What: Mother's Cafe & Garden (Hyde Park area)
What I Had: Starter: Chips and Salsa: complimentary. Entrees: Lintel and Tofu Curry Soup, Farfalle Gorgonzola w/ smoked mushrooms. Burrito a burrito with black beans, organic brown rice, in a whole wheat tortilla covered in jack cheese and ranchero sauce.
We ended up at Mothers somewhat by default. When Claire and I attempted to take my sister-in-law Luci to Eastside Cafe on a Friday night we found out that popular restaurants in Austin do still have waits, a hour and half at Eastside. Being hungry, we headed off to healthy option #2: Mothers Cafe & Garden.
Claire and I came across Mother's about two years ago. We were new to the area and had heard that the Hyde Park area had some cool and tasty dining options. So we went that way and when Hyde Park Bar & Grill ended up having a long wait we aimlessley headed over to Mother's. This first trip, while waiting for a table, is when I found out that there was no meat on the menu. It still sounded good and we dined in the pre-fire garden room. In early 2007 Mothers had a fire that consumed a good part of the dining area including the amazing garden room. Since then they have rebuilt and seem to have become a pheonix and risen from the ashes. The interior dining is warm and usually has local art adorning the walls. The first time around the food was delicious and since has become one of our favorite restaurants around town.
On this night there was not wait, we sat down and I promptly decided to have a Pyramid Haywire Hefeweizen. I think the beer was the most surprising thing about the meal. Not because Mothers was bad or unoriginal but the beer was that good.
It was incredibly delicious, but I am a sucker for wheat beers. Plus, I knew the food was sure to satisfy. What's the perfect compliment to beer? Chips and salsa of course. One thing that always earns a restaurant bonus points with me is complimentary chips and salsa, especially if it is not a Tex-Mex or Mexican restaurant. So score one up for Mother's, as we were promptly delivered a bowl of tasty salsa and crispy chips.
Not being incredibly hungry and half full on chips and salsa I ordered the curry lentil soup. This little bowl was hot and warming (not that I needed to be warmed in May in Austin).
Claire's Farfalle Gorgonzola was even better. It had a great cheesy flavor countered by rich, smoky mushrooms.
The waitress informed us that this dish was at one time a special but it's now a permanent menu item. Good choice, Mother's, very good choice to make this a constant on your menu. Lastly I sampled aptly put burrito. I am a big fan of steak in burritos, but, this guy had a great chewy tortilla and the tangy ranchero distracted from the somewhat bland and uninteresting filling of beans and rice.
I think I probably could have just dipped the tortilla in the ranchero and been just as happy.
The thing that keeps me coming back to Mothers is the friendly service. I have yet to encounter a slow kitchen or a rude server. They have been more than happy to answer questions or make suggestions for the meat eater who finds himself in the headlights at a vegetarian restaurant. I guess I will just have to continue to take family to mothers as this is the second time around we have taken out of town guests to dine here. The only thing yet to do on my list at mothers is consume a slice (or whole) of their Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie.
9/10 -- An excellent choice for a vegetarian night out.
Next Up: Yummy Yo