When you think of Tex-Mex cuisine, “healthy” might not be the first word to come to mind, but at Maudie’s, healthy Tex-Mex has been part of their tradition for more than 25 years.
It starts with the ingredients: Maudie’s squeezes fresh juices daily, selects all-natural meats and serves only pasture-raised eggs. Their menu is chock-full of choices for different eating plans. Many items are gluten-free or can be made gluten-free upon request. They also have a large selection of vegan choices and vegetarian items as well.
As Maudie’s owner Joe Draker says, “We take healthy eating to heart right beside flavor and tradition.”
Several of Maudie’s Skinny Tex-Mex items are inspired and named for Draker family members, including the Maida’s Salad, named for Joe’s late mother, comprised of mixed greens, avocado, rajas, lime, pico de gallo, cotija cheese and gulf shrimp; and the Skinny Sheryl’s, named for Joe’s sister, which includes two pulled chicken enchiladas, lettuce, tomato, tomatillo or tomatado sauce, served with grilled zucchini and rice (actor Luke Wilson orders this often)!
One of the most popular dishes at Maudie’s is their famous Powerbowl. It’s a layered salad of lettuce, and/or spinach with rice, black beans, Jack cheese, pico de gallo, avocado and a choice of pulled chicken, fajita chicken or beef, fajita veggies, carnitas, gulf brown shrimp or grilled mahi mahi; and a choice of salad dressing. The Powerbowl and Powerbowl Lite can be almost endlessly customized. Austin Nutritional Therapy Practitioner Kelly Nardo (@eatthegains on Instagram) calls the Maudie’s Powerbowl one of her favorites in Austin.
“The Powerbowl has a great balance of protein, carbs, healthy fats and fiber,” Nardo says.
Grilled fish or shrimp tacos are other healthy options. The mahi mahi is grilled on corn tortillas served with slaw, avocado, cotija cheese and cilantro. The shrimp tacos come with rajas, corn, avocado, cilantro, cotija cheese and tomatillo avocado sauce. Yummy! On chilly days or really any day, a warming bowl of caldo (homestyle chicken tortilla soup with garnishes) hits the spot.
Maudie’s is a beloved local icon in Austin and has six neighborhood locations. Since the pandemic began, they’ve instituted all of the best practices for safety and hygiene, and also pivoted very quickly to provide online ordering and curbside pickup. Every location has outdoor dining, and dining rooms are arranged with tables spaced appropriately with limited capacity. Maudie’s requires everyone to wear masks, with the only exception being while guests are seated at a table.
Maudie’s has many generations of loyal customers and employees and a long record of support for the community, including the annual Maudie’s Moonlight Margarita Run benefiting The Trail Foundation. They also regularly support Ruby’s Rainbow, many local schools and kids’ sports teams, and for the holidays this year the employees and leadership sponsored several local families through SAFE (Stop Abuse for Everyone), a merger of the Austin Children’s Shelter and SafePlace.
There’s so much to love about Maudie’s!