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Reviews (12)

First Review by Masalaflower

Horrendous service - Edit

Let me start by saying that when I moved to Austin 25 years ago to take a reporting job at the Statesman, Magnolia Cafe was my favorite breakfast place. It was the place I would meet friends after running or would go to for a late-night dinner. It was the go-to place. It wasn't even a question of where we would go for breakfast. It was always Magnolia. The migas are the best in town.

This Saurday, my husband and I wanted to go out for breakfast as we do most weekends, and we wanted a change of pace form Kerbey Lane and 24 Diner. We decided to go to Magnolia Cafe West because it had been a while since we'd been. It would work out perfectly for our 15-year-old daughter, who wanted to run around Town Lake while we ate.

When we arrived, we told the shift manager we wanted a table for three but our 15-year-old daughter wouldn't be eating and would be joining us after her run - around 45 minutes. She said we'd have to wait for our party to be complete to get a table for three, but we told her she wouldn't be eating.

We decided to put in our names for two. She seated us a a table for two. Fine. We could live with that, even though she was very gruff. As we ordered and waited for our food, we saw groups of two all around us seated at several of the 4-person booths and tables. We asked our waitress if we could move to a 4-table booth so our daughter could have a place to sit after her run. About 45 minutes later, we were halfway through with our meal when our daughter arrive, and we pulled a chair up to our table. The shift manager came over and told us she couldn't sit there because it against code (I totally understand). She said this, as she seated yet another 2-person party at a 4-person table. We asked if we could move to a larger table and she told us no, She said our 15-year-old daughter would have to put in her name for a larger table and wait. We told her she wasn't eating. She said it was against Magnolia's rules.. We pointed to the tables around us where 2-person parties were seated at 4-person tables and booths. Again, no dice. Put your name in and wait for a bigger table, was her response as we sat with our half-finished meals in front of us.

We both were shocked, and we didn't want our daughter to sit outside by herself, so we asked for our food to go. I literally was so upset I was in tears. The shift manager was so inflexible and almost mean about, and seemed intent on making it as difficult for us as possible when it didn't need to be. As we

Pros: Best migas in town, Close to hike an bike trail

Cons: Horrible service


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Fun, good food, family friendly - Edit

With an 8-year-old vegetarian kids who seems to be getting pickier by the day, but two parents who enjoy a wide selection of vegetarian options, we were thrilled to find Magnolia Cafe, suggested to us by the Enterprise Rent-A-Car clerk. We ended up eating there for both dinner our first night and brunch our third day because we enjoyed the atmosphere, the wait staff and the food so much. It's in the heart of the area where we were most interested in exploring, and loved the gift shop next door for browsing while waiting for a table. If visiting in Austin again, I know we'd go back to Magnolia Cafe

Pros: Good food, family friendly, Funky atmospher

Cons: Popular so a bit of a wait for a table


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Magnolia's in the Middle - Edit

I don't come here much, but when I do, I usually go for their brunch fare just before a roadtrip out of town, as it's convenient. There seems to be a good amount of regulars, but also a number of passersby. The food isn't spectacular, but it does hit the spot in the morning. Their omelets are good and I tried their gingerbread pancakes as well, but from how my friend was raving about it, I guess it was hyped up so much that I expected more. I got their migas on another visit, and though it was good, I felt like it was missing something (I just returned to the States after a year abroad so I was missing myself a good serving of migas). I went two days in a row, and the waitstaff both times were pretty friendly, but within reason - it was fairly busy, or getting there, at the time. However, I wouldn't go out of my way to come.

Pros: conveniently located, large menu


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I don't know why people hate this place! - Edit

I love Magnolia! I have never had a problem when ordering veg-friendly. They have a gazillion options all with that great home made feel. Cute atmosphere! The mud dip is to die for!

Pros: delicous food, good atmosphere, open late

Cons: none!


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Not at all vegan-friendly - Edit

Magnolia Café has a reputation as a vegetarian-friendly place, but we can only imagine that it must've acquired it before there were a whole crop of 100% vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Austin. By today's standards, Magnolia is hardly any more veg-friendly that a typical Chinese restaurant where veggie dishes are present but mostly as an afterthought.

Lacto-vegetarians might find Magnolia Cafe to be an acceptable place to dine with carnivorous friends or family, but we'd advise vegans to propose an alternative that actually makes a point to offer a vegan option or two.

Cons: Not vegan-friendly


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Um, not very vegan friendly - Edit

I don't know about these other reviews, but the staff at Magnolia wasn't very helpful on making their dishes vegan. After finally narrowing down our choices to one or two, the cook actually brought my dish to my table and explained that most things are made with butter or lard, like the beans or tortillas. There is a good chance that if you thought you had a vegan dish at Magnolia, it in fact was not.

I even explained that I saw recommendations for vegan options on HappyCow and they replied, "well they should fix that, because it's very hard to make anything vegan here."

You can get by with being vegetarian very easily at Magnolia - but beware if you're vegan.

Pros: Quirkiness

Cons: Not vegan friendly, Hurried


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A+ for begin vegan friendly - Edit

This place is very willing to cater to vegans. I ordered the veggie tacos and they made them for me with corn tortillas and without cheese. They were very good.

Pros: vegan friendly, nice atmosphere, helpful staff

Cons: not all vegetarian


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Congress Location is Top Notch Diner - Edit

The acorn squash entree on the dinner specials insert is lovely to behold... but better with an extra side of curry sauce. The brownie dessert is really satisfying, and I like to order it with a side of blueberries rather than ice cream. In the dog days of summer, sitting in the patio area with a tall glass of hibiscus mint tea can cool most troubles away.

The staff is always kind, smart, attentive, and working too hard.

***Unfortunately they don't offer organic milk or a healthy soy creamer, and the coffee is run o' the mill drip. It's time they got some espresso, imho.

Pros: rockin staff, fab decor & booths, real maple syrup option

Cons: no yard eggs, factory farm meat :(


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