Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Restau-Rant: Mango's Cafe

Mango's Cafe
403 Westheimer (at Taft)
Houston, Tx 77006

Before I begin, a full disclosure: I've known Sheila Smith of Cup and Cake Bakery for a couple of years now, and I've hung out with Chef Craig of Mango's in both a professional-ish and friendly capacity, too. They're both very cool people, and I appreciate their respective haircuts and color. But I shall try to remain objective about their foodstuffs.

Phew! I feel much better now -- don't you?

So, what is Mango's? I've gotta say that I had no idea for a long time. I thought it was a bar and music venue, and that it was probably too drum-circle-y for my taste. As it turns out, it is a full bar AND a music venue AND a coffee shop AND a full service vegan and vegetarian restaurant. I'm still not sure about the drum circle part, but I kinda don't care at this point either.

I first experienced Mango's because my trusty steed, Blue Thunder, caught a case of dead battery in the Mango's parking lot. Dr. Cox and I were forced to drink Mango's Texas Mimosa while we waited to be rescued. Turns out, it's an alcoholic beverage, and a delicious one at that: Whiskey and pineapple juice with some other citrus-y stuff, on the rocks. If you're a fan of booze and pineapple, you'll dig this drink. While we were sipping our bevvies, I checked out the digs. It was really cozy -- a casita of a place. Saltillo tiles, lots of sunlight, stucco walls, lovely front and back patios, and Galaga to play (actually one machine with like 9 video games on it, including the world's loudest version of Galaga). Sadly, we were rescued before round 2 of either Galaga or Texas Mimosas could happen.

My second Mango's experience involved to-go food for eating at the lair: The online menu looked entirely tempting (and colorful!), and about 99% of it was vegan or could be made vegan. So, after about an hour of close menu inspection, the good doctor and I made our choices: The Hulk sandwich ($7.00), the BBQ Tofu Sandwich ($6.00), and 2 Chocolate and Vanilla Creme with a Curly Theme (translation: Hostess Cupcake-esque) cupcakes made fresh by Cup and Cake Bakery. I called them up to place my order. As it turned out, their new, improved menu had been prematurely launched online -- they didn't yet have all of the ingredients for The Hulk. In spite of this, the woman who took the order was incredibly nice, and assured me that they would do their best to compensate with other ingredients.

And that they did: Both sandwiches were fantastic. Po-boy style baguette bread, fresh veggies, lightly fried tofu, and awesome flavor. The BBQ sandy was spice-ay -- just like I like it. The fries, although a little bit limp from their to-go travels, were seasoned simply with salt and were also quite good. The Hulk (which it's a little unfair to review since due to the circumstances, it was more Bruce Banner than Hulk) was still delicious despite its lack of a few Hulk-y ingredients. I could tell that time was taken in the Mango's kitchen to deliver good food in the face of difficulty.

I somehow made room for the cupcakes after all of that. They were moist and chocolatey with a creamy center and, I am pretty sure, the tears of a unicorn. Un-freaking-believably good.

So, go go, Cup and Cake! And get on with your bad self, Mango's. I can't wait to hit them up for their weekend brunch. I'm psyched: A vegan brunch that I don't have to drive to Austin for!

1 comment:

  1. For the record, that game machine has 39 games... epic


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