Molly gives us a peek at a restaurant through the eyes of a vegetarian.
607 Richmond Avenue
Houston, TX 77006
Overall Vegetarian Selection: (5) Stars
Brief Take: Sometimes I think the two words “vegetarian” and “salad” are synonyms, well at least at Bowl. Bowl is a salad bar in Montrose where you choose from an overwhelming amount of ingredients (many organic) and then the salad masters behind the counter whip up your fresh, made-to-order salad.
Bowl receives five stars for a vegetarian selection because they offer 64 vegetarian salad toppers, wow! (Vegans, there are a lot of choices for you here too, including the some salad dressing options.) There is a wide variety of vegetarian salad toppings such as star fruit, zucchini, pistachio, sweet potatoes, sugar snap peas…this list could go on forever. I like Bowl because they have unusual salad toppings, not just the run of the mill tomatoes, carrots etc.
There are four base salad greens to choose from. You can combine any of them if you wish, but I usually go for just the plain spinach. Bowl also has 10 cheeses to choose from. My friend goes bonkers over their soft goat cheese but other tasty options include, but are not limited to: buffalo mozzarella, smoked gouda, manchego (if you are in to sheep) and feta. Bowl has 13 salad dressings and all are vegetarian. Bowl’s creamy lime cilantro, tomato basil and raspberry vinaigrette dressings are some of their best.
I’ve never ordered any, but Bowl also has 10 sandwiches, two of which are vegetarian – the Hummus Veggie and Portobello Mushroom.
Ordered Dish: (4) Stars
Brief Take: Bowl has two salad options. First is Solo – your choice of greens, 10 toppings, one cheese and one dressing. Second option is Doppia which is your choice of greens, 15 toppings, one cheese and one dressing. (If you want to add a protein, they offer six kinds of meat for an additional $3. Since this is the protein category, I would really like to see a tofu option here which is why Bowl received four stars instead of five.)
I ordered the Solo salad with spinach greens and tomato basil dressing. The toppings were numerous so I won’t list them all but my favorites were the broccoli, avocado, heart of palm and asparagus. The broccoli was some of the freshest I have ever tasted! When ever I eat uncooked broccoli now I always compare it to Bowl’s. The asparagus was perfectly ripe and how can avocado ever go wrong? I could have slurped up the tomato basil dressing with a straw. All of the ingredients were A+ in quality but my small issue with Bowl, and why I gave them four stars instead of five, is the small serving portion. I’ve been to Bowl several times and while each time I was impressed with the quality of the vegetables, I didn’t leave completely full. Maybe a Doppia salad option is the solution to this? I don’t know.
Healthy Rating: (5) Stars
Brief Take: My salad at Bowl easily receives five stars for the healthy rating. All of my toppings were nutritious and high in fiber. Plus think about all those vitamins in the vegetables! I didn’t get cheese on my salad but if I did, that would have knocked off the healthy rating just a tiny bit. The tomato basil salad dressing was one of their healthier offerings but the creamy lime cilantro….not so much.
Overall Opinion: (4) Stars
Summary: Bowl is a small eatery on Richmond with an even smaller parking lot that is shared with other businesses. If you want to visit, go early or you will be stuck parking on a side street, which can sometimes be scary.
The inside of Bowl is decorated nicely and I like the chalk board menu behind the counter. The restaurant was very clean and the employees were friendly and chatted with you as they made your salad. Even though they are making the salad from scratch, the service is fast. The prices at Bowl are a little on the high side, especially for their small portions but I guess that is to be expected from the restaurant location and high quality ingredients.