Gaby & Mo's
Vegetarian and Vegan Spots in Austin
Reviewed by Rachel Feit, Fri., March 9, 2001
Gaby & Mo's1809 Manor Road, 457-9027
Mon-Fri, 7am-midnight; Sat, 10am-midnight; Sun, 10am-10pm
They offer fresh, light fare aimed less at hardened restaurantgoers than consummate coffeehouse denizens seeking an inexpensive, honest meal to supplement that eleventh cup of joe. Crisp green salads, healthy hummus sandwiches, or crusty flatbreads topped with ripe tomatoes and melted provolone cheese are the types of items that make up their menu. Their weekday Blue Plate specials are just slightly more substantial -- veggie burgers, tomatoey vegetarian lasagna, or herby fusilli with pesto, kalamata olives, tomatoes, and feta cheese all come with a salad and freshly baked roll. In fact, just about everything here is so adept that you can't help but question, who are these Gaby and Mo, and where did they learn their trade? As it happens, Gaby and Mo are fictional characters invented by owners Patti Carvajal and Jill Miller. The two women have brought their considerable restaurant experience (Patti managed Kerbey Lane for a number of years) to bear in this undertaking, and it shows.
Their desserts are simply some of the best offered by any coffeehouse in town. A lemon cheesecake that makes you pucker with delight, dense old-fashioned chocolate cake, or homemade brownies make it hard to eat just one. And that's not to mention their homemade muffins, breads, ice cream, fudge, and cookies.
Although the menu makes a polite nod to carnivores with the Meaty Mo and Turkey Mo sandwiches (the Meaty Mo is a sub-like sandwich with ham salami, provolone, tomatoes, and spiced onions; the Turkey Mo also comes on a homemade roll with turkey, cheddar, tomatoes, and lettuce) and an occasional Blue Plate special, most items are blessedly free of flesh, and many are vegan.