Started by Maudie Hamilton Wilson with a location on Lake Austin in 1954, Draker purchased the restaurant in 1992. Since, he said he has expanded the brand into what it is today—seven area locations with unique decor to fit each neighborhood and a menu of Tex-Mex classics that is consistent across the board.
“I think that helps our guests know what to expect,” Draker said. “People identify with their neighborhood Maudie’s, but they know that if they cross the river they can find a Maudie’s and their favorite dish is going to be there just like it is for them at their home place.”
Maudie’s Hacienda, the chain’s South Austin location, opened in 2003 and has become one of the busiest locations, Draker said. General Manager Maricela Delgado said she has lived in South Austin since she was 10 and has worked at Maudie’s for her whole career.
“Personally, growing up with Maudie’s, I’d go for the experience,” she said. “The food is going to be delicious, but it also comes with the friendly service you will receive every time you visit.”
Delgado said the restaurant keeps up with health trends on its menu and tries to accommodate the diets of all customers. Many items on the menu can be ordered gluten-free, while there are also vegetarian options and a kids menu. The menu’s “skinny” section includes options under 500 calories, such as Skinny Maida’s Salad and a Chipotle Chicken Fajita.
“Especially in Austin, it’s a lot of runner and fitness groups [who come into the restaurant],” she said. “If there aren’t any healthy options on the menu, it’s a turnoff for those particular people.”
The Powerbowl—a layered salad—is a newer addition to the menu and has become a restaurant favorite, Delgado said.
“It’s filling; it’s delicious; and nutrition-wise it’s great,” she said.
Delgado said she sees many of the restaurant’s regular customers both in the store and around town.
“Every Maudie’s has regulars that come in once and even twice a day and get the same thing every time,” she said. “It’s amazing to see that type of relationship from our guests with our restaurant.”