Maudie’s Tex-Mex has been an Austin staple since our doors opened back in 1954. In a tiny 810 square foot space, Maudie’s Cafe served up comfort food dishes like biscuits and gravy, chicken and dumplings, and other homey classics. Maudie’s comforting homestyle dishes kept everyone from local political figures to neighborhood families coming back for more. Maudie’s Cafe was a place to be well fed and feel at home, and our restaurant’s longstanding place in the local community reflects those origins.
Rather than close the doors when Maudie retired decades later, Joe Draker visited Maudie looking to rent a house and walked out with a handshake deal to take over her life’s work. In 1993, Maudie’s shifted from offering homestyle classics to serving Tex-Mex; with that shift, Maudie’s Cafe became Maudie’s Tex-Mex. And, well, we all know how Austenites feel about our Tex-Mex! It didn’t take long for Maudie’s Tex-Mex to become a local staple with the new menu options—but we keep serving up a few homey classics in honor of Maudie Hamilton Wilson and the original Maudie’s Cafe. Today, we pride ourselves on offering fresh, flavorful versions of traditional Tex-Mex dishes as well as new offerings and Maudie’s favorites. We want you to feel at home when you visit your local neighborhood Maudie’s, and we know that delicious food is one great way to do so.
Of course, food isn’t the only way to make a place feel like home. Let’s face it, if all we needed was great food, it would be a lot easier to have a successful restaurant. The other big part of what makes Maudie’s feel so much like home is our family of staff and our deeply-rooted connections with our local community. We pride ourselves on bringing together a team of staff that is closer to family, and supporting our family the best way we know how. At the same time, we get a lot of support from the local Austin community, so we turn around and give right back through a range of different community outreach opportunities. For us, it’s all a part of being a good neighbor.
Celebrating 25 Years of Tex-Mex
When Maudie’s made the move to start serving Tex-Mex, we did more than embrace one of the staple cuisines that makes Austin so special. We made it a goal to serve up those well-loved favorites, and to make each dish the best possible version of that dish. To that end, we put our focus on using the best quality ingredients and spices, to give you improved flavors without unhealthy fillers and preservatives. This means using ingredients like natural proteins and fresh, organic eggs from local farms. We even offer juice squeezed fresh every day rather than serving up something from a jug that was shipped halfway across the country to get to us. Our focus on better ingredients means we can provide Tex-Mex dishes rich in the flavors you love; enjoy our quintessential Tex-Mex even more with the knowledge that we source the best ingredients. Our commitment to quality is a big part of why we’re celebrating 25 years of Tex-Mex at Maudie’s!
The other key component that makes Maudie’s so special is our staff. The day to day happenings at Maudie’s are all handled by our close-knit team, and that family feeling among our staff passes along to our customers. We feel it’s important to have a staff that feels just as welcome and connected as our customers, and that means treating every employee like they’re a part of the family. Our staff enjoy perks like free shift meals, an awesome Christmas party every year, and employee recognition—we want to recognize our team members for all the great things they do. Want to learn more, or join the Maudie’s family? Start with our careers page to get more information!
A Focus On Community
Maudie’s started as a local spot for community to come together and enjoy a delicious meal, and we’ve continued that tradition no matter what changes and growth that have brought since then. Austin offers an amazingly diverse and lively place to live, work, and play and Maudie’s is proud to be a part of that. We choose to do our part to make our community better in whichever ways we can. That may mean providing the catering to make your Big Day even more memorable or it could be something smaller, like providing a relaxing (and delicious) evening out with your loved ones. In addition, we occasionally host special events to bring the neighborhood together and do what we can to give back to the community through local outreach programs. It’s our small way of strengthening community ties across Austin.
The local Austin community has played a big part in our ability to grow and flourish over the years, so the Maudie’s team feels the importance of giving back to the community that has given us so much. We are happy to support a range of groups like Ruby’s Rainbow, Texas Advocacy Project, Thinkery, Austin Humane Society, and so many others. We give back to help better the community in which we live, and that’s a big deal to us. You can learn more about our community support and charitable endeavors on our community page, as well as submit requests for donations or sponsorship through our online contact forms.
