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Mimi's Cafe

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Spouse and I went to Mimi's Cafe in Arbor Walk for dinner tonight. Wanted to try it mostly because Dale Rice recommended the "Liver and Onions" and the only other option for that dish that I know of is Luby's. Haven't seen any postings about the Austin location yet, so my impressions:

* It seems to be some kind of chain restaurant with New Orleans decorations and pretentions; except that the background music was a NY jazz singer.

* The Liver and Onions was excellent; liver was sliced thin, cooked perfectly, and covered with nicely sauteed onions. Mushrooms and/or bacon are also options.

* Spouse had Meatloaf. Acceptable.

* Portions are HUGE. Spouse wanted to start with a chopped salad. It was big enough for four people. Same goes for sides; both entrees were accompanied with mashed potatoes (about two cups per serving) and steamed veggies.

* There is a full bar. Wine prices look reasonable, but I don't drink wine and so can't comment on the selection.

* Prices were reasonable; $40 for the chopped salad, the two entrees, a Corona and an iced tea. There was enough food served for four people.

If you don't mind abandoning half the food, or shlepping food home with you to throw out later, it's a decent place. For me I'll probably only go back for a Liver and Onions fix occasionally.

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  1. I suppose that we could have ordered the wrong items. This place seemed a bit "Marie Calendarish" to us. We put it in the quantity vs. quality realm.

    I'm glad that you had a positive experience. My friend's mom always wants to go there so maybe I'll open my mind the next time she is in town and take her.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Rene

      haha, that's exactly why i have no interest in going. i looked at the menu on the website and it struck me as totally "Marie Calendarish" (as you put it). huge menu of nothing all that interesting (a.k.a, a chain).

      1. re: NirvRush

        We first ate at Mimi's in Las Vegas for breakfast several years ago. We enjoyed it at lot and since we live in the area, we were excited to find that Mimi's was opening here. We've been several times for breakfast, and it's nice to have a place like that here now. We've also tried it a couple of times for lunch/dinner. We were
        VERY disappointed in the food. I had the meatloaf, which I thought was awful. The portions are way too large for my taste. We'll continue to go for breakfast/brunch, but it's off our list for any other time of day. There are way to many other places that are lots better!

    2. I hate myself for loving Mimis. ;) Seriously, though, despite the fact that the service can be spotty at times and that it is a chain restaurant, I found the food to be very good on my many visits to the Austin location. One of the rooms has a Bourbon Street motif. The other room features a French Bistro-style decor - that I actually think is pretty cute, even if a bit kitchy.

      If anyone is interested I'll describe a few standout dishes. The chicken pot pie on both occasions I've had it was excellent. The crust was flaky and tender and the filling was creamy with big chunks of savory white meat chicken and vegetables. (It's better than my homemade version.)

      For a smaller salad, you can add a house (or a Caesar, I think) for only a $1.00 addition to your meal. You can alternatively add a soup for $1.00, and the French Onion is superb with a rich broth and just the right amount of cheese on top.

      For a main course salad, the Walnut, Cranberry, Blue Cheese salad is excellent with generous amounts of creamy blue cheese. The Cobb salad was also nicely composed and very fresh.

      My husband likes to order from the seasonal menu and has ordered the butternut squash with seared scallops on our last two visits. It's not for the faint of heart as it's quite rich, but it sure was good. You could detect a nice squash flavor in the ravioli and the scallops were perfectly seared.

      I have only had breakfast one time, but my crabcake eggs Benedict was great - not too many breadcrumbs.

      As far as drinks go, the extra dry martinis I've had were tasty. I seriously had no idea that Absolut (their top shelf, I think) could taste so good. They also serve the martini's with freshly stuffed blue cheese olives upon request. I suggest you request!

      I hope this "review" doesn't sound too gushing, as it is my first on this site, but I hope you enjoy the place as much as I have.

      Bon appetit!

      1 Reply
      1. re: chowbandit

        Ok so it's a chain, but it's not bad. I too went to the new one in the Arbor Walk off Braker and MoPac. I found the service to be enjoyable. You get served a bread basket before the meal with a French baguette and some carrot cake (or maybe it's a bread). Regardless they're good. Portions are huge and the prices are about average. You could easily pack half up for lunch the next day. Didn't have any drinks from the bar or dessert. It did take a little long for the food but if you order a salad or appetizer and are with good company you won’t notice. The décor is nice, particularly the Bourbon St. room. If you have never gone before I’d recommend going. It’s always worth trying something at least once..