HOUSTON – Now more than ever, we’re looking out for our local favorites while also trying to eat healthier, because let’s face it - the quarantine diet doesn’t include a lot of fresh vegetables. Luckily, businesses like Eatwell Bakery Café on Westheimer Road are still open and eager to help you take the guesswork out of getting healthy meals for your family.
Back in early March before the City of Houston issued the stay-home-work-safe order, Houston Life’s Lauren Kelly stopped by Eatwell Bakery Café to meet its local small business owner, Ziad Kalek, hear his story and discover the mission behind his healthy meals.
“We started eight years ago. My wife wanted a bakery café with cappuccino, espresso, a little cake and cookies,” said Kalek. “We started adding this and that. It’s out of hand now, and we make everything in-house from scratch.”
The café’s name “Eatwell” stems from a sentiment present in many families. According to Kalek, when children complain to their mothers about feeling under the weather, one of the first questions she will ask is “Are you eating well?” In extreme circumstances, the question is replaced by a command of “Eat well!” Kalek aims to share this motherly love with all of his customers.
“Where I come from, Lebanon [in] the Middle East, we were all brought up to have that kind of hospitality,” said Kalek. “Eighty percent of our business are repeat loyal customers. We know them by name, and they bring their children here because they want to raise their children to eat healthy.”
One of the most popular dishes at Eatwell Bakery Café is their falafel sandwich. Though the business has been open for eight years, Kalek has been making falafel sandwiches for more than four decades.
“When we started making falafels back in ’74 at the Main Street Festival, we did five-thousand sandwiches in three days,” said Kalek. “That’s how the falafel sandwich is done!”
For those unfamiliar with the cuisine, the falafel is a popular Middle Eastern deep-fried dish made with chickpeas and other ingredients. Watch the video above to see Lauren Kelly try her hand at making them.
Recently, Eatwell Bakery Café, along with other local businesses, has seen a dip in sales. Houston is renowned for its diversity and food, but with ordinances to stay home, restrictions on dining in and a rise in unemployment rates there are growing concerns for those working in the restaurant industry. Though many places are still open for delivery or take-out, it has been a difficult adjustment for businesses to make.
“We try our best to cope with this situation. To be safe and to make our customers safe [when] they come in,” said Kalek. “I hope everything will be ok – for us, for the whole country.”
Eatwell Bakery Café has modified its menu to accommodate current social needs. While most of its regular menu items are still available for purchase, customers can now also order a week’s worth of meals for families or individuals. Each meal will also include a free loaf of bread. Additionally, while supplies last, Kalek is offering a free loaf of bread to anyone unable to find bread for purchase at grocery stores.
Eatwell Bakery Café is open for take-out between 8 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. daily.
To place an order, call 713-360-6600. For more information, you can visit their Facebook page here.