What Makes Tex-Mex So Special?
Have you ever seen the reaction when a Texan is told that Tex-Mex is just another name for Mexican food? We don’t suggest doing so unless you want an earful. We have some strong feelings about this unique cuisine, since this nationally-known subset of food—one that is distinct from traditional Mexican food—got its start right here in Texas, just as the name implies. Many of the dishes that most of the country thinks of as traditionally Mexican actually, surprisingly, originated in Texas rather than Mexico. For example, the fajita is a pretty common staple on both Tex-Mex and Mexican restaurant menus these days, but it is a dish originally developed by early ranching families in Texas.
Tex-Mex does still have its roots in traditional Mexican food dishes and flavor profiles. What makes our cuisine so special and distinct is the combination of ingredients, food traditions, and the early Texas lifestyle that gave rise to what we know call Tex-Mex as a distinct cuisine. Since ranching was one of the biggest industries in early Texas history, you can probably imagine how much of an impact that would have on the food Texans ate. Cattle meant that borrachos had beef to cook with, rather than pork or chicken, but it also meant easier and more consistent access to cream and cheese. In addition, farming in Texas meant the availability of different crops that also helped evolve or create new dishes. The most impactful new ingredient available was wheat flour. And let’s face it, what would Tex-Mex be without the addition of perfectly soft, delicious flour tortillas? Even black beans are a Tex-Mex addition, rather than a Mexican food staple. So, what makes our cuisine so special? Think about your favorite Mexican food dishes; if they have beef, cream, yellow cheese, black beans, flour tortillas, or black beans, your favorites are Tex-Mex, not traditional Mexican food dishes. In answer to what makes our cuisine special, the short answer is: everything!
From the meats and veg to the spices, Tex-Mex is made to hit every area of your tongue with bold flavors. Just about every Tex-Mex dish will have a combination of salty, sour/bitter, spicy, savory, and a hint of sweet. That range of flavors in each bite means more of your tastebuds will be involved, which helps you feel more satisfied without eating as much. Maudie’s has made a commitment to better flavors by sourcing the best ingredients and staying true to what makes Tex-Mex so delicious. Come experience the difference for yourself at your local neighborhood Maudie’s Tex-Mex!
Maudie’s Tex-Mex Favorites
Skinny Tex-Mex – Healthier Versions of Classics
A lot of Texan cuisine, and southern food in general, has a bad reputation for being heavy, fried, unhealthy fare. Not so with Tex-Mex! Sure, there are those deep fried and cheese-smothered options that may be a bit less healthy, but in moderation are no problem. But, for those with dietary concerns or a more concerted focus on eating healthfully, Maudie’s offers what we call Skinny Tex-Mex. These are dishes that are lower in calories and full of nutrient-rich ingredients—without skimping on the bold flavors you love from Tex-Mex food. All of our Skinny Tex-Mex dishes are 500 calories or less, so you can stick to your healthy eating plan and still enjoy what you eat. Our health-conscious options include everything from filling salads to fajitas and enchiladas so you don’t have to miss out on your favorites. Our Skinny Tex-Mex options include:
Start the day off right, or enjoy breakfast goodness any time the mood strikes. Our Huevos Rancheros are a Tex-Mex staple, but one that won’t leave you feeling heavy and sluggish all day. Enjoy spicy sauce smothered eggs with refried beans and potatoes—or ask your server
about substituting black beans if you prefer. This dish straddles the line between breakfast and lunch, so it’s a great choice any time of day.
We know it might sound a bit crazy to some of you meat eaters, but there are people out there who genuinely enjoy a good salad—emphasis on good. Maida’s Salad starts with mixed greens. From there, it is topped with Gulf shrimp, avocado, rajas, lime, pico de gallo, tortilla strips, and cotija cheese. The flavor is light, bright, with a hint of spice, but it’s no wimpy salad; it’s substantial enough to leave you feeling satisfied.
