Celebrate mom with international fare — in Tallahassee

by Tallahassee Table

From pupusas to pad Thai, these local restaurants will spice up your Mother’s Day.

In Mexico, El Salvador and Guatemala, Mother’s Day or Día de las Madres is a colorful, festive day that’s celebrated each year on May 10th.

On Mother’s Day — Haha no hi — in Japan, children traditionally bring their mothers red carnations, a symbol of purity and sweetness. 

Families honor their mothers with flowers, gifts and lots of good food during La Festa della Mamma in Italy. 

Here in Tallahassee, and across the U.S., we’ll be honoring our mother’s with food, flowers and festivities on May 9th. While not everyone will be able to hug their moms this year, we have more options than we did in 2020. Vaccinations are here, and more families are getting together. Businesses have opened their doors whether for dining in or outside and you can still get takeout. 

We may not be globe-trotting, but thanks to the many restaurants in Tallahassee serving international cuisine, families can give mom (and grandma) the world on a platter.

From Indian dosas to Salvadoran pupusas, the menus at these destinations will spice up your Mother’s Day celebrations. Also, see our roundup of other favorite Mother’s Day destinations in Tallahassee on this website at tallahasseetable.com/tallahassee-restaurants-offer-lots-of-possibilities-on-mothers-day/

Hours listed are for Sunday only. Just a tip: Call to make a reservation — quickly — or check for walk-in options. 

But whatever you do, what’s most important is to cherish time with your mom. The pandemic has reminded us that family time is indeed precious.

Aaru’s: The multicultural restaurant specializes in Indo-Chinese and South Indian cuisine, with vegan options. On Mother’s Day, Aaru’s will be offering a special mega, four-course Thali lunch — a feast with lots of delicacies served in small bowls. It’s served dine-in only on Mother’s Day, from 11:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Aaru’s will reopen for its regular dinner service with a complimentary glass of wine from 5 to 10 p.m. Outdoor decks as well as indoor seating available. 1108 S. Magnolia Dr.; 850-350-0129. Photo at top via Aaru’s.

Photo credit: Cafe Yerushalmi Kosher Moroccan salmon will be on the menu for Mother’s Day at Cafe Yerushalmi, which specializes in Middle Eastern dishes, primarily from Jerusalem.

Cafe Yerushalmi: Owner Magi Mekaiess describes her dishes as “authentic food from the heart of Jerusalem.”  Her kosher menu includes other Middle Eastern dishes like her Mother’s Day specials of Moroccan salmon and Moroccan couscous with chicken. Open noon to 7 p.m. Sunday. 910 Lake Bradford Rd.; 850-807-9895.

Dao: Give mom a choice of sushi or a range of Asian fusion dishes representing Japan, China, Thailand and Korea. Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4:30 to 9 p.m. Bannerman Crossings Shopping Center, 3425 Bannerman Rd., Unit A102; 850-999-1482.

Pupusas and other Latin dishes star at El Viroleño.

 El Viroleño: Pupusas, the famed Salvadoran corn cakes, are prepared with your choice of filling, like shredded pork, beans and cheese and loroco (a Central American vine flower bud) and cheese. Also on the menu: tamales, tacos, quesadillas and Latin entrees. Open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 2910 Kerry Forest Pkwy.; 850-906-0123.

Essence of India: The restaurant is presenting a special, five-course Mother’s Day lunch for two, with soup, starters, entrees (three vegetarian and three with meat) plus bread and dessert. It includes a complimentary glass of champagne during lunch, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The dinner menu and children’s three-course meal available all day. The restaurant menu features tandoori dishes, lamb, shrimp and chicken, curries, lentils and breads. Dinner hours are 5 to 10 p.m. Call for reservations. 1105-A Apalachee Pkwy; 850-656-7200.

Georgio’s owner, Georgio Koikos, shares some of his native Greek dishes along with steak, seafood and Mediterranean and European-influenced dishes.

Georgio’s Fine Food & Spirits: The Tallahassee institution is known for its steak and seafood dishes with Mediterranean and European influences. Owner Georgio Koikos, who has been in the restaurant business more than five decades, also features dishes from his native Greece. Dine inside or outside. Open 1 to 6 p.m. 2971 Apalachee Pkwy.; 850-877-3211. 

