Madras Pavillion: great vegetarian Indian food

completedinner.jpgMy wife (being a vegetarian) and I (not being a vegetarian) went to Madras Pavillion for dinner the other night for dinner. For the impatient among you who want to get right to the point, we loved it. Naturally my wife loves any place that gives her more than the very few vegetarian choices available at most restaurants (although it’s not nearly as bad in Austin as most other places around Texas). I do find it amusing and frustrating for her that at most places you do need to actually inquire as to whether or not vegetables are vegetarian. It’s not unusual to have an exchange such as:

“Are the green beans vegetarian?”
“No they are made with bacon.”
“What about the mashed potatoes?”
“They are made with chicken broth.”
“How about the beans?”
“Nope, bacon.”
“The refried beans?”
“Made with lard.”
“Fine! how about the steamed broccoli?”
“It used to be vegetarian, but we couldn’t have that so we started throwing in chicken stock, bacon, and lard and then deep frying it in a special multi-meat mixture.”

Madras Pavillion has a great selection of vegetarian Indian cuisine that was just as tasty to a non-vegetarian like me. We ended up going for the “Dinner For 2.” For about $30, you get served course after course of a great sampling of all kinds of dishes. It let us just turn our brains off and not have to decide what we wanted, which was especially good for me since often, when I’m in an ethnic restaurant, I stare at the menus baffled not really knowing what anything is or if I would like it. This was a great way to try out a large variety of dishes. As a side note, they don’t bring the check to your table because, as the cashier explained to us, they don’t want you to feel rushed. Check it out if you dig Indian food, and especially if you want a place where vegetarians can roam free across the menu instead of being relegated to just having a salad.

3 Comments so far

  1. Rusty (unregistered) on March 30th, 2006 @ 11:19 am

    Thanks for the heads up, I’m always looking for good ethnic food in town. Now if you can find me a good Ethiopian restaurant here in Austin…

  2. ttrentham (unregistered) on March 30th, 2006 @ 11:56 am

    Amen to that. I’d love to find a good Ethiopian restaurant here.

    Aster’s was an ethiopian place here in the early 90’s. It closed, but she still does catering and makes small prepackaged stuff for Whole Foods, Wheatsville and the Austin and Sunset Valley Farmers Markets. I eat it for lunch pretty frequently. Still, I’d love there to be a traditional ethiopian place to go and have dinner.

  3. vcSlim (unregistered) on March 31st, 2006 @ 12:57 pm

    Madras is tops for veggie Indian cooking. Their lunch buffet has great selections.

    Other great veggie restaurants include Mr. Natural, Mothers and Nu Age. If you’re looking for the best veggie curry dish in Austin then try my personal favorite Thai Kitchen’s #33 Mixed Veggies w/ tofu and have ’em add some cashews. Yum, just had it for lunch.

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