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Reviews (10)

First Review by Masalaflower

Delicious food, pleasant atmosphere - Edit

They may have decorated the place since some of these older reviews were written because I thought it was cute enough with its curtains and unique seating option where you can sit cross-legged with cushions. The woman at the counter was also nice and helpful when I asked her for suggestions, which turned out to be the most tasty items we ordered. I wasn't expecting much based on all the poor reviews here but I was so pleasantly surprised at how good the food was and I will definitely be returning.

Pros: delicious sauces , lots of flavor, not bland at all, authentic

Cons: sauces come in plastic containers :(, styrofoam cups

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Not a pleasant experience - Edit

We were disappointed when we found this place as I think we expected something with at least a bit of ambience. Its bright lights and basic and not particularly cheap either. You order and pay at the counter - fast food style. None of the soups listed on menu were available. The food was just ok. Pappadams were stale and upsettingly all accompanying sauces came in their own polystyrene bowls as did one of the dishes - all vessels destined for trash afterwards, and looking at other tables there were loads of these polystyrene containers. We arrived at around 8:45pm and as soon as the family near us left at about 9pm, the staff began putting up the chairs on tables throughout the place. Then they began vacuuming the whole place. Yes we were still eating as was one other guy at another table. Enough said.

Pros: nice Dosa

Cons: polystyrene containers, vacuuming whilst eating, putting up chairs whilst eating

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Good Food, Uncomfy Atmosphere If Unfamiliar With Indian Cuisine - Edit

I am not very familiar with Indian food, so the menu can be intimidating at first. What to order? Hmmm. We spent a few minutes going over all of the options. Settled on some Dosas and the mixed veggie pakora. We got a potato Pattie with pea appetizer too.
No one was eager to greet us, or ask us if we had any questions. A couple of creepy seedy looking men were staring us down too from the table across the way. Not the most positive of vibes. I'd say we waited 15 minutes for our food which was supposed to be a Togo order but came out at the table. The woman seemed irritated with me when I asked politely of I could have it Togo.
The food was great though. The meal came with a few

different, very flavorful sauces. All of which I loved. Spicy, sweet, and coconutty. I doused my food, regretted it later. The spiciness upset my stomach quickly. Flavor overload but super yummy, unique food.
Next time, I'll view the menu online, do some Google research on what the dish is about, and order for carry out.

Pros: Authentic, Variety

Cons: Unwelcoming

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Mmm Yes, Swad! - Edit

Yes, Swad is one of Austin's best kept restaurant secrets, and we are eating dinner there once a week at least! We found them through the local restauranteur review book called "The Fearless Critic" - a wonderful review which holds true!

What I like to do is share a masala dosa and paratha shak, and also order their fabulous eggplant pakoras and kachi dabeli TO GO, for lunches in the days that follow.

Oh, and you have to try their coconut-rose-ice cream drink called "Falooda" - it's totally awesome, especially with a savoury hot plate of samosas or pakora!

By the way, the bathrooms are always super clean, I like that! And their staff has remained consistent over the years, with the family-owners managing.

And now open 7 days a week!!!
Updated from previous review on Wednesday September 03, 2008

Pros: authentic homestyle!, friendly staff, astounding thali platters

Cons: need more eco-friendly containers, not many english translations...

1 Response

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Crap shoot - Edit

Some people find it romantic to visit an establishment so clearly unwelcoming to non-Indians. Occasionally, some staff are blatantly rude. Others just don't have a strong enough command of English to be helpful. Maybe they just don't get the whole hospitality thing where they come from. I don't know how a previous reviewer could call this "vegan friendly." There may be vegan dishes on the menu, but when I asked which dishes didn't contain ghee or yogurt, the staff couldn't help me at all and the nice young woman (she really was) looked distressed to be spoken to in English.

A cockroach sighting caused one member of our party to go all shivery and stop eating, but I never saw any. All that being said, I've eaten at Swad twice. Once I ordered two dishes that were both awful. Last night I went there with about 8 friends and every single dish was fantastic. I have lived across the street from Swad for years, and if I could order vegan there, I'd eat there frequently (I'm not germaphobic, and I don't really care that some of the proprietors are unwelcoming).

Pros: authentic, delicious

Cons: unreliable, heavy on dairy, inhospitable

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Best Vegetarian Thalis in Austin - Edit

This all-veg establishment (very important factor for me, as I don't like animal corpses involved in the kitchen) has amazing thali platters for the six-tastes sensation experience (9.95 now), accompanied by your choice of breads: nan, poori (deep fried puffy), paratha (flaky handmade griddle bread), and roti (sort of like flour tortillas). Have eaten there since just after they opened 5 years ago, and it's been consistently great. I personally have no problem that English explanations of native dishes are not on the menu, as I hardly ever order anything but the THALI platter or MASALA DOSA because they are so fantastic. We have introduced over a dozen native Texan friends to the place, and they love Swad now too! This is not a fancy restaurant, but it is cheery, clean, and authentic. In the evenings, there is a security guard for the parking lot, and I always feel safe, even though the neighborhood has gotten a bit dicey. Regarding the previous review, heck, if you're worried about being overcharged, simply observe the register when you are ordering at the counter!!! That's what I do, anywhere where they have those fast-food pre-programmed touchpads, because unintentional errors can happen. I have found Swad's hardworking staff to be gracious and helpful...

Pros: 100% vegetarian, Scrumptious thali platters, Quick service for most items

Cons: Takeout containers are not eco-friendly, Paper towels in bathroom run out alot

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watch out! - Edit

firstly, and most important; they overcharged my credit card twice and refuse to acknowledge any worng doing. This is a huge concern seeing that another has just complained of the same happenings. Look out. Also, I was charged a differnet price for THali plate then others in line. I watched. Not good.
As a vegetarian in Austin I look forward to a vege experience and was displeased with the food and service. Rotis were extra greasy and the Thali plate was cheaply done. One small piece of Paneer and the daals had little to no lentil. The Samosa was soaked in grease and almost inedible. This all was observed prior to my knowing my credit card was overcharged again.

Pros: Vegetarian

Cons: cheats, greasy, poor service

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Good, but Beware the Language Barrier - Edit

The food here is delicious. The catch is, Swad is for Indians, by Indians. That means authentic and tasty food--but it also means that Swad really only depends on its Indian customers (probably 90-95% of their clientele), and this place is NOT outsider-friendly. Not that they are rude in any way, just don't expect any descriptions of the dishes or assistance in ordering in the English language. Makes me wish I spoke Hindi, but sadly I don't, and rarely end up with anything like what I wanted. I will probably not go back without one of my Indian friends to interpret. If you speak an Indian language, or are just otherwise extremely well versed in that region's cuisine: GO NOW. Otherwise, make a date with a friend who is qualified to order from their English-free menu.

Pros: Delicious, Authentic

Cons: No habla ingles

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A Home Away from Home - Edit

We adore this place! Family owned and operated, and straightforward, and generously homestyle indian cuisine. A typical busy afternoon will find you surrounded by people speaking Hindi, Urdu, and English in a swirl of happiness as we dig into the six-tastes THALI platter (the only place in Austin that has this) or its short-form, PARATHA SHAK. For an Indian sloppy Joe experiece, try the Kachi Dabeli, listed under pakoras on the menu. Many natives order diverse snacks including 3 foot long Masala Dosas! A much loved eatery, so prepared to stand in line for the ordering cashier at peak times. A great place to meet up after a yoga class!

Pros: All-India Veg Menu, Amazing Kitchen Production, Incredible handmade breads

Cons: Not listed on the street sign, Blowers in bathroom, need towels too.

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