"I'm the cook, and he's the green guy." That's how Bruce Molzan, one of the partners in the new Ruggles Green (2311 W. Alabama, 713-533-0777), describes his relationship with Federico Marques. Ruggles Green claims to be Houston's first "green" restaurant, as certified by the Green Restaurant Association.
"We're 30 percent organic in our ingredients and everything is natural, with no hormones or antibiotics, but I can tell you finding suppliers has been a challenge. We have some organic wines and some biodynamic wines," says Molzan. "I'm classically trained at the CIA [Culinary Institute of America], and I've worked for chefs like Wolfgang Puck. I think cooking is cooking, but when you taste these ingredients, you can really tell they're different."
Ruggles Green doesn't have any waiters; people order at the counter. Molzan and Marques call the concept "premium fast casual." "We took the bakery concept we have in the village and brought it up a notch in quality," says Molzan. "Fred does the research, and he turns ingredient ideas like quinoa and hemp over to me. And my job is to make it taste good. We developed a quinoa pasta, a hemp brownie and some 'hempanadas' which are really good. This has been a way for me to reinvent myself and try something new."
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A Dish visit found a fabulous crab cake and some wonderful fish tacos, not to mention speedy service, despite the long line at the counter.