Between going to the gym, working multiple side gigs, and trying to squeeze in one more networking happy hour, eating healthy in Austin isn’t always easy. Thankfully University of Texas graduate Nelson Monteith is now giving North Austinites an option that is far more appealing the usual handful of baby carrots.
Honest Mary’s is dishing up fast, clean food from a new restaurant at 9828 Great Hills Tr., Ste. 300 in the Arboretum. The eatery, named after Nelson’s wife, Mary, was created out of necessity. Like many of us, Monteith often reached for the wrong kinds of foods when he was out and about. So with the consulting help of Eldorado Café owner Joel Fried and former Alamo Drafthouse and Verts Mediterranean Grill culinary director Jason Donoho, he decided to open a fast-casual spot that catered to a variety of specialty diets while committing to using local, organic, non-GMO ingredients.
The menu features six grain bowls, including the Aloha Poke (ahi tuna, lime basmati rice, edamame, and avocado) and the spicy Dear Quinoa (French lentils, steamed kale, sweet potatoes, microgreens, and peanut sauce). Guests can also build their own meal from several bases, including chicken, steak, tuna, tofu, or farmers market veggies, allowing patrons to design meals that fit a variety of dietary needs from gluten-free to Whole 30. Each month, a bowl in collaboration with a local fitness business will be featured, starting with this month’s CorePower Yoga bowl chock-full of quinoa, arugula, apples, beets, chickpeas, and Texas goat cheese.
Sweet treats include an almond butter cookie sprinkled with Maldon sea salt and a crisped rice treat sweetened with brown rice syrup. Be sure to also try out the cucumber honey and ginger limeade aguas frescas, Kosmic Kombucha on tap, and iced yaupon tea … or the local craft beer and organic wine selection if you are feeling the need for some vice.
The airy space and patio, designed by Matt Tsang of M. Walter Design, is mostly in black and white with small pops of vibrant red, green, and orange — perfect for a meal on the go that doesn’t feel rushed. Potted philodendrons sit on ledges on one wall, echoing the fresh theme of the menu and geometric-patterned pillows encourage comfortable lingering.
“We wanted to create a place that is truly life-giving in every way — from the food that nourishes, to a space that feels clean and fresh like your home, to our focus on local ingredients which stimulates local economy,” said Monteith in a release. “Our goal is for people to be filled up when they come to Honest Mary’s — unlike the way most fast food spots will leave you feeling.”