Snap Kitchen

Martin Berson was an operating partner of Benjy's Restaurant. Now he heads up the new Snap Kitchen (3600 Kirby, 713-526-5700), which offers fresh, healthy takeaway cuisine. "There are three things we were striving for: great food, phenomenal service and a cool, hip, fun and sexy atmosphere," says Berson. The Houston location is the third in the chain, with the other two in Austin. "We hired an amazing chef, who took our ideas and turned them into reality," says Berson. "We use no butter or heavy cream, and the trick is making healthy food taste great."

Doug Karabinas is one of the operating partners in the new venture. He graduated from the Hilton School and has worked for the Cordúa restaurant group, among others. "We wanted to do something that is good for society, not just serve more high-fat food and a lot of alcohol and contribute to Houston being among the fattest cities in America," says Karabinas. "My wife is a doctor, so we decided that the food we serve must be good for you as well as taste good. This is a chef-driven, healthy food concept with the pre-portioned food made fresh daily."

At this ultra-modern-looking store, the personnel are super-helpful, happy to explain the setup. All the food sits in plastic containers in refrigerated displays. Each reusable container is labeled with the name of the food, nutrition and ingredients, as well as which diet it fits — gluten-free, diabetic, lower sodium, nondairy, paleo and so on. Two main courses, four sides and two desserts were around $40, so health doesn't come cheap.

The three-bean medley was a favorite, as was the quinoa "fried rice," which tasted like real fried rice. The citrus marinated pork loin was also well done, and both the key lime pie and peanut butter "cheesecake" were so good that if this is what eating healthy tastes like, then sign us up. Paul Galvani

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