Food For Thought offers healthy meals, cheap

By Katy McDowall

In the age of convenience, with its 70-cent microwaveable Ramen and greasy drive-thru fast food, busy college students can have a hard time finding healthier meal options. But for Baylor students there is hope: Terry and Jo’s Food For Thought.

A trip to the small restaurant, located three blocks from campus at 1121 Speight Ave., can take less time than it takes to get through the mile-long line at the Taco Bell drive-thru. On top of that, the food is healthier and still light on the wallet. Meals range start at $4 and are made with fresh, organic ingredients.

From sandwiches to burritos to pizza, Food for Thought provides healthy choices for both vegetarians and meat-eaters. The $5 black bean burrito, a whole wheat tortilla stuffed with black beans, avocado, homemade salsa and cream cheese, is filling and flavorful. With a side of blue corn tortilla chips and salsa, a salad or frozen yogurt, the meal does not leave more to be desired, unlike what “eating healthily” can imply.

Instead of sucking down a Big Mac, the $7 Earthquake sandwich also is a great choice. Served on wheat or rye bread or a Kaiser roll, the sandwich is packed with tuna salad, avocado, tomato, green onion, black olives, jalapenos, lettuce and mozzarella. These fresh, preservative-free ingredients make for a mouthwatering blend of flavors.

On the not-so-healthy side, the $8 chicken nachos have to be the cornerstone of Food for Thought’s offerings.

Still made with fresh organic produce, the nachos feature a massive pile of organic blue corn tortilla chips covered in melted mozzarella cheese and topped with beans, avocado, tomato, jalapenos, black olives, green onions and salsa. To finish them is a feat, but not as guilt-ridden of an experience as eating a Taco Bell XXL Chalupa.

Food for Thought also offers soups, salads and smoothies. Pizzas are available after 4 p.m., $8 for a 10-inch and $15 for a 16-inch, and are well worth the price. Half-price smoothies are available every day from 3 to 5 p.m.

The order-at-the-counter restaurant also fills to-go orders, meaning its small interior is often not too crowded. But although it is sparsely decorated and boasts ostentatious, brightly colored walls, part of the Food for Thought experience is eating there.

The staff is quiet but friendly, and most of the time service is quick but relaxed. Tables, which have long since seen their best days, line the walls and the middle of the room, and the plate glass windows offer a view of H-E-B across the street. Food for Thought is by no means beautiful, but its atmosphere remains welcoming and comfortable.

Founded by Baylor alumni Terry and Jo Otto in 2001, a decade later it is still a campus favorite because of its healthy take on college student favorites and simple atmosphere. Open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Monday-Sunday, it is a perfect stop for lunch or dinner.