West Lynn Cafe

Vegetarian and Vegan Spots in Austin

West Lynn Cafe

1100 West Lynn, 482-0950

Mon-Thu, 11:30am-10pm; Fri, 11:30am-10:30pm; Sat, 11:00am-10:30pm; Sun, 11:00am-9:30pm

For years, the West Lynn Cafe has been Austin's premier example of vegetarian cuisine. While lots of Austin restaurants feature a dish or two of vegetarian fare, the West Lynn Cafe is one place where you can be assured that the food prep person didn't use the same spoon to stir your tofu salad dressing and her big vat of veal stock. The menu is extensive, and the restaurant itself is, after all these years, still one of the most attractive in Austin.

For more than 10 years, I've been taking my carnivore friends to the West Lynn Cafe to show them what they are missing. Recently, I took my wife and four friends to let the Cafe again strut its stuff. That's why this visit so pained me.

There were a lot of problems that day. The Lasagne Verdure ($8.95) was bland and uninspired. The Ravioli in Tomato-Cream Sauce's ($8.95) ricotta filling was dry. Thai Red Pepper Curry ($8.75) was disappointing and unimaginative with none of the complexity that you would expect in a dish by that name. The Fettuccine al Greco ($8.95) tasted as though they had doused it with all the liquid from a can of olives. Most of the desserts were not available and the espresso machine was broken. The brunch menu had more than half of the selections blacked out. On the bright side, the mushroom pté was delicious, and they didn't charge us for the four desserts we ordered. When the bill was proffered, our server gave me a winning smile and mumbled an excuse about the service.

Maybe we experienced a bad case of the West Lynners resting on their laurels, or maybe the manager was out and the staff was slacking. The restaurant has proven itself over and over and over. Hopefully, our experience was just a one-time glitch.

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