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Gone are the days when the only options for vegetarian diners in Houston were pizza, pasta, or a sushi roll with cucumber and avocado. These days, restaurants as diverse as Indika, Caracol, Songkran and Backstreet Cafe offer diners a full vegetarian menu, with options just as mouthwatering and delicious as the protein-heavy entrees.

This week, we're spotlighting Ruggles Black for your next Meatless Monday excursion. Open for both lunch and dinner, the menu at this Upper Kirby spot includes a flavorful selection of hearty vegetarian dishes made with organic, farm-fresh ingredients. Sure, it sounds like "been there, eaten that," but Ruggles Black offers more than just a delicious, veggie-friendly place to eat. Located on prime real estate at Kirby right off of Highway 59, the ultra-trendy restaurant transforms from power lunch crowd by day to a who's-who-of-Houston showcase by night. Packed to the brim most evenings, including its full bar and back patio, the space is dimly lit and intensely romantic.

But a chic scene isn't all that sets Ruggles Black apart—there's also its intriguing fusion cuisine. From the "street eats" menu, look for paleo veggie tacos with a spicy jalapeño-serrano mayonnaise; it's just as well-seasoned and savory as Ruggles Black's beef short rib or paleo snapper tacos. The samosa flatbread is a most unusual take on both the Indian and Italian classics, made with spicy masala potatoes and a cool, creamy cucumber yogurt sauce. And in the way of lighter dishes, the kale Caesar salad packs a punch with zucchini, shitake mushrooms, broccoli, cucumber, dried cherries and mango, with a miso Caesar dressing and whole wheat croutons—a refreshing change from the same old Caesars indeed.

Ruggles Black, 3963 Kirby Dr., 832-530-4493,


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