New gluten-free soul food spot Carmalita's Cuisine opens its doors in The Heights

Looking to chow down on some soul food fare? A new spot has you covered. The new addition to the Heights, called Carmalita's Cuisine, is located where Dacapo's Pastry Cafe used to be at 1141 E. 11th St.

Cookbook author Carmalita Batiste shared her approach to healthy Southern food in her book "Taste and See Healthier Living." Now she and her husband, John, are doing the same for the Houston restaurant scene with this organic and gluten-free restaurant.

Look for sides of green beans, corn and cauliflower rice. There's chili with beans, chicken-and-sausage gumbo and a grilled chicken salad with berries. The Creole chicken is simmered in a Louisiana-style tomato sauce with cilantro, peppers and spices.

There are international twists here too, like a classic (except gluten-free) lasagna, and beef enchiladas.

Finally, dessert is no afterthought. Your options range from a relatively modest three-layer carrot cake to a banana split cake made with a three-cream icing, strawberries, pineapple, chocolate syrup, caramel and roasted sugared pecans.

The newcomer has already attracted fans thus far, with a five-star rating on Yelp.

Sam S., who was the first Yelper to review the new spot on Jan. 13, wrote, "Everything is so flavorful and delicious. It's amazing that they have cauliflower rice. I am so used to not being able to have rice because I can't have regular rice. The owners are amazing."

Intrigued? Stop in to try it for yourself. Carmalita's Cuisine is open from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. on Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on Friday, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday. (It's closed on Saturday.)

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