Monday, March 2, 2009

Austin, the first of many

As you know, I am living in Austin, Texas at the moment. An oasis in a desert. Literally.

In this blog I plan on not just including purely vegetarian restaurants, but ones that have delicious vegetarian options (plural. I know how frustrating it can be for a vegetarian to go to a restaurant that someone else chose and see that the only thing they can order is a Boca burger or the most plain pasta on the planet).

The first two restaurants listed below I tried within the past few weeks and liked quite a bit. I went to Madras Pavilion last October, but will go again soon and update.

Mother's Cafe and Garden (100% vegetarian)
4215 Duval St.
Austin, TX 78751

R (the boyfriend) and I went there yesterday for dinner. I had the Fettuccine Primavera and he had the Garden Stir Fry which came with black beans. I didn't try his, but he was very happy & mine was delicious. The "sauteed vegetables" they advertise on the menu turned out to include: onions, carrots, bell peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms, and yellow zucchini. Delicious. It was served with a light cream sauce (which was a little too abundent for my taste, but it was a thin sauce so it wasnt overwhelming) and egg fettuccine (which tasted and looked home made). All in all, very good. I hear they have great brunches too.

Swad (100% vegetarian)
9515 N. Lamar Blvd #156
Austin, TX 78753

Finally some good Indian food in Austin!! I have been here twice now and have been very pleased. Their masala dosa is good...but after living in the bay area it is hard to even think of a dosa as amazing as some I have eaten out there. The dosa itself I found to be a little too thick and slightly over cooked. The potato curry inside was plentiful and very tasty. The sambar was solid and standard. Chaat Samosa (samosa with a chick pea curry poured over it) was amazing & I am a huge fan of their plain samosas as well. There was another dish, I cant remember what they called it, but it is also known as Chole Bhature (spicy chickpeas in a thin curry with a fried bread)...maybe they called it Chana Bhature, and that was excellent. Paneer pakora was a little bland and lacked the nutty flavor of well cooked paneer that I enjoy, but the sauce they serve it with makes up for any lack of flavor :). Overall, an inexpensive and delicious Indian experience.

Madras Pavilion (100% vegetarian)
9025 Research Blvd #100
Austin, TX 78758

I went here for the lunch buffet a while back and thought the options were delicious and varied. A little pricy, if I remember correctly. Around $12 for lunch but very good food. I hope to go back there to try some non buffet items soon and I will add to this review then.

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