Mother knows best. And as a mom myself, I can tell you from experience that Mother’s Day is a time to let Mom relax and enjoy her family — without the usual stress (screaming toddlers, a cluttered house, piles of dirty laundry and whatever else crowds a typical 24 hours). If the mom in your life hasn’t already planned her special day — we know a few who do — then we recommend you make every effort possible to make her feel like a queen (she is one, after all), and part of that strategy should include brunch.
If you can handle the table-setting, cooking, clean-up, and all of the accompanying accouterments, then a nice meal at home might be the ticket. For most of us, though, an easier option is to let the professionals handle it. Of course, once you’ve made the decision to dine out, you’ve got to figure out where she’ll want to go.
We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite restaurants for brunch. It’s up to you to call ahead, check availability, make arrangements — and pamper your mom.
Tacos and Tequila
507 Pressler, 512-436-8226
Brunch here is fun, low-key and fab. Stations offer everything from enchiladas (tomatillo chicken) and tacos (build your own) to Belgian waffles and carved brisket. Throw in salads, grilled fish, omelets, huevos rancheros, migas — you get the picture. Wash it all down with fresh fruit juices mixed with sparkling wine. This spot off West Fifth Street is ultra casual and boasts cool music and artwork.
811 W. Live Oak, 512-444-4747
Mother’s Day brunch at Green Pastures is a must — at least once. Stroll through the seven acres of beautifully manicured lawns — the perfect backdrop for pumped-up peacocks — and then step inside the historic white Victorian house (built in 1894-1895), where you’ll be transported to the South. As you sip on milk punch, take in the lovely interiors as you walk from the Burgundy Room to the 1888 Bar to the Sun Porch.
In 1946, Mary Faulk Koock and her husband, Chester, opened their family home for public dining. An entertainer, Koock wrote The Texas Cookbook with James Beard. Brunch offerings at this venerable South Austin spot include everything from frogs’ legs with jalapeño sauce and pork belly with BBQ Sriracha to roasted pork loin with Dijon gravy and sweet pickle. Old-fashioned and refined with a lofty price tag to match.
Elizabeth Street Cafe
1501 South First, 512-291-2881
Nothing says laid-back casual like this South Austin venue from the McGuire Moorman empire, the group behind Clark’s, Perla’s, Jospehine House, Fresa’s and Jeffrey’s. Start with a large cup of Stumptown coffee and sit back outside and chill. Then go light with a butter croissant with house-made lychee and raspberry jam, or feast on a Bánh Mi of two fried eggs, crispy pork belly, avocado and mint. Or do both. Treat Mom to a glass of Rock Candy — Champagne, framboise, Cocci Americano, Peychauds, a sugar cube and lime juice.
98 San Jacinto Blvd., 512-478-4500
If you can, nab a table outside overlooking the lake and let the kids play around in the grass while the adults sip on mimosas and take in the view. Traditional offerings include made-to-order omelets and pancakes, assorted pastries, smoked salmon, beef tenderloin and Richardson Farms pork loin with peaches. The children will appreciate the simple things, such as pizza, mac and cheese and chicken fingers. Mom will welcome the service and ambience. If you really want to make her day, send her to the spa afterward.
1315 West Sixth, 512-582-1027
This beautiful West Austin spot knows Italian. Imagine ricotta pancakes with fresh berries, whipped cream and dark maple syrup; tiramisù French toast with mascarpone cheese, cocoa and dark maple syrup; and prosciutto pizza with balsamic onion marmalade, baby arugula, prosciutto, fior di latte and Parmigiano-Reggiano. We recommend starting with a glass of prosecco and then exploring all the options. Relax and enjoy the smartly designed interior and good company. Free valet parking is a plus.