Houston is the most diverse city in the nation. It’s a large part of why I love the city. It’s also known to be the “Culinary Capital of the South.” I’d argue that it’s the culinary capital of the U.S. With it’s diverse experiences of amazing food, it’s hard to argue. I’m not the only one. Check out this read from the New York Times which proclaims Houston as the “Great Eating Capital of America.”
Enter Houston Restaurant weeks, (it began as “week,” but Houstonians love to eat so they expanded to a month.) For those not familiar, Houston Restaurant Weeks is basically a large fundraiser for America’s largest food bank, the Houston Food Bank.
Participating restaurants make donations directly to the Houston Food Bank based upon how many brunches, lunches and dinners they sell during the event. These are not just any restaurants though. These are some legit places with legit chefs in the back cookin’ up your comida. Most are some of the finest in the city. Ok, let’s be real, there are places you would typically not find me ever during the week because I already spent all my money on groceries.
Ok, maybe not EVER. I do like to dine at some of these places and Houston Restaurant Weeks is the perfect time because participating restaurants have a set (usually a 3-4 course meal) menu at a REALLY good price.
The (food) Struggle in Houston is real…
Having said that, with all the really good food here, it’s REALLY hard to stay 100% clean in the city. If you are a natural explorer like me, you want to try everything! However, I also believe that part of being healthy is going out and enjoying yourself with friends and loved ones because being social is totally Paleo!
So if you are trying to stay (somewhat) clean but still want to enjoy all that HRW has to offer, I’ve compiled a list of some tips and the most health-conscious menus from HRW.
My methodology: for each restaurant menu, I took into consideration the following:
- Vegan, Paleo, Gluten Free or Vegetarian options available
- More grilled, smoked or baked options vs. fried
- The amount of greens/veggies as part of the menu
- More natural carb sources (excluding breads and pastas)
Keep in mind, I’m not saying other menus are bad for you. Nor am I saying these are perfect for staying healthy. Just pointing out some solid reccos for those looking to stay a little clean while still enjoying these great places to eat 🙂
Top 3 Tips:
- Don’t just eat… Dine. Put your phone away. Enjoy your friends and the friendly conversations.
- Practice mindful eating: Enjoy your food by chewing. A lot. 32 times to be exact. Trust me, it helps you eat less and helps your food be better absorbed through the body.
- Save your calories for the dessert. Drink water, order more fresh options. Or just skip the dessert all together. If you are going to splurge, plan it throughout the day and back off on other meals.
Places to “Keep it Real” for Houston Restaurant Week
Outside of dessert, this was the only full paleo menu I saw.
Anything from torched Avocado, Red Chili Noodles, Ancient Grains Bowl. This place has it all for those trying to keep clean. Plan accordingly, they only have a dinner menu
Perfect for the fit and boujee… Also, a great balance of splurge and eating healthy
Arguably the most fresh and clean menu of the 5. If you are really trying to stay on point with your diet, I’d say here is your best option
With vegan and vegetarian options, this place gives you a lot to pick from. I love it for all the fresh seafood items on the menus.