Growing Houston Restaurant Chain Debuts Fourth Location in Uptown District

A spread of dishes from Houston restaurant Leaf & Grain. Photo by Kirsten Gilliam.

Leaf & Grain, the popular, locally-owned and -operated restaurant concept known for flavorful, health-conscious salads, smoothies and grain bowls, has opened its fourth location at 5779 San Felipe in the Briargrove-Tanglewood area. It is located in the center of a small shopping center, replacing the former Zoës Kitchen, with plentiful free parking onsite.

Leaf & Grain co-founder Deets Hoffman. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.
Leaf & Grain co-founder Deets Hoffman. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.

The restaurant, from owners Deets Hoffman, Edward Thompson and Murray Manley, has the same menu as its other locations in addition to a sandwich menu with two exclusive offerings. Houston Food Finder was invited to visit the new Leaf & Grain location for a friends and family soft-opening event. 

The dining room of Leaf & Grain San Felipe. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.
The dining room of Leaf & Grain San Felipe. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.

Gin Design Group conceptualized the  2,850-square-foot space, mirroring the aesthetic of the West University location, with counter service and ample seating in a bright, airy floor plan. The space is accented by live plants and framed art. 

Leaf & Grain utilizes sourdough bread — made in-house — as well as ciabatta sourced from local bakery Slow Dough Bread Co. for its sandwiches. The breads are also available to order alongside any meal. The sandwiches are only available at the Weslayan and San Felipe locations for now, and options include Southwest Turkey with turkey, pepper jack cheese, pickled red onion, corn, lettuce and chipotle ranch, the Farmers Market with roasted chicken breast, goat cheese, honey, apple, arugula and mayonnaise, and other lighter, classic options including chicken pesto, turkey club and homestyle chicken.

The Southwest Turkey sandwich at Leaf & Grain. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.
The Southwest Turkey sandwich at Leaf & Grain. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.

There are also several smoothies available to keep things light. A few of the varieties include Berry Boost! With blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, banana, oat milk and agave nectar, the Leaf & Green with spinach, kale, banana, mango and pineapple, and the Chunky Monkey with banana, almond butter, oat milk, low-fat Greek yogurt, agave nectar and 100% dark cocoa powder. 

The mission statement of the restaurant is “showing people that food can be tasty and filling and still be good for you.” The recipes at Leaf & Grain incorporate many of the international flavors that make Houston such an outstanding food city in a manner that makes it “easier for people to put the right things in their body, without feeling like they’re having to make a sacrifice.” The idea of not sacrificing enjoyment is evident in its selection of well-made grain bowls, soups and salads.

The new Leaf & Grain San Felipe location. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.
The new Leaf & Grain San Felipe location. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.

Guests can build their own grain bowls, or choose from specialty options such as The Alamo with brown rice, kale, roasted cage-free chicken, avocado, house Texas cheese blend, cherry tomatoes, diced red onion, black beans, tortilla chips and chipotle-lime vinaigrette with a squeeze of lime; Good Greek with brown rice, spinach, chopped romaine, roasted chicken, Persian cucumber, cherry tomato, diced red onion, creamy feta, pita chips and Yia Yia’s Vinaigrette; or Sesame Chicken Crunch with brown rice, spinach, chopped romaine, shredded carrots, chili-marinated cucumbers, cured napa cabbage, sesame green beans, fresh cilantro, roasted cage-free chicken thigh, cashews, wonton strips and sesame-cashew dressing.

Two soup options are available: classic tomato soup with housemade croutons and chicken tortilla soup with chicken breast, black beans, avocado, shredded cheese and tortilla chips. Popular salad choices include MFH Veggie Boost 2.0 with shredded kale, roasted sweet potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts, curry cauliflower, pickled red onions, goat cheese, roasted pepitas, golden raisins and avocado vinaigrette; Pollo Laredo with chopped romaine, avocado, tomatoes, corn, Texas cheese blend, tortilla strips, chicken and cilantro-jalapeño dressing, and the L&G Caesar with shredded kale, chopped romaine, roasted chicken, shaved Parmesan, croutons, Parmesan crisps and L&G Caesar Dressing. Guests can also build their own salads and any of the salads and bowls can be made vegan or vegetarian.

Lemon caper salmon at Leaf & Grain. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.
Lemon caper salmon at Leaf & Grain. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.

For heartier dishes, try the plated lemon-caper salmon with Norwegian salmon, green beans, roasted sweet potatoes, crispy shallots, arugula, quinoa, brown rice, lemon-caper yogurt sauce and a squeeze of lemon; the French Country Dinner with lentils du puy, brown rice, roasted carrots, roasted cage-free chicken thigh, arugula and citrus vinaigrette, or opt for the Alamo Supreme bowl which includes double the amount of chicken and cheese tossed in a zesty mix of chipotle-lime vinaigrette and cilantro-jalapeño dressing.

The French Country Dinner at Leaf & Grain. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.
The French Country Dinner at Leaf & Grain. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.

The new location is in its first week of operations, and it’s bringing things home for Hoffman, who “grew up playing Post Oak Little League and spent a lot of my childhood in this area, so this is definitely a special one. We cannot wait to serve the Briargrove-Tanglewood community!”

Leaf & Grain is open daily from 10:30 a.m. until 8 p.m.

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