‘Watts for Dinner’: True Food Kitchen, the name says it all

Will Watts
Correspondent

Not sure where I read this, but it stuck with me. Our next dining destination was described as a “relaxed, eco-chic chain serving health-conscious fare, including vegan options, plus cocktails.”

That pretty much sums it up. Here’s how our experience went at True Food Kitchen in North Naples.

Things got off to an appetizing start with the charred cauliflower ($9), featuring harissa tahini, medjool dates, dill, mint and pistachio.

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The dish is both vegan and gluten free, something you’ll hear me say a lot during this review. It was perhaps the best cauliflower dish I’ve ever eaten. It’s lick-the-plate good. Every ingredient mentioned just serves to enhance the natural flavor of the main vegetable.

We had one other appetizer, the edamame guacamole ($11), also vegan, and featuring avocado, cilantro pesto, pumpkin seeds, Aleppo chili and house-made pita chips. Amazing. Absolutely incredible. The pita chips had a very tortilla-like quality. The other ingredients were visible to the naked eye, not blended in. Unexpected. But it works.

For my main entrée, I selected the teriyaki quinoa bowl ($14) which is gluten free and initially vegan. But you can add a protein: tofu, chicken, shrimp or grilled sustainable salmon. I picked the latter.

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At first, I was concerned about my protein. It looked so perfect, I worried that it was fake or manufactured in some way (like a certain rib sandwich sold by a fast food clown). But every single bite of this dish was wholesome and amazing. It was not only good, but good for me and good for the environment. No guilt across the board. A win-win.

This dish had broccoli, rainbow carrots, bok choy, green beans, snap peas, mushrooms, brown rice, avocado and toasted sesame seeds. My mouth is watering just recalling it here.

My dining companion had the “Good Earth” kale cobb salad ($14), vegan and gluten free, and he added tofu. This salad features avocado, asparagus, snap peas, pickled jicama, coconut bacon, cherry tomatoes, garbanzo beans, gorgonzola cheese and an inspiring cashew poblano ranch dressing. This dish won rave reviews. I highly recommend it and everything else. Wow!

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We also took a couple of items to go. A vegan spinach and mushroom pizza ($16). Wait, vegan. But it had these great big islands of delicious ricotta cheese? Guess what. It’s a house-made vegan almond ricotta. Unbelievable! This dish had organic spinach, roasted mushrooms, a garlic puree, caramelized onions and Aleppo chili. They’ve gone and made pizza good for you! And it still tastes great!

We also shared a spaghetti squash casserole ($14), you guessed it, vegan and gluten free, and featuring

crushed organic DiNapoli tomatoes, caramelized onions, zucchini and fresh mozzarella. And this wasn’t squash pretending to be pasta. It was crunchy and “squashy,” and it worked.

The atmosphere is open and comfortable. The wait staff is friendly and conversational. Tens across the board. True Food Kitchen, the name says it all. Happy eating!

More:Hey Banner readers! Are you looking for a place to eat?

This newspaper pays for all meals related to dining reviews. We do not solicit or accept free food. Not all dishes are featured in print, but you can find a gallery of all reviewed dishes online at marconews.com.

If you go

True Food Kitchen

  • 5375 Tamiami Trail N., Ste. 15, Naples
  • 239-431-4580
  • truefoodkitchen.com