Baba Yega can be best described as an informal, somewhat cozy neighborhood restaurant in the heart of Montrose. Located in an old house with several dining rooms, a small bar area and two large outdoor patios, Baba Yega has a very comfortable feel. Since 1975 Baba Yega has been popular with not just neighborhood denizens, but downtown office workers and others in search of an honest meal in a welcoming and cozy setting.
The fare here is casual American cooking with a healthy bent. Many of the starters are local favorites, which results in an eclectic array of choices. The enticing, but healthy, salads include a fruit plate, twists on the garden salad, a spinach salad, and the Chef’s Salad with ham, turkey and cheddar cheese. Two of the more popular are the zesty Greek Salad with red onions and tomato, and their version of the Caesar salad with strips of marinated and grilled chicken.
For a place with such an emphasis on low-calorie and low-fat dining, it serves an excellent burger. These begin with a hand-crafted half-pound patty cooked to order with American cheese, mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato and a choice of bacon, mushrooms or avocado. Baba Yega is very generous with the bacon, as an order with it comes to around a half-dozen large, crisp slices. The sandwiches include a cheese-steak, a chicken breast, smoked turkey and brie, a muffaletta and a turkey burger. One of the long-time favorites and best choices is The Fantasy, consisting of ham with avocado, provolone cheese, tomato and mayonnaise. All of the burgers and sandwiches come with a choice of potato salad or fries. The crispy fries are usually the better option.
The entrées listed under “Vegetarian’s Delight” are mostly sandwiches, and some of the most popular dishes. The vegetarian sandwiches include one with a grilled portobello mushroom, a vegetarian club with “turkey style gluten & fakin’ bacon,” the Boca Burger with a vegan patty and choice of avocado or sauteed mushrooms, the Black Bean Burger, and the California, that has been on the menu since inception, made with avocado, provolone cheese, tomato and sprouts. There is also a pasta served with vegetables and another dish with grilled vegetables and rice.
Grilled Entrees include salmon, rainbow trout, grilled yellow fin tuna over pasta in a cream sauce with vegetables, a chicken breast, and grilled chicken pasta in a tomato sauce. There is also a twelve-ounce ribeye that is marinated then grilled.
In case you were wondering about the name, according to the menu Baba Yega is a witch in some part of Slavic mythology. This was the subject of the AOR-era Emerson, Lake and Palmer song entitled, “The Huts of Baba Yega,” which apparently inspired the restaurant’s founders.
2607 Grant (block east of Montrose, north of Westheimer) Houston, Texas 77006
Copyright Mike Riccetti. Adapted from Houston Dining on the Cheap, and used with permission.
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Image Credit: Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau (photographer: Hugh Hargrave)