Where: A Moveable Feast, 9341 Katy Freeway, 713-365-0368
What $13 Gets You: A sandwich to beat Subway any day.
$13 will get you more than a sandwich at this popular health food store cum restaurant named after Ernest Hemingway's memoirs. And if sandwiches aren't your thing, you can fill up on a hearty bowl of delicious vegeterian chili or one of their many healthy entrees. But if you're on the run, their sandwiches can't be beat. Pick up a $4.99 ready-made sandwich from the fridge by the register (the apple-pecan tuna salad on fresh wheat bread is my favorite) and a bag of Kettle Chips for $1.29 for a cheap lunch on the go. If you can stay a while, I recommend the grilled shrimp, avocado and sauteed onion sandwich with chipotle mayonnaise on ciabatta bread for $11.99
A Moveable Feast was originally located on West Alabama but closed shop in 2001 in the face of brutal competition from the Whole Foods that opened up next door. The Katy Freeway incarnation is now their only location, but retains the same charm as the original. Step inside the creaky front doors, past the gorgeous jardin sauvage out front, and you're greeted by quirky yet friendly staff and a bevy of items to choose from.
If you start in the store portion of A Moveable Feast, you'll find a small but thorough selection of health food items, vitamins, supplements, organic hair and body products and all the new-agey widgets you'd expect to find in a "Natural Cafe." Towards the back, you can purchase fair trade coffee or a tub of organic honey that you draw yourself from a huge vat. They also have an impressive selection of gluten-free items and cooking products.
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In the cafe area, you'll notice a no-nonsense attitude from the staff as they point to a sign on their counter that reads "NO CELL PHONES WHILE STANDING IN LINE." It's an all-too-necessary reminder due to the annoying flocks of useless Memorial Villages housewives that frequent the cafe, honking incessantly into their Blackberries while they wait on their food. Ignore them and focus instead on the sandwiches.
The grilled shrimp sandwich can't be beat, with its plump shrimp sitting expectantly under a plush blanket of mozzarella cheese, thick avocado and spicy chipotle mayo. Served with a fat baked potato wedge, it's the perfect meal for a Lenten Friday. For an extra $1.99, pick up a pastry from the case next to the refrigerator. You'll find an assortment of old-fashioned items like hummingbird cakes and snickerdoodles. My favorite is their chocolate peanut butter bar, a rich concoction of all-natural chunky peanut butter and a few scattered chocolate chunks. Sure, with your sandwich, you're sitting at $13.98 -- not exactly $13 -- but as you polish off that last bite of peanutty goodness, you won't care.
Recommended? Yes. And you can even read the latest copy of the Houston Press, available at the entrance, while you sit on their patio and enjoy the afternoon.
Bonus Point: Feeling achy? Get a quick chair massage from the masseuse before you leave.