Magnolia has something for everyone whether you are in the mood for breakfast food, Mexican, or sandwiches/burgers. The gingerbread pancakes are great, everyone seems to love them, but their omelets are also good (the Magnolia, with avocado and black olives, is my favorite). I really like the Flamingo sandwich with avocado, sprouts and tomato, and my husband likes their shrimp enchilada special.
Favorite Dish The best dish I've had is a dinner special ...I think it's served on Saturdays... called polenta scipione. It is grilled chunks of polenta, topped with asparagus, carrot, mushrooms and spinach. It comes covered in a garlic/butter/white wine sauces that is absolutely wonderful. Sometimes polenta can be bland, but Magnolia's polenta is very flavorful and stuffed with chunks of tasty gruyere cheese and bits of sun-dried tomato. I would expect to get a dish like this in an expensive restaurant -- it's delicious.
The Austin Review of this place really says it all:
Magnolia harks back to the days of old Austin, with a fiercely independent spirit that no amount of high-tech growth can squelch. Laid-back and comfortable, the cafe features tables covered in whimsical designs and friendly, if casual, waiters. The crowd includes old folks, alienated teenagers and little tykes. There's always a line for brunch, but free coffee will keep you awake while you wait.
Favorite Dish I would recommend the Neptunian Landscape, which is potatoes, topped with jack cheese, sour cream, tomatillo, avocado and onions! Yummy!
There are two Magnolia locations in Austin: one on South Congress and one on Lake Austin Blvd. Since I live about a block away from one of these locations, I'm a regular. I'm probably there on average of twice a week. I really enjoy this restaurant. It's a great local place. This colorful and cozy diner has some cool, interesting art on the walls (including an interesting pterodactyl hanging from the ceiling in the S. Congress location), as does any good, local Austin restaurant. Most of the servers appear to be young and hip, possibly aspiring musicians. Magnolia Cafe is often packed with locals, especially on weekends, when the wait for a table can be long. However, if you're alone or want take-out, take a seat at the bar and you'll see the hustle and bustle going on in the kitchen. If you go during weekend brunch, you'll find quite a variety of people--families, students, hippies, hipsters. Oh yeah, the food is pretty good, too. There's a variety of local favorites, including Tex-Mex and good 'ole comfort food. They're also famous for their breakfast foods, which are available 24 hours a day.
Favorite Dish I love the Magnolia Brownie a la mode. Warning: it is huge. You may want to split this dessert unless you're really, really hungry. The chocolate cake is a favorite of a friend of mine. They usually seem to be out of this dessert, though. However, we found out a secret. The cake gets delivered in limited quantities every Tuesday, so if you want the cake, try going to Magnolia on a Tuesday. As for non-dessert foods, I like the queso for an appetizer. I've never had an entree I didn't like, but I am a big fan of the Tropical Turkey Tacos and the Pork Tenderloin with Cheese Grits. The Beef Tenderloin, Mushroom Ravioli, Migas, etc. are also good choices. Told you I was a regular, ha.
it makes my heart melt to see so many comments about the gingerbread pancakes.
they are THAT good!
this place is a must for anyone living in, or visiting austin...
there's something there for everyone, in this relaxed and friendly place.
Favorite Dish the gingerbread pancakes are huge, soft and delicious with or without the optional fruit/nuts.
just one flls up a whole plate and must be (at least) a hald an inch thick.... one pancake is more than enough.
the home fries are great to get with the pancakes.
Magnolia Cafe is Tex-Mex. This is one of 2 cafe's and is opened 24 hrs.
We went there for breakfast which is served anytime.
Favorite Dish You have to have the gingerbread whole wheat cornmeal pancakes with pecans, they are to die for but they are BIG. I had one only and that kept me going most of the day. The eggs were apparently good but the sausage a little crunchy. It is a very popular place and do not be surprised if they waiters have tattoos, ear piercing and long hair - the service is good and the coffee (which is ok - not great) keeps flowing.
This is one place you should try while you're here. It's great food, from vegetarian to burgers. The atmosphere is laid back, you get a taste of Austin and it's culture when you pull up.
Favorite Dish Favorite meal has to be the Migas with a buttermilk pancake on the side...
Try the Mag mud for starters too.
Magnolia is a low key restaurant that is open 24 hours. Don't plan on going for breakfast on Saturdays or Sundays because they are slammed and there is always a wait. But if you can tolerate the wait, it's worth it. The service is allright, not top notch, but not as bad as Starseeds. The waitstaff is a unique combination of 'individuals'. Meaning Magnolia is a hip place to work if you have dreads or want to tell The Man to bite it.
Favorite Dish Gingerbread Pancakes. Need I say more? Well...if I must: These babies are incredibly good. They serve you a nice HUGE stack, and when you smother them with syrup, they are amazing. They are similar to Gingerbread cookies, but the consistency of pancakes. You get it.