I’m a fan of Local Foods. The downtown location is a quick hop and skip from my home in the Heights and it’s a great addition to the downtown community. Now, the Local Foods brand has expanded to the Heights at the Heights Mercantile, located at 714 Yale St Ste 1A.
I just visited our Heights location and got the chance to visit with executive chef Maria Gonzalez and I left an even bigger fan of Local Foods and our local location. Chef Gonzalez shared with me that she is currently on a healthy journey and just recently lost 70 pounds.
“What I like about our menu is that it offers healthful options,” Gonzalez said. “But when you want to get something that’s more of a ‘cheat day’ option, we have that, too.”
Gonzalez will oversee kitchen operations after working alongside chef and partner Dylan Murray since 2001, when the two met at the acclaimed Saba Blue Water Café. The Heights Local Foods is the fifth location and concept to be added to the Greater Houston area.
From the menu, the concept brands themselves as a scratch gourmet sandwich shop showcasing local edibles and seasonal salads, fresh soups and homemade snacks for the taking. The seven layer bar – sometimes also referred to as the “dream bar” – is a must try from the homemade snacks menu.
During my visit, I had a few things on my order. First, we started by tasting two specialty (virgin) cocktails: Almost Spring and Nojito. The Almost Spring was my favorite, made with Seedlip Garden 108 non-alcoholic spirit, fresh cucumbers, fever tree tonic and a salted jalapeño rim.
From the dinner menu, I tried the Oak Farm’s Spinach Salad, Salmon and the Vegan Mashed Potatoes.
“The spinach salad is simple and we’re hoping more customers will give it a try,” chef Gonzalez said. “It has simple ingredients, but that is what makes the salad so great.”
The salad consists of local spinach from Oak Farms – a seasonal item – cherries, almonds and tossed in a light vinaigrette dressing. I also had the Salmon that was topped with a light orange blossom cucumber salad. The vegan mashed potatoes were a sweet potato base and topped with nutritional yeast or as chef Gonzalez likes to call it, “Vegan Cheese.”
“Nutritional yeast isn’t exactly attractive on the menu,” she said.
The Heights Local Foods is a great addition and the Heights Mercantile is definitely the place to be.