About Jennifer Taylor

Jennifer Taylor joins the writing team at Interfaith following a career in journalism and public relations. Originally from Scotland, Jennifer moved to The Woodlands in 2012 having lived and worked in Asia for 5 years. She enjoys running, traveling, and spending time with her husband and their two boys.

Farm Fresh Foods

The farm-to-table restaurant culture is bursting onto The Woodlands culinary scene with wholesome food and the freshest local products in high demand. 

Food lovers are savoring the inventive fusion of local and seasonal goodness from the abundance of quaint bistros and cafes that are popping up all over The Woodlands area. Whether you’re in the center of town or keen to explore the wider countryside that surrounds us, a healthy, farm fresh bowl of goodness awaits.  

From boutique cafes to the more established culinary names in the area, all of these restaurants embody the belief that healthy food can be delicious and flavorsome. They pride themselves on using only locally sourced ingredients and the freshest seasonal products.

And what’s more, these eateries continue to build on a cause close to our hearts too – community involvement. As well as sourcing as many products from the nearby area as they can, many of these homegrown diners know what it means to give back to the community by using small, local businesses to handcraft much of their décor. These restaurants also aim to be as environmentally conscious as possible by composting and recycling.

Each of the cleverly crafted menus will help you on your way to becoming a seasoned health foodie, while respecting the community and environment that allows us to enjoy the healthiest fare to our hearts desire.  

Here is our list of the top farm-to-table and ranch-to-fork fare in The Woodlands area that will satisfy any palate and keep you coming back for more.

TRIS 

TRIS sits in the heart of The Woodlands and is the definition of fine dining incorporating the ranch-to-fork philosophy. Executive Chef Austin Simmons and his talented team at TRIS treat loyal customers and new guests with the perfect experience through upscale food and drink, artful service and finely tuned hospitality. 

Whether you’re looking for a casual business lunch or a high-end dinner, you can rest assured that you are in good hands at TRIS with an artfully crafted menu featuring some of the finest cuisine in Texas.

TRIS honors its passion for true ranch-to-fork fare by partnering up with Unique Meats, a family-owned business and premier provider of exotic meat from the best ranches across South Texas. The team at Unique Meats pride themselves on the quality of their meat, which starts with free-range ranches where the deer are raised on grass and free of steroids and medications. Unique Meats ensure their meat is delivered humanely from the field direct to the table.

TRIS now has a new exclusive steak program with HeartBrand Ranch,  a beef company specializing in bringing 10-year-old beef to consumers. Heartbrand Ranch, recently featured in Texas Monthly and The Wall Street Journal, is carving out a market for cuts from more mature animals. The ranch, headquartered in Harwood, Texas, is an Akaushi cattle ranch dedicated to breeding superior beef. TRIS was one of only a handful of restaurants nationwide to receive a portion of the first 10-year-old cow and is now proud to be bringing Woodlands consumers an exclusive steak experience.

Try: Chef’s Burger. Two smashed Akaushi Wagyu patties, bacon jam, American cheese, iceberg lettuce, English muffin

The Wheel Kitchen

Serving up farm fresh food since October 2016, this charming eatery is set on a lush area of farmland on the outskirts of The Woodlands and has become a top favorite on the farm-to-table scene.

Serving and catering for both breakfast and lunch, the menu items feature only homemade, organic or farm-raised ingredients. It’s easy to feel right at the heart of the real food movement here with plates that change with the seasons and beautifully crafted dishes bursting with the freshest local products. 

Try: The Wheel Buddha Bowl. Seasonal roasted vegetables, a spinach blend, organic brown rice, quinoa, roasted chicken breast and an herbed chia yogurt sauce.

True Food Kitchen

With a philosophy that food should make you feel better, not worse, True Food Kitchen ‘celebrates a passion for better living’.

Featuring a passionate team of chefs, restaurateurs and a doctor of integrative medicine, the True Food philosophy envisions healthy, fresh food that packs a whole lot of punch without ever sacrificing an ounce of flavor and taste.

The central Woodlands location offers an extensive menu that caters for all lifestyles including vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free.

Try: The Ancient Greens Bowl. Miso sesame glazed sweet potato, turmeric, charred onion, snow pea, grilled Portobello, avocado, hemp seed. With your choice of any protein. 

