It's kind of a cliche that people start out January on a healthy kick. But cliches are usually true, and evidence can be seen at any LA Fitness right now. Mob scene. Welcome newbies, please step aside, that is "my" locker.
Back to Where to Eat. Dallas restaurants are on a healthy kick like never before, with more Impossible burgers, more bowls, more grains, more quinoa.
The good thing about these places is that, even if you're not trying to "get healthy," they're all still very good.
For January Where to Eat, here are 10 new healthy options around town:
Beyond Veggies Grill
New mom-and-pop restaurant in Plano features burgers and chicken sandwiches side by side with vegan versions of the same. Open at 1885 Dallas Pkwy. #300, at the corner of Park Boulevard, in the space next to Torchy's Tacos, Beyond Veggies comes from Nate and Cici Hanson, who wanted to bring a fast, healthy option to Plano with both regular meat and plant-based meat, for lunch and dinner. Their menu features customizable bowls, wraps, tacos, or salads. It includes a chicken sandwich, burger, vegan chicken tenders, vegan chicken sandwich, a Beyond burger, tacos, fries, or queso & chips.
Blue Sushi Sake Grill
Sushi chain with three locations in Dallas-Fort Worth has added a new lineup of vegan sushi, featuring products from Ocean Hugger Foods, which uses vegetables in magical ways. Ahimi raw "tuna" is made from Roma tomatoes. Unami "eel" is made from eggplant. What is especially persuasive about these items is their texture: firm-yet-fleshy. Blue Sushi is a forerunner in this category, already well known for its selection of vegan sushi, and is a favorite with the Dallas-Fort Worth vegan crowd and for those who don't do raw fish.
Carl's may be a chain but it's jumping feet-first onto the Beyond Meat bandwagon, becoming one of the first national U.S. quick service restaurants to offer plant-based options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There are two breakfast offerings: the Beyond Sausage Burrito with a Beyond Breakfast Sausage patty, scrambled egg, shredded cheese, hash-rounds, tomatoes, and salsa served in a soft, warm tortilla, for $4.79; and the Beyond Sausage Egg & Cheese Biscuit, with a Beyond Breakfast Sausage patty, American cheese, and a fluffy folded egg served on a Made from Scratch Biscuit, for $3.99. They complement the current Beyond Famous Star and Beyond BBQ Cheeseburger.
Healthy restaurant chain based in Washington D.C. features traditional Greek and Mediterranean cooking in a casual modern setting, dedicated to fresh, Mediterranean-inspired, better-for-you cuisine. Menu includes their signature crazy feta, spicy lamb meatballs, and cauliflower quinoa tabbouleh, as well as a rotating seasonal offering of juices, soups, and roasted vegetables. The chain opened its first DFW loation at Plano's Legacy West i 2019, and will open its second location in Dallas' Uptown area at 1919 McKinney Ave. on January 21.
Chain founded in India in 1975 serving Indian street foods has opened a location in McKinney, on the boundary of Allen at 8910 SH 121. Their menu includes Indian and vegetarian with street foods, sandwiches, dosas, chaat, uttapam, and pav bhaji. They incorporate influences from western, southern, and northern India, including spicy Indo-Chinese dishes. There are dosas, combination plates, fried rice, noodles, and sandwiches including vada prav, like a slider, with a fried potato dumpling nestled inside a house-made bun.
California-based chain that specializes in salads and sandwiches opened its first Dallas location at 2355 Olive St. in Uptown. They have great salads with options such as the Orchard with kale, "mixt" greens, grilled chicken, applewood smoked bacon, seasonal apple, sharp cheddar, avocado, toasted almonds, savory herbs, and balsamic vinaigrette; and the "Beetnik" with greens, arugula, roasted golden beets, avocado, goat cheese, toasted walnuts, dried cranberries, shaved fennel, and balsamic vinaigrette. They also do grain bowls and entree type dishes such as grilled flat iron steak with Korean bbq sauce, mashed sweet potatoes, and roasted Brussels sprouts.
Modern Market Eatery
New dishes at this fresh chain are heavy on the veggie, including a pizza featuring Beyond Sausage Italian Crumbles, from Beyond Meat with ricotta, Brussels sprouts, onion, smoky jack cheese, and chili oil. A Harvest Cobb salad has romaine, roasted chicken, shaved Brussels sprouts, egg, green apple, sweet potato, pomegranate seeds, candied walnut, and scallion ranch dressing. Seasonal Fire Roasted Veggies have Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, radish, and carrot. Ricotta Pom Toast has sourdough toast with ricotta, Brussels sprouts, kale, bacon, pomegranate seeds, and Grana Padano.
The Original ChopShop
Healthy chain from Arizona debuted in North Texas in 2018, and now has seven locations in the area. Its newest Dallas location is at the Lakewood Shop at 6465 E. Mockingbird Ln. The menu includes protein bowls, salads ("chops"), sandwiches, juice, protein shakes, acai bowls, breakfast items, and parfaits. It follows a location that opened in Allen at the new Stacy Green Shopping Center, at 829 W. Stacy Rd. across from the Allen Premium Outlets.
Panera may be a chain but their locations are clean and accommodating, with free wi-fi and lots of healthy options. They just announced they'll be increasing plant-based options like edamame and quinoa, from 25 percent of the menu to 50 percent. They added grain bowls in 2019, and those turned out to be their most successful introduction in years. Their Mediterranean Grain Bowl, for example, has cilantro lime brown rice and quinoa, grape tomatoes, kalamata olives, cucumber, hummus, lemon tahini dressing, feta crumbles, and Greek yogurt. Hopefully they'll bring back their soba noodle bowl, and their veggie bowl, which disappeared when the grain bowls came out.
Small rooftop bar and restaurant parked on top of the Mid-Elm Lofts building at 1514 Elm St., where it's serving lunch, dinner, and cocktails, with one-of-a-kind views — the main view being The Eye, the Tony Tasset sculpture which is next door. At lunch they have egg rolls, dumplings, wings, and "tofu" French fries. There are spicy tuna tacos and "blossom" tacos – sushi style tacos served in a seaweed shell with avocado and rice.