Star Ingredient of the Season: Sweet Potato
Like the Samuel L. Jackson of the vegetable world, I find the sweet potato to be one of the most versatile and hard-working ingredients of them all. When it comes to meal-prepping, it is many people's "good carb" of choice; during Thanksgiving and Christmas, it makes appearances in both sweet and savory dishes from turkey stuffing to sweet potato pies; and of course, in the summer months it is a favorite among vegetables to throw on the grill for a fantastic sweet-and-smoky flavor.
A root vegetable with excellent health benefits, the sweet potato (especially those varieties with deep orange flesh) is high in fiber and beta carotene. With its starchiness and sweet flavor, it is ever the adaptable ingredient, making a marvelous base for soups, casseroles, stuffings, even desserts. Although a distant relative of the potato, the sweet potato is much higher in nutritional value, which one reason we're seeing this brightly colored alternative being used more frequently in restaurants today. The option of upgrading to sweet potato fries from just plain old regular fries is a thing now, almost everywhere you go. As the health food trend continues to take over in Houston, the sweet potato tops our list this week of the star ingredient of the season. And, if the sweet potato is the Samuel L. Jackson of the vegetable world, then Dish Society is its Pulp Fiction.
Priding itself on a regularly changing seasonal menu, Dish Society is as farm-to-table as it gets. From fresh-pressed juices and house elixirs to tasty starters like pork belly bites served with ancho-cured honeydew, the casual eatery supports local vendors and uses the finest quality Texas ingredients it can procure. The menu may seem out of your comfort zone at first—a citrus fennel salad with sunflower seeds is no Caesar salad after all—but you'll quickly realize that the unique, sometimes strange-sounding combinations are what make Dish Society so special.
Daring to be different, Dish Society opts to use a sweet potato as a base for its loaded baked potato. Piled high with Texas grass-fed brisket, green onions, cheddar, house-made barbecue sauce and a mess of cabbage slaw, the vibrant sweet potato is a bold choice and adds a sweetness to the dish which compliments the meat in a distinct way. Priced at $12, the loaded baked potato is more than enough for two to dig into, or it can be a fun summer side to share at the table. With its colorful layers and extreme look, this is one dish definitely worth experiencing at Dish Society.
Open daily for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, Dish Society is often crowded with hungry (and thirsty—the restaurant features a full bar!) diners craving a fresh, out-of-the box meal.
The restaurant also offers a social hour on weekdays from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. and spotlights small plates such as pretzels with gouda queso, wine and cocktails for only $5. As many of the menu items change seasonally depending on what produce is available, Dish Society features a variety of house favorites which remain on the menu throughout the year, the brisket stuffed sweet potato being one of them. That means you can rest assured this star ingredient isn't going anywhere.
Dish Society, 5740 San Felipe St., Ste. #100, 832-538-1060, dishsociety.com