Local Foods Kitchen
4548 Hartwood Drive
Local Foods Kitchen opened last summer, tucked in a cozy corner of Tanglewood Village. The cheery interior and side patio bear no resemblance to the former salon that used to occupy the space.
Chef Katie Schma’s tour of duty began in Dallas when she opened the four-star City Cafe on Lovers Lane with her family. Her next stop was Napa, California (Oakville to be exact), where she showcased her seasonally inspired take-out menus at Nest Cafe.
“Nest was a popular townie and tourist hole-in-the-wall,” says Schma. “We did takeout like Local Foods Kitchen, yet with plastic-covered tablecloths, rickety chairs and checkered floors. Since Nest was next door to Mondavi vineyards, we would have chauffeurs pull up in huge white stretch limos and guests would come in and order my sandwiches, on their local wine tours.”
The market pantry, take-out and catering genre is her specialty, and with the ability to change the menu monthly to suit her mood and feature the best each season has to offer, there is always something new to savor in Local Foods’ vast display cases.
Open for breakfast (with selections from old-fashioned oatmeal to paninis and burritos) and serving a brisk lunch business, Local Foods closes early (around 7:30 p.m.). The dinner crowd she is seeking is happy to stop in after work or on the way home from myriad spring sporting events to pick up either a full meal or any combination of main course, sides and desserts to take home. The Tanglewood crowd has caught on quickly; Local Foods Kitchen is packed for lunch and has become the go-to stop for quick meals and entertaining options.
Soup and salad combos abound at lunch. The Hulen wedge ($5.99 half or $7.99 full size) is a classy iceberg wedge salad strewn with full strips of smoked bacon, scallions, diced tomatoes, chopped pecans, sizeable chunks of blue cheese and Paula’s Deep Ellum Blue and Ranch dressing.
Another favorite is the power salad ($6.29 half or $10.29 full size), which is chock full of Texas lettuces, roasted sweet potato, broccoli, edamame, carrots, sunflower seeds, walnuts, craisins and apples.
I love her egg salad too, and she serves it in the egg and smoked bacon sandwich ($8.45) on toasted sourdough bread, along with lettuce, tomato, red onion and smoked bacon. On a recent visit we sampled the grilled Caprese ($8.45) which is also served on grilled sourdough with fresh basil pesto. Creamy fresh sliced mozzarella is piled high with sliced red tomato and peppery arugula, making for a hearty vegetarian meal. In fact Local Foods Kitchen caters neatly to the vegetarian and vegan set. Pro tip: You can also order a sampler plate with your choice of three veggies and salads from the case.
The albacore tuna salad sandwich ($8.45) is a simple, fluffy and unembellished tuna salad served either grilled or cold, on lovely seeded whole wheat bread. The sandwich comes with white cheddar slices, field greens and thin slices of red onion.
Save room for dessert! The from-scratch dessert case is filled with tantalizing choices such as strawberry lemonade cake, warm chocolate pudding and blueberry lemon pie. We enjoyed the rich hazelnut Oreo cake ($5.99) with its four layers of moist chocolate cake frosted with a sweet and salty hazelnut butter cream. Likewise the chocolate cheesecake ($4.99) is one of the smoothest and creamiest around, with intense chocolate flavor, decorated with sliced strawberries and chocolate wafer cookies and a velvety cream cheese layer. You can also buy whole cakes and pies, just order ahead.
Local Foods Kitchen is also a fun place to stop for an after-school treat with its old-school glass jars filled to the brim with an assortment of cookies and bars, including almond and vanilla cookies, old-fashioned almond crescents and peanut butter sandwich cookies. Schma has pulled together a charming environment in which to relax and enjoy everything from her homemade granola for breakfast to her decadent dessert selections.