Tonight I Dined: Govinda's Houston

Govinda's opened this summer at the ISKCON Hare Krishna temple in the Houston Heights. The facility was always worth a visit because of the beautiful architecture, and now it's definitely worth a visit since the opening of this vegetarian restaurant! They are opened for a lunch buffet and a dinner buffet with a mix of Indian and American cuisine. There is a small salad bar and about 8 hot offerings. Everything is labelled, and most of the offerings are labelled vegan. I got two American dishes: pasta and BBQ tofu. The pasta was just ok, I like it more al dente, but the sauce flavor was really good. The pasta seems like a good option for a family dining here with a picky kid. The BBQ tofu texture was really chewy and great, the sauce was tangy, but I wish the flavor was more developed. For the Indian cuisine I tried: Aloo Baingan (potato and eggplant), kidney bean curry, fried cauliflower, papadum (cracker), tamarind sauce, and mint chutney. The fried cauliflower was my favorite thing on the plate, and tasted amazing dipped in the tamarind and mint chutney (which was actually very spicy!). My second favorite was the aloo baingan, it was perfectly spiced and very filling. The red kidney bean curry was also amazing, and a dish I had never tried before! The interior is well decorated and very modern (and quite large, so it would be good for groups). I would definitely recommend this restaurant to vegans, because it is one of the few places in Houston that serves Indian food that labels items as vegan and you don't have to inquire about the ingredients!

Things to know: (1) Location: from 34th street turn onto Golf Drive. The temple is fenced in but you will see an opening to the parking lot. From the parking lot make your way into the main plaza between the two buildings. You will see a blue sign for Govinda's and follow it to the bright red awning of the restaurant. (2) Drinks are extra...but they have mango juice and mango lassi (for non vegans).