 

Flower Child

A vision of ‘healthy food for a healthy world’, Flower Child burst onto the fresh food dining scene, opening their Lake Woodlands location in April this year.

Flower Child offers dine in and takeout options, with a promise to nourish mind, body, and soul.

Beautifully crafted plates and organic drinks made from scratch help bring the concept of a happy plate to life. Using only farm fresh ingredients from close to home, the restaurant aims to cater to all tastes from paleo and vegan to kids and just plain hungry!

Try: The Glow Bowl. Spicy sweet potato noodle, bok choy, zucchini, onion, jalapeno, shiitake mushroom, coconut milk and sunflower butter.

Herb & Beet

Head on over to Herb & Beet’s new Sawdust location for a true taste of Texas. Its handcrafted menu changes seasonally to offer the best of the area’s produce all year round.

This fast-casual restaurant has partnered with dozens of local farms to bring the freshest farm food to The Woodlands area. With a three-tiered focus on food roots, sustainability and staff appreciation, Herb & Beet honors its environmentally friendly approach from the ground up, from its expansive patio garden to its efficient kitchen equipment. 

Try: Hickory Smoked Cobb Salad. Crisp romaine lettuce, grilled chicken, avocado, house smoked bacon, tomato, blue cheese crumbles, deviled egg, and smoked poblano dressing

The Kitchen

Another popular choice in The Woodlands culinary scene is The Kitchen. Formerly known as Hubbell & Hudson Kitchen, the restaurant first began serving meals to Woodlands diners back in November 2010.

Kick back in a relaxed, casual setting as The Kitchen brings its executive chef Austin Simmons’ culinary vision to life. Offering hot and cold sandwiches, live oak wood grilled meats, burgers and farm fresh vegetables, The Kitchen also offers a 65 item salad bar and eight homemade soups daily. 

Try: Oak Grilled Mahi Mahi. Ginger soy glazed, butter whipped potatoes, grilled asparagus, arugula and cilantro.

Fielding’s Local Kitchen + Bar

A firm fixture in The Woodlands Village of Creekside Park, Fielding’s Local Kitchen + Bar, is a popular restaurant known for its quality of local-sourced ingredients. Working with 44 Farms in the Houston area, as well as small wineries and craft brewers, the restaurant is the epitome of farm-to-table creativity. 

The impressive, ever-changing menu features steaks that are hand cut and beef that is dry-aged on the property. The kitchen makes its own pasta and bakes all of its breads and pastries daily. 

The restaurant also pays homage to the environment from which it receives its array of succulent ingredients, having been built using as many repurposed and energy efficient materials as possible. Part of its bar is made of reclaimed whitewashed wood and all booths and bar stools are recycled leather. They even have a filtering water system for cooking and drinking water.

Try: 12oz 44 Farms, Texas
Prime Ribeye. Dry-aged 40 days. 

Bellagreen

Hailing itself as ‘the greenest restaurant in Texas’, Bellagreen is an American bistro for the new age. Every item is made from scratch in their kitchen, located on Research Forest. Bellagreen aims to deliver the most flavorsome tastes as possible by using the freshest and finest local ingredients. The kitchen is more than happy to modify items on an individual basis to align with any dietary choice whether it’s gluten or dairy free, to vegetarian, keto and paleo.  

Bellagreen also reinforces its Green Philosophy by focusing on reducing its ecological footprint through water-saving devices and alternate power sources. By practicing exactly what they preach, Bellagreen’s green practices keep them in harmony with the environment. 

Try: Honey-Fried Goat Cheese & Arugula Salad. Baby arugula, fresh jicama, almonds, raisins, shaved carrots & mango, tossed with mango ranch dressing & topped with parmesan cheese & a honey-fried goat cheese medallion.

Moving Forward – Overcoming Grief and Making a Positive Difference

Coping with the death of a loved one is undeniably traumatic, but when a woman loses her husband, the grief can be intensified by the fear of facing life alone. The Woodlands Modern Widows Club (MWC) has been formed to bring widows together to offer support and friendship during the most difficult time of their lives. The members’ shared experience of loss links them together as they lean on each other to try to come to terms with their grief and navigate their way through a new way of life.

