November 24, 2009

The Hearty Vegetarian: Mr. Natural

It took a lot of kicking and pulling to persuade my boyfriend to come to Mr. Natural. I think a lot of people immediately assume that when a restaurant is purely vegetarian or vegan, then the food must be bland or at least ... not as good as if it had meat.

This has obviously been proven wrong, not only in their case but with so many other Austin restaurants: Daily Juice, Mother's, Veggie Heaven, Bouldin Creek ... it must obviously taste good if the demand is high enough to open this many unique vegetarian/vegan restaurants.

Mr. Natural is a mexican-focused vegetarian restaurant, but many of its pastries and entrees carry influence from elsewhere. They make AWESOME pastries, as you can see in the pictures below. They had stacks of fresh-made apple pies that were still warm by the entryway. Seriously, they are pros at pastries.

Their empanadas look unreal. Like someone picked the moon from the sky and stuffed it with some pumpkin and baked it. They offer tons of vegan baked goods too. I had a vegan cupcake on my birthday at work from here, and it was bomb. Vegan cake tastes like normal cake, folks!

Alas, what I came to Mr. Natural for was a good hearty meal and I found it. I tried their Tofu Migas and they truly encompassed the hearty vegetarian meal. Actually, I think this dish is vegan. It's crispy tortilla strips cooked in ranchero sauce and scrambled tofu. I've generally liked dishes that substitute egg with tofu. It's a pretty genius idea, since the texture of a scrambled egg is pretty similar to that of crushed soft tofu. Another place that uses this replacement is Jo's ... where you can get the No-Egg Tofu Salad Sandwich which is one of my favoritest sandwiches in Austin. As for possibly being the best migas in town ... these definitely are high up on my list now. They are definitely the best vegetarian/vegan migas in town. I tried Cafe Mundi's awhile ago and it was ... gross. Mr. Natural's were awesomely spicy and I forgot ever needing meat in my life for a second.

Finally, a pumpkin empanada. Not my favorite ... and it's not because it wasn't a good empanada. I think it would have been better with another filling. I'm not the biggest fan of pumpkin, but it wasn't bad. For those pumpkin lovers out there, this is probably the pastry for you. In addition, they make fresh pumpkin pies as well. Perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas!

Besides all of this good food, Mr. Natural has a section of their restaurant dedicated as a health food store. They sell supplements, herbs, etc. They also have a weekly yoga class at the E. Cesar Chavez location.

I am definetely a fan of this place. It's got great ambiance and so much to offer!!! I almost want to be vegetarian to be a legit Mr. Natural fan, but I like chicken too much.

Mr. Natural
East Location:
Monday - Saturday
Open from 8 A.M. - 8 P.M.
1901 E. Cesar Chavez
Austin, TX 78702

Phone - 512-477-5228

South Location:
Monday - Saturday
Open from 8 A.M. - 8 P.M.
2414- A South Lamar
Austin, TX 78704




  1. I went to Bite Mi for the first time / had bahn mi for the first time ever... have you been there? I know you like Lulu's, but this place is closer. I liked it, but I am sure you have much more discerning taste for bahn mi than I ever would

    reviewed it on the sandwich site.

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  3. I have tried it! In fact, I am mayor of it on Foursquare, I think. I went there a lot when I worked on the Drag ... but now that I've been temp-ing at SoCo, I haven't been in a while :(