Archive for category Vegetarian View

Vegetarian View: Quattro

Monthly Feature
Molly reviews Houston’s Quattro..through the eyes of a vegetarian!

Overall Vegetarian Selection: (3.5) Stars
I have to hand it to Quattro. Out of the “fancy pantsy” restaurants I’ve been to, Quattro has been the only one that had little “v” marks next to menu items that were vegetarian. Not only did they designate which dishes were vegetarian, they actually had a handful of vegetarian meals to choose from! About 99 percent of the time when I’ve been to an extra nice restaurant, there isn’t a vegetarian dish on the menu. When I tell the server I’m a vegetarian, the chef always graciously puts together a plate full of vegetables and other sides…which for the record is fine with me but I actually got a choice when ordering at Quattro and that was nice.

Ordered Dish: (3) Stars
For my appetizer I ordered the mozzarella di bufala which was basically a tomato stuffed with Buffalo mozzarella served on top of greens and shallots on the side. The presentation was very nice and the appetizer was the perfect size. Quattro had me impressed with this dish.

For my entrée I ordered the margherita pizza. The pizza was…just pizza. It was pretty good, not horrible, but since Quattro is the Four Seasons restaurant I was expecting more than just average. If I was at Chili’s I would have given this pizza five stars. But since I was at Quattro I was expecting knock my socks off pizza. What I would order next time is the asparagus lasagna. Sounds interesting.

Healthy Rating: (2) Stars
The appetizer was pretty light and healthy but the health meter when down when the pizza came out. Lots of cheese which equates to fat and sodium. I think this pizza had me covered for half my protein intake for the day and calcium too. The pizza was on a thin crust so for carb-phobia people I guess that’s good.

Overall Opinion: (4) Stars
Since Quattro is the Four Seasons restaurant, I was expecting nothing less than A+ service and they didn’t let me down. Right when we walked in for our reservation, the hostess promptly wished my husband and I a happy wedding anniversary. At the end of our meal the waiter brought out a small dish of various chocolates with flowers on it for our occasion. The décor in Quattro is modern with clean lines. Our table which sat two had mini couches on each side instead of chairs. Each mini couch was perfect for one person which I thought was unique. One observation – our reservation was on a Saturday evening at 7 p.m. and Quattro was pretty empty, even the bar. I don’t know if this is the norm or if it because we were eating pretty early in the evening.

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Vegetarian View: Jenni’s Noodle House (Faux Pho)

Monthly Feature
Molly brings you a restaurant review…through the eye’s of a vegetarian!

Each category is rated 1-5 stars.
Overall Vegetarian Selection: (5) Stars
A few months ago I sent a desperate tweet asking if there was such a thing as vegetarian pho. All my life I have curiously watched my friends eat this intriguing soup concoction and wished I could experience it but without the meat or the meat broth. Luckily Jenni’s Noodle House came to my rescue and tweeted back that their Shepherd location had a vegetarian friendly version of pho.

Although I don’t know Jenni, she must have some affinity for us vegetarian/vegans or in fact be one herself. I say this because on the menu there are many large “V”s next to menu items that are vegetarian/vegan. I instantly saw my future self coming here waaay more often.

Ordered Dish: (4) Stars
So my Faux Pho (I did giggle a little when I ordered it by name) was in one word – delicious. Really. Some of the vegetables included were red onion, carrots, mushrooms, lemons wedges, fresh jalapenos and an abundance of cilantro. The broth was flavorful but I did remove one star because it was pretty salty. But then again what soup broth isn’t? The Faux Pho left me feeling fulfilled that I could experience this typically meat exclusive dish.

One thing to note – only the Shepherd location serves Faux Pho which is fine by me since my work is less than two minutes away.

Healthy Rating: (4) Stars
The Faux Pho was very healthy – except for the darn salty broth. And if am remembering all the ingredients correctly I can also in fact say it was vegan as well. Double win.

Overall Opinion: (4) Stars
I went to Jenni’s at lunch during the week. Service was quick and the restaurant was very clean but no frills. Orders are taken at the register and the food is brought out to your table. The parking lot for the Shepherd location is smaller than small and is also used by other businesses in the same strip center. Even my ultra tiny VW Cabrio had a difficult time maneuvering for a parking spot. But all in all I was pleased with my Jenni’s veggie experience and will definitely be back soon for some more Faux Pho – even on a hot Houston day.

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Vegetarian View: Pink’s Pizza

Monthly Feature
Molly’s latest restaurant review…through the eyes of a vegetarian!

