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Taste-Testing Snap Kitchen's New Winter Menu

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With new locations in the Heights and the Museum District, Snap Kitchen is making it very hard for Houstonians to avoid eating healthfully while eating out. And, after the never-ending food binge also known as "the holidays," that's probably a good thing.

The grab-and-go cafe offers a diverse line of well-constructed breakfast, lunch, and dessert entrees as well as cold-pressed juices that are rigorously classified by dietary needs ("carb conscious", "gluten-free", etc.). Many of the dishes are healthful versions of ordinarily diet-destroying mainstays such as burgers, enchiladas, lasagna, and delightfully, these revamped editions are not just palatable, but, in fact, delicious.

One can even go so far as to say that Snap Kitchen is rather addictive; recently, Houstonia writer Katharine Shilcutt chronicled her very positive experience completing the 21-day challenge from Snap Kitchen, noting she is likely to continue to incorporate Snap goodies into her regular diet.

After taste-testing some of Snap Kitchen's entrees from its new winter menu, I can assure Katharine she won't be alone.

Among their additions to the breakfast offerings is the Creole "Eggs and Grits," in quotes to recognize that neither eggs nor grits are involved. Tofu and cauliflower masquerade quite well, however, as the former ingredients thanks to their supple texture and well-balanced seasoning of the tomato sauce. Of course, they don't taste THE EXACT SAME as regular eggs and grits (who could ever buy such a claim), but they do taste very, very good, and more importantly, don't one leave one hungry or guilty for blowing all your calories for the day before lunch.

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Another winner was the crunchy coconut shrimp, technically a lunch item, though also wonderful at the end of a cold rainy day when you're craving takeout but not the MSG bloat. The prawns liberally coated in shredded toasted coconut and served on a bed of Thai basil rice with pineapple, making for a light, sweet, and satiating supper. (Psst, also nothing wrong about using the calories you saved for a Mai Thai with your meal.)

I was extremely skeptical Snap Kitchen could pull off a non-rich version of a French classic like beef burgundy (cue Julia Child rolling over in her grave). They did, sort of, keeping to tradition with the red wine reduction and the vegetables (carrots, onions) but substituting lean cubed beef for chuck or sirloin. That swap as well as a modest portion allows for a boeuf bourguignonesque experience good enough to stave off cravings.

In the sea of fabulous Houston dining establishments focused on decadent dishes, Snap Kitchen is an island of reprieve for us gluttons that offers many options for getting back on track without sacrificing too much flavor.

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