Omnivore in Austin

March 14, 2011

in restaurant, salads, soup/stew, travel, vegan

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:

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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.

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

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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.

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

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

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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)

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

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

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The Happy Omnivore:

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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.

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

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie…

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…served with strawberries

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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.

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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.

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

Mother's Cafe & Garden on Urbanspoon

{ 18 comments }

1 Cindy March 14, 2011 at 7:37 am

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.

2 Ashley March 14, 2011 at 7:40 am

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!

3 Lynn at The Actors Diet March 15, 2011 at 7:31 am

Hi Ashley – you can order the DVD! http://surrogatevalentine.com/pre-order/

4 Ashley March 16, 2011 at 10:26 am

Now I understand.
Thank you very much.

5 emily (a nutritionist eats) March 14, 2011 at 7:59 am

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

6 Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) March 14, 2011 at 7:59 am

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

7 Jen @ keepitsimplefoods March 14, 2011 at 8:22 am

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

8 katecooks March 14, 2011 at 8:44 am

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.

9 Olivia March 14, 2011 at 9:31 am

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!)

10 vanillasugarblog March 14, 2011 at 9:32 am

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

11 MarathonVal March 14, 2011 at 10:22 am

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

12 Anna March 14, 2011 at 10:37 am

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

13 lowandbhold March 14, 2011 at 1:01 pm

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!

14 Chelsea March 14, 2011 at 3:27 pm

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!

15 Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) March 14, 2011 at 4:14 pm

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

16 Pure2raw twins March 15, 2011 at 4:48 am

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!!

17 elise March 15, 2011 at 1:47 pm

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

18 eatingbirdfood April 11, 2012 at 3:36 pm

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

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