What's Cooking at the Triangle
Mama Fu's Asian House4615 N. Lamar #307, 637-6773
Sunday-Thursday, 11am-9pm; Friday-Saturday, 11am-10pm
In the last 10 years, Austin has seen a slow but steady increase in Pan-Asian "convenience" eateries, beginning with Foo Swasdee's Thai Noodles Etc. House, then Zen Japanese Food Fast, Panda Express, and Pei Wei. The latest addition is Austin-based Mama Fu's Asian House. The menu offers a variety of dishes including appetizers, soups and salads, noodle bowls, and stir-fry specialties. Friendly young folks take your order at the counter. You get a number, grab your own beverage, and find a seat. It is likely to take longer to make up your mind about what to order than it will for the food to arrive steaming hot at the table. The salads are fresh and filling one-meal dishes, and there are kids' selections with cute names such as Dragon Tails and Ninja Noodles.
The Triangle branch has a wraparound patio with umbrella chairs, perfect to enjoy now that the weather is cooperating. Inside, the dining room is ample, and though it does have a feeling of "get in and out fast," it's comfortable nonetheless. It features a daily happy hour with wine, beer, and sake specials, plus half-price appetizers. The obvious comparisons and similarities to other Pan-Asian fast-food outlets notwithstanding, Mama Fu's is just as good and locally owned, which gets my vote every time.