Ratings based on 1-5 Stars
Overall Vegetarian Selection: (3) Stars
Generally, pizza is usually a place where meat and veggie eaters alike can go and everyone is happy. Pink’s Pizza offers 20 specialty pizzas but only three are vegetarian. I was kind of disappointed when I saw my options were limited if I wanted a specialty pizza. Plus on the menu it stated there were no substitutions on the specialty pizzas. There were several I thought would be delicious except they had chicken or some type of meat on them.

If I wanted to get around the limited vegetarian specialty pizzas, I could have ordered a regular pizza and added my own toppings. That sounded all good and well except a lot of the unique and yummy vegetarian toppings were considered “premium toppings” and cost 75 cents extra on top of the base topping price. Eggplant, cranberries, roasted red bell pepper and sun dried tomatoes sound delicious but why do they cost more than chicken breast or Canadian bacon? Not sure why but I felt miffed.

Ordered Dish: (3) Stars
Since this was my first time at Pink’s Pizza I wanted to see what all the fuss was about so I went ahead and ordered a specialty pizza – the Classic. The Classic had feta, pecorino romano, mozzarella, roma tomato, garlic, sun dried tomato and basil. I know Pink’s Pizza is popular. I wanted to like it, but I really wasn’t impressed. The roma tomatoes were so unripe they were light red, almost orange. The crust was ok but not really to my liking. There was a sweetness to the dough and sauce that I detected but that didn’t bother me…or win me over for that matter. I was expecting much better for the price I paid for this pizza.

Also, all of their drinks were bottled – nothing fountain. I drink my weight in water and was almost done drinking the water in my bottle even before the pizza was brought out. There was no way I was ordering and paying for a second bottle of water. This is where free refills – especially on water come in.

Healthy Rating: (3) Stars
Considering it was pizza, my meal was still pretty healthy. The thin crust cut back on calories and the toppings were vegetables. There was a lot of cheese so that is where the fat and calories come in but also my protein and calcium for the day. The pizza as always was high in sodium. I think this is an unavoidable, universal factor in commercial pizza.

Overall Opinion: (3) Stars
When I learned Star Pizza opened in Oak Forest/Garden Oaks I was really excited. I had heard a lot of positive things about the other locations but I left disappointed. We went at noon on a Sunday. The place was only half full but the staff acted slammed and discombobulated. They also forgot two of my dining companion’s appetizer and salad. The food was not horrible but next time I am sticking with my beloved Star Pizza.

3403 N. Shepherd
www.pinkspizza.com

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Vegetarian View: Snap Kitchen

Monthly Feature
Molly gives her critique of a restaurant…from a vegetarian’s perspective.

Scores for each category on a 1-5 star rating.
Overall Vegetarian Selection: (5) Stars
Out of all of the ever so popular take away restaurants boasting healthy and convenient foods, Snap Kitchen by far has the most vegetarian options. In fact, they have an entire section of their breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack menu devoted to vegetarian and some vegan foods.

Ordered Dish: (5) Stars
My favorite entrée at Snap Kitchen is the Curry Dusted Cauliflower “Steak.” I am not sure how the play on words with steak translates in this dish but I don’t care because it is delicious! Don’t be scared of the word curry in the title. The flavoring is not overly done and sometimes is actually overshadowed by the caper raisin vinaigrette.

Basically this dish is a mix of cauliflower, lentils, chickpeas, onions, carrots, red bell pepper and the caper raisin vinaigrette I just mentioned plus the curry. I love cauliflower, lentils and chickpeas so this dish is a dream for my vegetarian palate. I often wonder if fellow meat eaters would find this dish fitting for their taste buds or if I really like it only because I am a vegetarian.

Healthy Rating: (4) Stars
The Curry Dusted Cauliflower “Steak” is pretty darn healthy. I removed one star because it is high in sodium (a whopping 48 percent of your day’s worth) and I find my mouth a little parched after eating it. This dish has 14 grams of protein which translates to 28 percent of my daily protein intake. Not too bad for 340 calories. The cauliflower “steak” also has 15 grams of fiber and 54 grams of carbohydrates. Since I run, I gladly welcome this higher carb content. One thing to note, this “steak” is vegan – even better on the health rating.

Overall Opinion: (5) Stars
Vegetarian or not, Snap Kitchen is a convenient healthy place to get food on the run. There is also a small sitting area if you want to enjoy your food onsite after purchasing. All their meals have a “made on” date and most usually have a “good by” date too. Snap Kitchen also includes cooking times on the outside of the packaging. What I really like about Snap Kitchen are their containers. Sturdy and plastic, they give the grocery store plastic to go contains a run for their money. I always save and reuse mine. Parking for Snap Kitchen is no problem. It is located in a strip center with plenty of spaces but right now there is annoying construction on Kirby so traffic can be a bother at times. Oh and one last thing – Snap Kitchen is just a few doors down from Dessert Gallery. This can be both good and bad.

http://www.snapkitchen.com/

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