Real Food Restaurants?

If your life is like mine, you’re busy with work, errands, and chores.  I try to cook real food,  especially on weekends, but sometimes I’m just tired and would like to eat out–let somebody else cook and clean up.  That brings up the BIG QUESTION–where can we go to get food that’s healthy, safe, and, of course, tastes good?  My husband and I debate where to go everytime we decide to eat out.  Usually we just settle for a “make do.”  We try to avoid fast food, find restaurants that serve a variety of vegetables (not just 5 kinds of potatoes and maybe rice), and order grilled meats, rather than fried.  But there don’t seem to be very many that offer much choice.  And, I suspect that even those that may look (and taste?) okay are not always cooked (with good, healthy fats) or seasoned (without msg, for example) in the best way to promote health and nutrition.  The salad dressings are probably made with soy oil, if they’re like the bottled ones you can buy in the grocery stores.

A few local restaurants have been recommended (see comments on the About page) including  T’afia, Ruggles Green, and Feast.  Their web sites say they use local food and Feast avoids factory farmed animals, even listing the sources for some of their foods.  These restaurants are certainly going in the right direction, but, are there any others?  What about the rest of Houston?  Where do you go?  Do you bring your own salad dressing?  Do you ask the cook to use butter rather than oil?  How do you find a good, real food restaurant in Houston?

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7 Responses to Real Food Restaurants?

  1. Rufus says:

    Revival Market’s blog has a whole post about Houston area restaurants that would (at least partially) be WAPF approved.

    http://www.revivalmeats.com/blog/?p=196

    From the post:
    “In the Times article are fantastic and well-deserved nods to the innovative Gulf Coast fare at celebrated Reef, as well as a close look at the fantastic food that Justin Basye is doing at Bryan Casswell’s new venture, Stella Sola. I do wish that Chef de Cuisine Dax McAnear and Pastry Chef Plinio Sandalio at Textile, and Jonathan Jones at Beaver’s, would have gotten their due for the great food that they’re putting out at their respective posts, but overall, the fact that the rest of the country seems to finally be giving Houston some credit, bodes well for everyone. It is indeed an exciting time for the City”.

    • Carolyn says:

      I read recently that Revival Meats new Market has finally opened. I look forward to trying their specialty Mangalitsa pork. I would like to hear from someone who has already tried it.

      Yes, there is definitely a trend toward more locally grown and carefully prepared food in Houston restaurants.

      • Rufus says:

        I purchased some of their rendered lard and duck fat the other day and it’s fantastic! They will also sell you raw pigs feet if you call ahead and let them know (the one’s they have on display are pickled or smoked and I like the raw ones for making stock). They also sell wild game meat (when I was there they had antelope, rabbit and boar).

        I found that their prices are quite reasonable – their bulk olive oil is actually cheaper than buying it at the Farmer’s Market.

  2. Amy says:

    Oh My Pocket Pies has local, organic empanda style pies that they sell from a gourmet food truck. They usually set up in the Heights. They make their pies with Law Ranch Beef, and locally sourced chicken. They are also affordable. They might even be willing to strike a deal with folks that would like to by bulk pies to freeze. Go to http://www.ohmypocketpies.com for more info. Also Freebird Burritos chain offers grassfed beef and organic choices for their burritos.

  3. Heather Hughes says:

    Just ate at El Real Tex-Mex at 1201 Westheimer. They use real, non-hydrogenated lard; in fact, they render their own lard. They have a little spiel about lard on the menu and how healthy it is, and also sell T-shirts that say “Praise the Lard”.

    • Carolyn says:

      Hi Heather,

      Using their own rendered lard is a good start. Do you think El Real might qualify to be a Real Food restaurant? Would the management provide answers to the type of questions we asked Revival Market?

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