Kame Poke & Korean Kitchen:  You can take home a feast of classic Korean beef and noodle dishes as well as poke bowls, sushi and Japanese appetizers. Currently takeout only. Open 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. 1179 Apalachee Pkwy.; 850-765-8272.

La Tiendita offers an array of Mexican (including tacos de Birria) and   Brazilian dishes.

La Tiendita: Nora and Sid Getz bring the flavors of their homelands to La Tiendita, and their “lanchonete,” Via Brazil. Nora was born in Mexico City. Sid is a native of São Paulo, Brazil. On Mother’s Day, check out classic Mexican fare and Brazilian steak. Hours 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 1840 N. Monroe St.; 850-523-1494. 

Maria Maria serves homey family recipes and traditional Mexican favorites.

Maria Maria: Why two Marias? Owner Edgar Gamez named the restaurant after his mother and grandmother, both named Maria and he shares their homemade recipes including enchiladas caseras, tamales and family mole sauce at this Midtown Mexican restaurant. Open from noon to 3 p.m. and then again from 5 to 8:30 p.m. 1304 N. Monroe St.; 850-270-9057.

Masa: Launched by restaurateur and chef Lucy Ho, who opened the first Chinese restaurant in Tallahassee, Masa offers Asian fusion dishes including kimchi pork belly fried rice, tempura, pad Thai and a sushi menu. Hours: noon to 3 p.m. and 4:30 to 9 p.m. 1650 N. Monroe St.; 850-727-4183.

Mayuri Indian Restaurant: Dine inside or out at Mayuri, with an extensive menu of dosas (an Indian-style crepe), curries, tandoor items and vegetarian meals. The lunch buffet is from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and the regular dinner menu is available from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. 1324 Simpson Ave.; 850-402-9993.

Vietnamese summer rolls, Japanese katsu and pad Thai are among the pan-Asian dishes at Midtown Noodles Bar.

Midtown Noodles Bar: The pan-Asian restaurant offers ramen noodle combos as well as Vietnamese pho soup, dim sum and pad Thai on a menu with Chinese, Thai, Japanese and Korean cuisine. Dining in and takeout available. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. 1660 N. Monroe St.; 850-999-3023.

Persis Indian Grill: Look for lunch and dinner specials at Persis, where you can dine in or get takeout. The menu features vegan and vegetarian choices along with tandoor items, biryani or rice selections, soups and Indian breads. Hours 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. 3111 Mahan Dr.; 850-877-8899.

Pineappetit specializes in dishes with “Caribbean soul.” said chef/owner Sam Burgess.

Pineappetit: Chef/owner Sam Burgess offers a taste of the islands at his new restaurant. He’s best known for his bowls, which are served in a sliced, fresh pineapple with your choice of fillings. Other items include Rasta Pasta, Caribbean patties and gourmet wings. Open noon to 9 p.m. 2037 W. Pensacola St.; 850-454-5404.

Reangthai: The restaurant presents classic Thai food with a complimentary glass of wine and dessert for moms. Open 4 to 8 p.m. 2470 Capital Circle NE; 850-386-7898.

Super Perros offers Colombian tamales, soups, churrasco and lots of hot dog combos.

Super Perros: Perros means dogs in Spanish so no surprise that this Colombian restaurant has lots of hot dog toppings, but you’ll also find arepas, empanadas and classic entrees like churrasco, parrillada and bandeja paisa (steak, chorizo, chicharron, plantains, rice, beans, salad, arepa, fried egg). FYI, Super Perros will be changing its name to El Rincon Latino but we’re told it will remain the same re the food, setting. 2010 W. Tennessee St.; 850-421-2378.  

Tan’s Asian Cafe: Bring your mom an exotic selection of Indonesian, Chinese and vegan dishes from Tan’s, currently open for takeout only. 2743 Capital Circle NE; 850-523-4282.

Z. Bardhi’s: The family restaurant has a special occasion flair, with homey Italian cooking served inside dining and on an outdoor patio. Classic fare and pizza. Open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 9:30 p.m. 3596 Kinhega Dr.; 850-894-9919.

You may also like

Leave a Comment