"Love conquers all" for the Valentine's Day menu

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!

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Magnolia broadcast: Come eat your home fries

cover_texas_monthly_websize_photoIMGmagnolia_texas_monthly_websize_photoIMG 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!)

Magnolia South Wedding Report

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.

The RCA Victor Dog Mural

restore historic signRemember 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.

Spiffed up for SXSW 2010

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.

Have a great visit to SXSW 2010. Let us know if we can do anything to make it better.

Discover fun things to do in Austin, TX.

We recommend www.TodayinAustin.com.  It is a community-wide 'bulletin board' for a wide variety of events happening in the City, both for today and upcoming dates.  You'll find live music, film (special screenings), free things to do, kid-centered events, and all of the happenings at the University of Texas suitable for the general public.  It's clear, uncomplicated, and advertising-free. Again, it's www.TodayinAustin.com.  We like it.

Barton Springs

A huge spring-fed natural pool, located in Zilker Park, provides swimmers with water that stays a constant 68 degrees Fahrenheit. A charming sub-culture of young adults and seniors can be found here at 7 a.m. year-round. A small admission charge is required after 9 am. Zilker park has a giant playground and various gardens (Xeriscape, Rose, Japanese, Native). Swim free in summer every evening from 9-10 pm, and enjoy the party that happens on the nights of the full moon. www.ci.austin.tx.us/parks/bartonsprings.htm

SoCo and First Thursday

Let's give you the real scoop on South Congress development. We were there in 1988 when it was unloved and uncool. Well, now we're getting our cool back. The street has slowly earned the privilege of having fine restaurants, clothing stores, gift stores (like Prima Dora www.primadora.com) sprinkled among the venerable dinosaurs (Magnolia Cafe South, Off the Wall, Continental Club, Avenue Gallery, and etc.) You can enjoy the excitement especially on the First Thursday of every month when there is live music and late store hours. www.firstthursday.info

The Hike & Bike Trail

What creates the Austin feeling of community? Places to congregate! The Hike & Bike Trail around Town Lake is a great place to meet and hang out with friends. Good parking place: under the MoPac bridge in Zilker Park. The "lake" is really the dammed-up Colorado River -- all the lakes in Texas are man-made. Canoes can be rented at Zilker Park. www.zilkerboats.com Check out the boating club on the north side of the hike & bike trail: www.austincityguide.com/content/austin-rowing-dock.asp