The MWC is a national organization, founded in 2011, with chapters all over the US. The Woodlands chapter was founded in 2016 by Cindy Wilson, following the untimely death of her husband in October 2015. Through her own heartbreak, Cindy felt impelled to establish a group for widows in the Woodlands and surrounding areas.

“I help widows understand their new life and teach them how to survive,” explains Cindy, MWC Woodlands Area Chapter Leader. “We are not ‘grief support’ in so much as we are LIFE support; we focus on moving forward. The MWC lets widows know they are not alone in their grief and that we are here for them with friendship, connection, understanding and support.”

Cindy describes the MWC as a ‘tribe and a sisterhood’ and credits the group for helping her cope with the difficult days and months since her husband’s passing. “We aim to help every widow move forward and we know it takes a lot of energy to be able to do that, so our aim is to help make life a little easier.”

Ed Eason, Lead Guitarist for Carrie Underwood, together with a group of young widows including Ellie and National Leader and Founder Carolyn Moor at the Carrie Underwood concert in Houston.

The average age of widows in the United States is just 54 years old. The MWC welcomes widows of all ages whose lives are inextricably linked. One such inspiring connection was formed between two widows who were drawn together through the Woodlands MWC. Despite being generations apart, Nancy Beyer and Ellie Dawid had both suffered the catastrophic loss of their husbands and had reached out to the MWC to find their way through life again.

Ellie was mourning the loss of her husband Mike who died in an unthinkable tragedy in 2016, a workplace shooting. Their son Noah was just 2 years old when his father died. Ellie was left a widow at just 34 years old. Ellie explains what life was like for her after her sudden and heartbreaking loss. “I was in a fog just trying to survive,” she says. “I had no choice but to keep going.” After the first year, Ellie says the fog started to lift a little and she realized she needed to find people who could relate to what she was going through. “When I came across the MWC, I immediately liked that they were about empowering other widows and helping us lean into the new life we had no choice but to be living.”

A widow in her 60s, Nancy lost her husband 4 years ago and was also seeking support and friendship to be able to get to grips with her new reality. “After a year of grief counseling through my church, I needed to find a group that focused more on moving forward,” explains Nancy. “I wanted to live my life with the same zest and commitment that I had when I was part of a couple.” Nancy had an immediate connection with the women in the MWC and says Ellie, in particular, inspires her to keep pushing forward to live a full and meaningful life. “Ellie and I are decades apart in age, yet we have such a strong connection. She pushes me to be more resilient and that’s really beneficial to me.”

One of the many things the MWC has taught Nancy since finding herself widowed at 64, is the realization that her grief, although crushing, does not define her. “I have had to redefine myself and thanks to Ellie I have learned that I can still have the exuberance for life that she has.” Nancy and her late husband led a full and productive life together, owning a successful construction company. Nancy felt a fundamental desire to continue to contribute to society and that desire came to reality following a chat with Ellie about her studies at the University of Houston.

Both women have a strong affinity with the campus, with Ellie’s late husband Mike having graduated from the University. It’s a place that also means so much to Nancy’s family. “I was looking for ways to contribute and as soon as Ellie started talking about her studies at the University of Houston and her husband’s connection with the School, I knew immediately what I was going to do.”

Nancy found herself honoring the MWC’s Mission Statement to ‘empower widows to lean into life, build resilience and make a positive difference in society.’ Thanks to Nancy’s philanthropic gesture, Ellie now has full funding for her college degree, paying homage to her husband’s memory. “It’s so enriching to be able to help change someone’s life,” says Nancy. “Ellie deserves nothing but love and success and I am honored to be a part of her journey.”

Modern Widows Club members attending the Carrie Underwood concert

Ellie is currently studying full time for a BA in Psychology. She hopes to continue her studies for a Master’s in Psychology. “I’d like to specialize in grief counseling and my goal is to become a psychologist to help kids like our son who have lost a loved one,” says Ellie. “The MWC is such a wonderful group of women and Nancy and Cindy have been so incredibly encouraging.”

The Modern Widows Club Woodlands Chapter meets monthly at the Canopy Survivor Center in the Woodland’s Memorial Hermann Hospital. As well as offering friendship and support, the group hosts guest speakers who deliver talks on a range of relevant subjects including self-defense and legal issues such as dealing with wills. The group also meets regularly on a social basis.

For further information and contact details, visit:
www.modernwidowsclub.com/chapters/woodlands-area-chapter/