Years ago, a restaurant critic for Vogue Magazine wrote about us saying something like this: ”The Magnolia Cafe is so unpretentious that it is, well - almost pretentious.”
We are innocent of such claims! And today’s picture of our soup sign fully defends us. Funky still works for us as long as the place looks loved, the service is friendly and the food superb.
Kent gives the cooks full creative control of the dinner menu every Valentine’s Day. The cooks order special ingredients and plan the entire menu — it’s an annual evening of culinary pride and accomplishment. I wish I had pics to show you from the Magnolia Cafe (Lake Austin Blv.d) as well, where they work to present an equally glorious menu each V. Day.
Here was the menu at the Magnolia Cafe South this year:
VALENTINES DAY MENU! 1. Greek Platter 2. Warm Olive Bread 3. Greek Salad 4. Avgolemono Soup 5. Spanakopita 6. Monk Fish 7. Lovers Lamb Kabobs 8. Greek banana split 9. Raspberry Chocolate Cake
As you can see, the cooks (led by Adam, in front) agreed to wear their red T’s for the evening. An inspired, and inspiring, bunch. Thanks to all of the cooks who contributed to our fabulous Magnolia dinners!
I could spin a story about “Red Shirt Thursdays” at the Magnolia Cafe South. Suffice it to say, the cooks pictured (Adam, Regina and Randy) are NOT required to dress as triplets when they come to work. They do this on purpose and voluntarily. That says it all.
We were happy to learn that the Magnolia Cafe was chosen as one of the 40 best restaurants to eat breakfast in the state of Texas. “Top 40″ may sound like a big field, but Texas is a big state of course.
Here’s what Texas Monthly (Dec. 2011) had to say about us:
Is it the whimsical artwork, cheery print tablecloths, and mismatched booths? Or the toy pterodactyl hanging from the ceiling? Either way, the South Austin Magnolia has the hippie-dippie vibe nailed. The coffee is better than average, and the menu is economical and good. Order the fried-egg sandwich on sourdough–two eggs over easy, three tomato slices, ruffly leaf lettuce–or the house version of the three-egg omelet, with avocado and cheddar-jack cheese (you know you want that lemon-sour cream sauce). And never, under any circumstances, pass up the city’s best home fries, creamy inside and perfectly crispy from the griddle.
Shoutin’ out a big Thank You to Texas Monthly. (And to the nice Magnolia Cafe South employees who stepped up in the line of fire!)
Over the years, there have been a few marriages made between Magnolia employees who found each other and fell in love at work. Russ and Kathy. Al and Valerie. Sue and David. Melanie and Chris. And now Dennis and Ella. To celebrate the June 1st, 2011 wedding of our latest Magnolia Prince and Princess, the Magnolia South will be closed for the day for routine maintenance. (This allows our staff to go to the wedding, just like Cinderella!).
The brooms will be dancing around the cafe’s dining room while the employees play, and the restaurant will be freshened up and open again for customers at 10pm on June 1st. Since most of the employees will not be going on the honeymoon, they can come back to work.
We apologize to our loyal customers for the inconvenience of being closed. And we send our warmest congratulations to the newly married couple, Dennis and Ella. They will continue to work at the cafe, so you are invited to congratulate them yourselves.
Remember the excitement of getting your first color TV? We do. So we decided to preserve a bit of history on South Congress.
If you can drive by, check it out: the “Sam Allred and RCA dog mural” is getting spiffed up. You may recognize the artist, Corn, who is doing the restoration painting.
This is from Wikipedia:
In 1953, RCA’s all electronic color-TV technology was adopted as the standard for American color TV…
To read more about RCA on Wikipedia, click here.
Every year, the Magnolia Cafes host some official and unofficial SXSW breakfasts. No RSVP or special invitation is ever required, honest.
But returning visitors to the Magnolia South (1920 South Congress Ave.) will hopefully notice the spiffing up we’ve done for the event. Though you won’t be back in the kitchen to see the completely refreshed floors and fixtures, you will most certainly notice that the dining room is now a beautiful aqua blue, and that the patio has a computer and beverage station to speed up service for you.
Just as we wiped the dust off our jeans and put the cafe back together again, we were introduced to two young men from Minneapolis, John Grider and Mike Fitzsimmons. Their business is called Broken Crow (http://www.brokencrow.com/about), and they came to Austin searching for large bare walls to paint murals on. Our niche of the neighborhood now has stalking lions, roosters, a giraffe, and birds coming out of an old Victrola.
Last, let me mention that the Magnolia Cafes have been included in the SXSW Eat Well Guide (http://maps.eatwellguide.org/maps/homepage/view/113). Between us and the other fine restaurants in Austin, there’s no need to go home hungry.
Kids draw the funniest, beautiful and intriguing things. Here we present a selection of children’s art left at the Magnolia Cafe: inspired and heartfelt.
(Click the picture to be taken to the slideshow.)
We’re sending out a ‘thanks’ to Tony and Paige for writing about their meal at the Magnolia Cafe South.
Tony and I had a delicious Valentine’s dinner at The Magnolia Cafe on SoCo. It was the best restaurant we have been to since we moved to Austin…
Thanks y’all! We hope to serve you many more great meals, and thanks for telling your friends about us. To read the full post, here’s the link:
Yummmm… at Tony and Paige.com
You’re looking very beautiful tonight. No, really. I love your hair like that. And you’re also looking for a perfect place for a romantic dinner. Well, let’s look no further than one of the Magnolia Cafes.
Magnolia Cafe, Lake Austin Blvd., is offering Heart Shaped Ravioli, Thai Chili Shrimp on coconut cilantro rice, Tilapia Florentine topped with spinach and crab meat, and Flat Iron Steak with mushroom gravy and caramelized carrots. For dessert: Chocolate Torte with Raspberry Compote or Gateau Marissa with strawberry icing. Entrees range from $10.95-$11.95.
Magnolia Cafe, South Congress, is offering Peppercorn Encrusted Filet of Beef with goat cheese tamales and asparagus, Asian-Style Halibut with baby bok choy and wasabi rice, Apricot and Lamb Tagine with ginger couscous, and Heart Shaped Ravioli. For dessert: Gateau Marissa with strawberry icing, or Chocolate Covered Strawberries. Entrees range from $12.25-$15.25.
At two locations.
Magnolia Cafe, 2304 Lake Austin Blvd., Austin
Magnolia Cafe South, 1920 South Congress Ave., Austin