Omnivore in Austin

It’s been a little while since I’ve done a press junket, which is essentially back-to-back interviews. Some people get bored answering the same questions over and over but I think they’re fun – especially when there’s really amazing food to fuel you!

Michael (one of our “Surrogate Valentine” producers) brought BBQ to share:


I gnawed on a rib while walking through the crowded hotel between interview rooms. I can only imagine what that looked like to the other conference members.


Since my carnivore craving was fulfilled, I satisfied my inner hippie for dinner!


Mother’s Cafe and Garden is a vegetarian restaurant that’s been around since 1980. Renovated after a fire in 2007, the space is clean and cozy, in a cute neighborhood removed from the craziness of SXSW.


Service is super quick! Complimentary chips + salsa were placed in front of us pretty much the second we sat down.


I ordered the soup and salad combo, with the greens served first


Spinach, carrot, shrooms, tomato, sunflower sprouts, purple cabbage, cuke, red onion (didn’t eat) black olives, marinated artichoke hearts, and sliced almonds. The Cashew Tamari was one of the best dressings I’ve ever had (found a knock-off recipe online – they also sell them in local grocery stores like Whole Foods)


I had been picturing a creamy one, but loved the texture of the chopped nuts. Forget the salsa – this became my chip dip


The soup was a vegan lentil with spinach, plus a hunk of tasty Honfleur bread


The Happy Omnivore:


For a city known for its BBQ, Austin really does vegan food well. I tried a bite of Abe’s Bueno Burger (a seed/grain/tofu-based patty) with Daiya cheese, which was top notch.


We were both stuffed, but I really wanted to try one of their many vegan desserts. One selection stood out:


Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie…


…served with strawberries


Seems like they used natural peanut butter, which gave the pie a lovely sweet n savory taste. Reminded me of something home made with lotsa love.


Abe let me have most of it, and I happily licked that plate clean. If we lived in Austin, this would be our favorite place. The price of this check might be reason enough to move here.


Seriously?!? That’s like the cost of a salad + drink at Cafe Gratitude!!!!

Mother's Cafe & Garden on Urbanspoon

  • Cindy

    I was a vegetarian during the years I lived in Austin. It was vegetarian friendly back then…and I’ve not lived there in 15 years. Mother’s Cafe was a regular stop. Even post fire it looks much as I remember it. Glad you are enjoying your trip and that your film is doing well.

  • Ashley

    Excuse me , I want to know what time can I watch “Surrogate Valentine ” in Taiwan ? Or can I watch the movie in Taiwan ?
    Thank you!

  • emily (a nutritionist eats)

    That is super cheap! Wow! Haven’t made it to Cafe Gratitude yet, maybe today? Or Unami Burger – vegan or burgers – can’t decide!

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen)

    The food looks incredible and yeah, that price tag is definitely a great thing!

  • Jen @ keepitsimplefoods

    Make sure to get some MIGAS while you’re in Austin. It’s the best!

  • katecooks

    what a good deal! sometimes i forget that a meal doesn’t have to cost $25 per person :)

    strawberries seem like a strange fruit to pair with PB pie though! now chocolate fudge sauce would have been a good match…excessive, but YUM.

  • Olivia

    that restaurant sounds amazing! I loved reading your description of the night and you really can’t beat that pricetag! 21 bucks for a date night?! yes please!! (and that even included dessert!)

  • vanillasugarblog

    wow that meal was cheap. i might have to move there too. cute pic of you

  • MarathonVal

    Wowww that pie looks amazing!! I’m jealous!

  • Anna

    I’m so jealous of all your Austin fun– Austin is one of my favorite cities!!

  • lowandbhold

    When I was a vegetarian (living in Oklahoma) people always told me I needed to move to Austin because of all the great food options. Looks great!

  • Chelsea

    I was in Austin for SXSW Interactive when I was preggers with Lu. I ate at a lot of the same places :)

    Now that we live in Boise, our checks look like that a lot. Our favorite place here, costs us $35 and that’s with a BIG beer for Shaun, entrees for the both of us, and food for Lu-including carrot sticks with ranch as an appetizer, ice cream for dessert, and a kid sized milk. This meal would cost twice that in the Bay Area-Love it! It’s easy to get used to though!

  • Jolene (

    That is SUCH a cheap bill!!! Wow!!! I will hit that place up if I am ever in Austin.

  • Pure2raw twins

    What a lovely meal and with that price that is even better :) I really need to visit Austin soon!! I have been wanting to go for a long time now!!

  • elise

    dang that bueno burger sounds AWESOME. i really want to go to austin.

  • eatingbirdfood

    Thanks for leading me to this post lady. I’ll definitely have to check out Mother’s – if only for that cashew dressing! :)