“Making smart and informed decisions while ordering will make any meal at Mo|Tav more wholesome and tastier.”
Kristine Xu is a journalism freshman and Mustang News food columnist.
After passing by this restaurant numerous times while shopping downtown, I decided to sneak a peak into the dark and spacious restaurant of Mother’s Tavern (Mo|Tav). I had never thought to dine in similar restaurants because of the loud sports bar atmosphere, but after sampling some of the delicious food on the menu, I dropped all my assumptions.
Located next to Bubblegum Alley, Mo|Tav is a slightly more expensive bar and grill that serves everything from salads and soups to specialty burgers and shakes. Of course, with any upscale restaurant, there comes a more expensive price tag, but it balances out with the high quality and service that Mo|Tav offers.
As soon as I stepped into the restaurant, a waitress greeted me with a warm smile and led me to a small table near the back of the restaurant. One of the more memorable aspects of the meal was the top-notch service. Over the course of the meal the waitress returned to the table numerous times to refill water and ask if I needed anything.
I sat at a small table near the bar and noticed how I could enjoy a distraction-free meal, even with the murmur of chatter and loud noise blaring from the TV. The dark lighting, wood paneled walls and tall ceilings created a versatile setting to enjoy a meal or watch sports from the various TVs scattered around the restaurant. Even the large glass-plated double doors were propped open invitingly, letting the fresh, cool night air sweep through the restaurant.
Mo|Tav also offers weekly live entertainment, which was evident by the impressive sound system and dazzling disco ball that hangs from the ceiling. With its ease of accessibility in the heart of downtown, I could definitely see why this restaurant was so popular among college students.
The waitress returned after a little while with my entrees and refilled my water once more before leaving me to feast. She brought by two large white plates with a vibrant green salad and baked macaroni in a heavy black iron cast skillet.
When describing some salads, it can be hard to accurately capture the right description due to the monotone flavors. Thankfully, the Pacific Rim Salad was a tasty exception. The salad featured a thinly sliced grilled chicken breast on a bed of mixed greens, cucumber, pineapple, red onion and crispy wonton strips. Dressed with a zesty sesame ginger sauce, this salad was packed with intense flavors and fresh ingredients. The combination of the pineapple and dressing added a hint of sweet and juicy flavor to the smoky chicken. Unlike other salads I’ve had, the Pacific Rim Salad was delicious and very filling.
Photo by Kristine Xu
As for the macaroni dish, I found that I did not enjoy it as much as the salad. It was a lot spicier than I anticipated. The dish was filled with thick elbow macaroni and topped with bits of beef, grilled onions and jalapeños. Had I been more partial to spicy foods, this dish would have been more satisfying. However, the jalapeños overwhelmed the entire dish and drowned out the typical, traditional macaroni and cheese flavor.
Photo by Kristine Xu
Despite struggling through the macaroni, my experience was pleasant and enjoyable. Although the food offered here is not the healthiest, it is a preferable option to typical fast food. Making smart and informed decisions while ordering will make any meal at Mo|Tav more wholesome and tastier.