bargain, but not exactly a second mortgage.

So, all in all, a fine place. I prefer more aggressively punched up flavors in my food and typically look to more Asian or Indian flavor profiles in vegetarian cuisine, so perhaps this is simply not a good match for me. Your mileage may vary.

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1  Thank Gregg P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2012

I've eaten at Mother's twice during separate trips to Austin. I'm not a vegetarian but I enjoy vegetarian food, and both the meals I've had at Mother's have been outstanding. This last trip I had the artichoke enchilada and it was heavenly - I'm honestly surprised to see reviews lambasting the food as 'bland'. Parking, unfortunately, is very inconvenient. Overall a good experience.

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Thank widening8horizons
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 11, 2012

My daughter was not coming home to Sugar Land for some weekends. So I decided to spring a couple of surprises for her. My wife and I suggested we meet her for a quick Saturday dinner. My daughter's boyfriend came along as a surprise. After the hugs and kisses, I took the our group to Mother's for dinner. That was my surprise for them.

However, once we ordered and ate, the total dinner experience was a surprise for me! Mind you, we are not vegans. My wife is a true Hindu vegetarian, I eat any meat but beef. My daughter and her beau eat everything.

Parking was a hassle and I parked in the street. We were seated promptly and asked about drinks. Iced water all around, a basket of chips and salsa. We perused the extensive menu and ordered.

Daughter - black bean burrito - 7.00
Beau - mole enchilada - 9.00
Wife - quesadilla - 7.00
Self - santa fe enchilada - 9.00
2 artichoke mushroom soups - 5.00

Tax and tip - 9.00
Total - 46.00

The consensus was that we would not come back. None of us were impressed with the bland meals. The black beans were bland, so was the rice and soups. There were some highlights like the cashew sauce on the burrito and the mole sauce on the enchilada. Not good enough to go and try some other dishes.

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Thank Nikunjbhai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2012

enchiladas with marinara sauce? That was the menu item labeled "Still #1 after all these years". The only thing truly divine on the menu is the salad with their house dressing.

Thank Ukulele_Mermaid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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