2424 Dunstan St.
Houston, TX 77005
Unlike the rest of Houston, I’m not a huge fan of Benjy’s. The food is never particularly interesting or over the top good. It always seems like a place tell people you like because you think you should like it. And because of that, the crowd at Benjy’s ends up being douches who honestly believe they’re not douches.
Or maybe I just like to say douche a lot. Which probably makes me a douche. There I go again!
Anyway, Local Foods is opened by the same people as Benjy’s. Both happen to be across the street from our gym, so I walked in one night after my work out. It was pretty empty and the food in the display case looked like a miniature version of the prepared food section at Whole Foods.
A few weeks later, Aaron requested somewhere new for lunch, and I suggested Local Foods since I left without buying anything last time. We were very pleasantly surprised. The inside had a vintage farm feel, very cozy and clean. If 101cookbooks and theKitchn opened a restaurant, it would be Local Foods.
Quinoa, Olive, Carrot, Oregano:
He ate: The olive quinoa was savory and worked really well with my sandwich (below), although I could’ve used a little more quinoa because this was pretty heavy on the olives.
She ate: Oh god, I LOVED this salad. I also wish there was more quinoa to olives ratio, but since the olives were not overly salty, I didn’t mind it so much. The crispy carrots and celery bits were a nice contrast to the plump and buttery olives. I could eat this every day.
Tuscan Kale, Golden Raisins, Toasted Pine Nuts:
He ate: This was fine and light, but after the sandwich it was tough to switch gears back to the kale since the sandwich and olives were so flavorful. I think this would have been a nice way to start, not finish the meal.
She ate: I can also eat this every day! Aaron still insists kale is a garnish, but I don’t care, I love it. It’s much better than the two kale salads you get at Whole foods. There is a minimal amount of parmesan—just enough for a nice salty flavor, and not too much to make you feel unhealthy. The pine nuts add a nice crunch, and the golden raisins are soft and sweet, a much-needed contrast to the slightly bitter kale.
Truffled egg salad, market greens, pretzel bun with more quinoa and cucumber hummus:
He ate: This sandwich was so DAMN GOOD. Very, very truffly, just the way I like it. It was just reaaaally, really super good. It falls on my very short list of things I would order a second one immediately as I’m eating my first one. The pretzel bun was fine—let me put it this way: the egg salad was so good I didn’t care what it was on. Well, let me take that back. I think it was a good choice of bread. Rye bread would have been weird, wheat wouldn’t work well, so yeah, I think it was a good choice. The hummus was also made well, although who only uses TWO CHIPS for an entire bowl of hummus?
She ate: I’m somewhat obsessed with pretzel buns, so that was actually more exciting to me than the truffled egg salad. But, when I took a bite of Aaron’s sandwich, I forgot all about the pretzel bun. The egg salad was SO truffly and delicious! I wanted to steal the whole sandwich from him but it was a weekday so I had to behave and continue to graze on my salads.
Arugula, Shrimp, Dried Cranberries, Texas Honey Pecans, Pecorino Cheese, Lemon-Thyme Vinaigrette (not pictured):
She ate: Aaron didn’t want to try any of my salad so you’re stuck with just me. The dressing was very light, you almost couldn’t taste it, which was just fine with me because I hate it when dressings are too oily or sweet. The shrimp was fresh but a little over cooked, not as good as the shrimp at Revival Market. It was a big portion, and I had to take half of it home. A nice mix of flavors, although nothing as creative as their sides or sandwiches.
Awesome crushed, not cubed ice, always a bonus.
He ate: I definitely want to come back to Local Foods. There are so many other things I want to try, like the duck confit with brie sandwich and some of the other sides. Even if everything was close to how good my sandwich stuff, it would still be pretty darn solid. The prices are a bit steep for lunch but I guess I’ll deal with it since the portions are not too small. I like Local Foods a lot better than Revival Market or Relish, both of which are in the same vein of restaurant/market and opened in the last year.
She ate: Yeah, the prices are kind of high but compared to Revival Market, you get a lot more food. I’m so glad there’s finally a place where you can get interesting and delicious healthy foods. I almost always have salads for lunch during the week, and it’s great to finally have a place other than whole foods that deviate from standard leafy salads.
*update: we went back two weeks later, got the same sandwich, and it wasn’t nearly as truffly. Pout. We also got the cauliflower and barley in ginger vinaigrette (very flavorful, would get again) and the butternut squash, pepita, cilantro, red chili, thai basil (very bland, would not order again).
tl; dr: obviously we love this place and would return, as we’ve already returned once! Skip the entree salads and get the sandwiches (especially the truffle egg salad sandwich) and sides.