Sunday, September 6, 2009

Zig Zag to Ziggy's

Last weekend was a feast - a feast of food, as I ate at many of Houston's amazing and affordable restaurants; a feast of friendship, as I got to spend time with the loved ones in my life; and a feast of good conversation, as we chatted up a storm on topics ranging from educational equity to the pimp/ho dance number in a light show we saw.

For brunch with my friend Karima, we went to Ziggy's Healthy Grill, just down the street from my house. For years Ziggy's has been serving Houstonians food to fit any dietary need, even before phrases like "eat local" and "gluten-free" became buzzwords. And while there are many Houston restaurants who are now jumping on this bandwagon, I think Ziggy's does it best, with a wide variety of menu items, a charming, casual atmosphere, lovely staff, and some of the yummiest sausage a flexitarian can hope for.

Take a look:

My neighborhood Ziggy's is situated in this Victorian house. Retaining the dark woodwork inside, and a cozy, home-like vibe, it just says "neighborhood." Plus, I can walk there from my house, so hooray!

A sign out front announces that at Ziggy's, your food is not going to be a mystery:

Meat and eggs come from Georgia's Texas Grassfed Beef. I love knowing where my food comes from. I also love that because these types of words now are buzzwords, this sign is sure to bring in customers.

We like to start off brunch with a Bloody Mary. These spicy, yet slightly-sweet versions are some of the best Bloody Marys I've ever had. Ziggy's is also famous for cocktails which use fresh juices rather than the mass-produced syrups (I wrote about the mystery ingredients in cocktail mixers here). Nothing beats a margarita with fresh lime.

And how's the food? Well, I have to say, I'm a sucker for the basic restaurant breakfast - eggs, hashbrowns, toast. And sausage. I love sausage but I don't get to enjoy it very often, since I don't eat mammals, and I'm trying to avoid processed soy. Ziggy's turkey sausage is spicy and flavorful, and a welcome treat for me. (Click here to read their menu and your mouth will start to water)

To top it all off, the staff has always been nothing but fab. Friendly and chatty (but not unctuous), they always seem generally glad you're there, and you can hear them say "See you next Saturday" to the regulars.

All in all, I love Ziggy's because it's an antidote to so much of what makes America crazy. It's neighborhood-centric, as opposed to generic; fresh as opposed to mass-produced (hand-cut fries!); transparent with information as opposed to secretive. So, Houstonites, next time you're feeling hungry head on over. You can tell them I sent you (they won't know what you're talking about, but you could tell them anyway).

Do you have a favorite green dining experience where you live? Share in the comments section.

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