Whining and Dining: A Fresh Start to the New Year at Vibrant

An almond flour taco so good I wish I had two.
An almond flour taco so good I wish I had two. Photo by Brooke Viggiano

Life has changed for this food writer. As a brand-new mom, poppin’ bottles has taken on a slightly different meaning. But while I find myself seeking out diaper changing tables for the first time ever, I’m still on the hunt for all the awesome happy hours, exciting menus and H-town icons, both new and old. Only now, I’m bringing my baby, Quinn, along with me. This “Whining and Dining” series looks at dining out with a baby in the city (more specifically, In the Loop, because Quinn doesn’t like to travel too far from home just yet).

My husband Dave and I are attempting to get our steps in this year, and since Quinn loves a good stroll, a Saturday morning walk to Vibrant made its way to our weekend agenda. Fitting, because the modern, nutrition-minded, feel good restaurant places an equal emphasis on wellbeing and pleasure.

click to enlarge The bright, clean space sets the mood for a good-for-you meal. - PHOTO BY BROOKE VIGGIANO
The bright, clean space sets the mood for a good-for-you meal.
Photo by Brooke Viggiano
The bright, contemporary concept offers indoor and outdoor seating (you’ll find café tables and comfy booth seating), and both are plenty Instagram worthy. We placed our order at the indoor counter, grabbed a number and snagged a seat outside on the shaded patio.

The menu here is full of local, organic and fully satisfying eats — earth-friendly and free of stuff like dairy, sugar, gluten and corn — for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There’s also a whole lineup of scratchmade breads and pastries created by Oxheart co-founder Karen Man, with a pastry case that rocks streusel-topped root veggie muffins next to almond-buckwheat chocolate chip cookies.

As much as I wanted those cookies, we were there for breakfast. I decided on the breakfast tacos and a side of housemade chicken sausage, while my dining companions ordered the buckwheat pancakes; Quinn has a penchant for soft foods (still no teeth!) and sharing some of Dave’s fluffy pancake fit the bill that day (of course, she also brought her Cheerios). A different version of pancake also makes its way onto the dedicated kids menu, one I’m sure Quinn will be hitting once she gets a bigger appetite.

My only mistake was ordering one breakfast taco and not two. The almond flour tortilla made me completely forget I was going grain-free, and it was perfectly sturdy enough to hold the pasture-raised scramble, greens and avocado, plus the hunks of chicken sausage I stuffed inside. Creamy jalapeño salsa brought a nice heat to the taco, and it was a lovely breakfast alongside an house coconut milk cappuccino. Hit with unexpected flavor combos like an airy coconut banana whipped cream and lavender-kissed maple syrup, the pancakes were also a treat.

click to enlarge Have a big stroller? Snag a seat on the outdoor patio to get away from the hustle and bustle of inside. - PHOTO BY BROOKE VIGGIANO
Have a big stroller? Snag a seat on the outdoor patio to get away from the hustle and bustle of inside.
Photo by Brooke Viggiano
Located on the westside of Fairview, the restaurant’s only about a half-mile walk to the playground and tennis courts at Cherryhurst Park. Something else to look forward to with Quinn.

TL;DR: Serving wholesome eats for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this bright and airy fast-casual concept is both nourishing and satisfying. It also offers a dedicated kids menu from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Kid-Friendly Dining Essentials
Parking: Lot
Seating: High-chairs available
Bathrooms: Changing table in the women’s restroom
Kids menu: Yes (7 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
Reservations: Takes reservations, but not required
Extras: Hit the playground at the nearby Cherryhurst Park

Vibrant, 1931 Fairview, 832-409-6423
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Brooke Viggiano is a contributing writer who is always looking to share Houston's coolest and tastiest happenings with the Houston Press readers.
Contact: Brooke Viggiano