In anticipation of today’s grand opening in Preston Center, the folks over at True Food Kitchen held a sneak peek preview of their lunch menu last Friday. Though I knew to expect healthy stuff: quinoa, kale, and gluten-free offerings to boot, I was also excited to see what else the restaurant may have in store. Here are five things you need to know:
1. It’s a sit-down joint
Other healthy, diet-friendly, places in our neighborhood are fast-casual (such as Zoe’s Kitchen or Village Burger Bar), meaning you order at the counter and take a seat. Here you want to grab a seat and get comfortable. Since this stuff isn’t zooming from the freezer and through the microwave to get to your plate, it takes a little while. Granted, I ate there on a day that wasn’t the norm, but don’t expect to be in and out in less than 20 minutes.
2. Don’t expect a small, hole-in-the-wall, kind of place
A large kitchen— which seemed to be where some prep work was taking place, along with smoothie-making and espresso drinks — dominates nearly a third of the restaurant. Outside, an expansive patio awaits. Groups and children will feel comfortable contributing to the noise-level (it’s on the louder side when full,) and solo diners will enjoy the people watching as nearly dozens of twenty-something employees flutter about muddling concoctions of juice, herbs, and whatnot.
3. Come hungry
I sampled an appetizer, main course, and dessert from the lunch menu during my visit. Though the edamame dumpling appetizer I ordered certainly wasn’t large enough to be shared, it was the highlight of the meal. Paired with daikon radish and white truffle oil, the dumplings were perfect evidence that healthy fare doesn’t have to be all “rabbit food.” The street tacos were a hefty $16, and were filling, if not a little overpowered by what appeared to be pickled onions on top. The grass-fed steak was cooked a beautiful medium rare, which isn’t common for steak tacos in this Tex-Mex territory, or at least the restaurants where I eat tacos. The squash pie with whipped cream for dessert was tasty and seasonally appropriate. The crust was even reminiscent of a gingerbread cookie. Unlike the appetizer, the pie was plenty enough to share.
4. Even the drinks are healthy
I ordered the honey lemonade to drink and it came as expected — fresh-squeezed lemonade is sweetened with the addition of honey. It was delicious and refreshing. The Kale-Aid, a blend of kale, apple, cucumber, celery, lemon and ginger, took awhile to get used to. Kale-Aid, particularly when it includes a heavy infusion of ginger, just might be an acquired taste. The drink menu includes three local beers are on tap, as well as several organic varieties of wine (though I do hope their selection of Texas wines will increase.)
5. It’s a chain
Though another chain restaurant doesn’t necessarily set apart Preston Hollow from other locales, we can be proud of True Food Kitchen. The restaurant has six other locations in health-conscious states like California, Colorado, and Arizona. The Preston Center spot is the first one in the state of Texas — that’s right, it came to Dallas before the notoriously healthy and “hip” city of Austin.