You may also want to try the Powerbowl Lite, a lower-calorie version of our popular Powerbowl. The standard mix comes with layers of rice, lettuce, black beans, Jack cheese, pico de gallo, and avocado, but you can ask your server about customizing it or adding a protein.
Life without tacos is just sad, so don’t go without! Our Pico de Pina Shrimp Tacos and Potato Rajas Taco entrees give you the option of delicious taco goodness that are lower calorie to help you stick to your healthy eating plan. The Pico de Pina Shrimp Taco is grilled Gulf shrimp, pineapple pico de gallo, Jack cheese, and tomatillo sauce on corn tortillas. Or, if you want to skip the meat altogether, our Potato Rajas Taco is grilled potatoes, poblanos, and onions served with lettuce and tomato on corn tortillas. Both taco options come with a side of black beans for a well-rounded, healthy, and filling entree.
Fajitas are a true Tex-Mex original, so no menu would be complete without this dish—not even our healthy choices menu. Fortunately, fajitas are pretty healthy already, but our Chipotle Chicken Fajita entree is one of the healthiest options. Like all of our fajita options, our chipotle chicken is grilled with onions, tomatoes, yellow and green bell peppers, and serrano peppers. The lighter option is served with black beans instead of refrieds, plus lettuce and pico de gallo on the side.
If you prefer your Tex-Mex smothered in sauce, try Skinny Sheryl’s enchiladas. This dish is two chicken enchiladas with your choice of tomatillo or tomatado sauce as well as lettuce and tomato. The usual refried beans are replaced with grilled zucchini and rice on the side.
Skinny Tex-Mex Swaps
There’s no need to miss out on your favorite flavors and Tex-Mex dishes in an effort to eat healthy. Maudie’s Skinny Tex-Mex menu options are created to provide a lighter, healthier alternative for those who are health conscious but don’t want to miss out on their Tex-Mex favorites.
We understand that making the switch from your go-to Tex-Mex dish to healthier options can be daunting. Feel free to ask your server about swapping out sides or other options to make your favorites a bit healthier—or try one of our Skinny Tex-Mex options for healthier versions of your favorite flavors. We also offer gluten free and vegetarian options to accommodate special dietary needs. If you have questions, ask your server, read through our FAQs, or submit the contact form online and we’ll try to answer everything we can!
Don’t Miss Happy Hour
Now that we have your mouths watering with thoughts of delicious Tex-Mex entrees, it’s time to talk about the other staple: margaritas! On a hot summer day here in central Texas, there is little better than a refreshingly tart margarita at the end of the day. To be honest, we’re pretty partial to a margarita at the end of the day during any season, not just the roasting-hot days of summer. Maudie’s knows the value of a margarita, so we have dozens of options to suit any taste. Choose a traditional margarita on the rocks, add a bit of fun with a frozen flavored marg, or try a jalapeño skinny margarita for a little something special that still fits in your healthy eating plan! Of course, if a margarita isn’t quite what you’re in the mood for, we stock a range of beers, wines, and other spirits—including several Texas-made tequilas.
Join us for daily happy hour everyday and enjoy deals on margaritas, beer, and some of our favorite Tex-Mex appetizer options! There are few better ways to wind down after a long day at work than with delicious drinks and appetizers to share (or not). Our focus on using the best ingredients extends to our specialty drinks. Many of our drinks, especially our specialty margaritas, are made with fresh-squeezed juices and quality tequila. Indulge without guilt because our drinks are made from quality components rather than store-bought mixes. Add in a nacho platter, chips and guacamole, or mini tacos for a salty and spicy bite to balance the tart/sweet flavor of your margarita for an all-around amazing evening. Bring the family for a fun night out, or meet your coworkers for happy hour after work—and don’t let your dog miss out on the fun! Most of the Maudie’s locations allow dogs on the patio so your furry friend can relax with you.
Maudie’s Tex-Mex has been a place for the neighborhood to come together for decades, and we plan to continue for years to come. See what makes Maudie’s so special; visit the Maudie’s in your Austin neighborhood today!