Georgia's Farm to Market
I've enjoyed a couple of meals here. It's a huge health/natural foods store with a soup and salad or hot lunch buffet 7 days a week. There's a good variety on the salad bar, including gazpacho, organic quinoa mix, tabouli, spring greens, store-made dressings, etc. There seems to be a reluctance to use oils in the cooking - the quinoa, tabouli and hummus were all very dry; not bad but I wouldn't have minded a little more oiliness. I haven't tried the hot soups yet.
The highlight of the hot lunch buffet are the meats - grass fed beef and lamb, pastured poultry, natural pork. They have several hot vegetable dishes on the buffet but I haven't tried any of them. Nothing has been highly seasoned. The best things I have had were 'Mexican Beef' and Apricot chicken, the latter being the tastiest chicken meat I've had in a long time. The only thing I've had that disappointed, and did it ever, was the vegetarian chili. It was extremely bland, lacking in both heat and cumin.
There are also ready made sandwiches and a selection of breads, plus sandwiches to go and a couple of desserts which I have passed up for the fruit and yogurt section of the salad bar.
It's a very spacious facility, about the size of Phoenicia Specialty foods but no where near as crowded by aisles. The dining area is very spacious also and mostly it's large wooden dining tables that seat 10 persons. A tea cart comes around and prepares for you a personal pot of tea from their large selection of teas.
In the grocery section you can find Alta Dena dairy products (the luscious yogurt on the salad bar is made with Alta Dena milk) plus the frozen meats and prepared meals, etc. On weekends there are lectures and demonstrations and fresh meats.
Having to use the Beltway to get there adds to the cost so I won't be able to go as often as I'd like.
The hours for the buffet/brunch posted on the website don't seem to be accurate. I was there after 2pm on Sunday and was told the brunch would be available until 3:30.
This was formerly called Sandy's and is on I-10 between Dairy Ashford and Kirkwood on the south feeder.
Edit: I don't seem to understand how to add the restaurant link so I'll just paste it here:
We get Georgia's grass-fed beef (from their farms in Waller and Grimes Counties) through our co-op, and it is outstanding.
I live very close to Sandy's but have only been to the buffet once. I do not recall meats on the buffet, only things like turkey spaghetti and other casserole type dishes. The salad portion is amazing though, variety wise. The dressings were watery, probably because of the oil aversion you mentioned. Perhaps I was there when it was still Sandy's though, because there were no sandwiches either. Thanks for the update.
It appears Georgia's at Dairy Ashford is closing due to developments in that parking lot, including a free standing Chili's. However, I I see that they seem to be opening an outpost at Piney Point and I-10 in a former gas station that was last a "Tall Plants" nursery. You who traverse that way will know the one.