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Pine Forest Garden

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 18 reviews )
Contact 713-772-2888

9108 Bellaire Blvd, Houston, Texas, USA, 77036

Houston vegetarian restaurant in a shopping center next to a school. Serves Chinese food that's vegan and without onion or garlic. Menu is extensive and includes the use of mock meats (ask if contains whey). Offers weekday lunch buffet. Brightly lit interior with plenty of tables. Reported a few dressings might contain egg or dairy, so ask. Open Mon-Sun 10:30am-9:00pm.

Category: Vegan-friendly, Chinese, Buffet, Take-out, Catering

Reviews (18)

First Review by Amazingrobie

I go elsewhere in Chinatown for vegan food - Edit

I tried Pine Forest Garden once, and would not go back. My friend and I ordered at the same time, I got my meal, but the kitchen obviously forgot my friend's. It came out well after I finished eating, so we got it to go. My meal had vegetables that tasted (and looked) like they were from a frozen mixed vegetable bag (not fresh and not flavorful). All the tables around ours had not been bussed, with dirty dishes remaining there for the duration of our dining experience (over half an hour). I'm disappointed at this experience, and will go elsewhere for vegan in Bellaire.

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Hungry? - Edit

I loved the variety of vegetarian dishes, the food was delicious. Cooked perfectly, like the Asian style food. They had vegetarian sushi, and desert items, soups, dumplings, and other varieties of dishes. Definitely bring friends and family to a lovely meal, where anyone can enjoy a wonderful plate of food for a good price. Dim lighting, and very calm atmosphere with wonderful staff.

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:) - Edit

My family goes here regularly and I also come here quite a bit with friends. In fact, you could call it THE vegetarian restaurant we go to, on those rare occasions we do go out to eat. To me, I get tired of going to the same place every time - but what I really mean is I'm tired of my mom ordering the same dishes every visit. In truth, the food isn't bad and I dislike overly seasoned food and this place fulfills that to a T. The items aren't usually that salty (which is bad for your health anyway) and there's supposedly no MSG used, or so their window displays. The waiters/waitresses are rather helpful as well and the manager's always really friendly. As for the pricing, I always thought it slightly high, but then again, I'm someone who enjoys cooking my own meals and that's much cheaper. Especially since a family favorite is the restaurant's hot pot, which has one of the more expensive pricings.

Pros: healthy food, good atmosphere

Cons: you pay for your rice

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Varied choices on the buffet, but... - Edit

I've just had lunch here. I haven't been for a long time, and I was surprised at the variety of items on the buffet. I was also happy that my buffet lunch and hot tea cost only $10:28. That's a lot cheaper than many other vegetarian buffets in Houston. The service was good too. So what does the "but" in my title refer to? Temperature! Other that the soup, which was very hot, all my food was tepid. Maybe that's a problem with a lot of buffets, but it should be possible to overcome. Next time I'll order from the menu.
Updated from previous review on Tuesday August 14, 2012

Pros: Food variety, Cost, Service

Cons: food temperature

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Pine Forrest Garden - Edit

I had eaten some food from here about a month okay and was not impressed. The staff is nice and so is the restaurant. I had the Vege Seaweed Shark Fin w/ Slice Veggie Soup and the Vegetable & Tofu Soup. The two soups I had were not so great. Not that flavorful and weird tasting. The food was hard to chew and tasted old. Maybe it was a bad day or those were not good foods. Especially based on the reviews.

Pros: friendly staff, vegan food, clean

Cons: not good food, pricey, not many options

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Pine Forest Garden is AMAZING!!! - Edit

Whenever we go out to eat for an evening meal, we come HERE because the food is beyond delicious! Also, the manager is one of the nicest people I've ever met - he always greets us with a genuine smile & makes sure we are happy with our meal. Next time we're going-in for the breakfast buffet. This is sincerely the BEST VEGAN FOOD I'VE EVER HAD! If you are new to veg cuisine and/or are trying to help someone you love go veg - then THIS is THE place to take them! For newcomers who haven't ever had a proper delicious vegan meal - I HIGHLY recommend the mock-meats because the textured protein is absolutely REAL tasting! My personal favourites are the "Kung-Pao Chicken" and the "Sesame Chicken" - both come with rice and a full helping of broccoli. Much love & peace to all of you!
~Michael & Hanna

Pros: Delicious vegan food, Great value, Best manager

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When I made the decision to not eat at Asian restaurants that fries foods in the same grease as their pork, shrimp, and chicken items, (such as General Joes, Sweet and Sour, Spring rolls and Tempura) Pine Forest became my go to place after that.

Many people don't know it, but many so-called veggie friendly Asian resaturants use Oyster sauce and MSG as a flavoring, but Pine Forest has remained true in keeping the food Veggie friendly and delicious.

The owner, whom is also one of the head chefs is a sweetheart that has been so accommodating and helpful to me and my dining guest, that he will tweak and alter certain dishes for regular customers by request! He also stops by to say hello if he's not not too busy.

I was late picking up an order close to closing hour once, and he stayed right there and waited patiently and told me no worries! (Though I wouldn't push it. lol)

I suggest the mock Sesame Chicken, mock Kung Pao Chicken, and the lunch buffet to name a few.

Make sure to ask which items have whey, and which ones don't if it matters.

The mock meats are so good, I have found myself asking the servers "Are you sure this isn't meat?!"

Updated from previous review on Tuesday August 23, 2011

Pros: Delicious, Super friendly owner, Best mock meats

Cons: Heavy chinese accents can be an issue

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Food is Amazing- Gigantic Portions! - Edit

We live 45 minutes away depending on traffic... but Husband and I decided to give Pine Forest Garden a try and boy were we impressed! The plates we ordered would easily serve 4 people. I ordered the kung pao vegan chicken (mild because I'm a wimp LOL) and he ordered the sweet & sour vegan pork. They both came out on HUGE plates with 2 huge bowls of brown rice. Also, (important to me) their iced tea was amazing. My husband is a bottomless pit and barely put a dent in this food. We packed up what we couldn't eat and each ate TWICE the next day off of leftovers. This huge meal, plus 2 teas, plus 2 desserts only came to $23! We went back the next day for the buffet and were even MORE impressed with every single selection in the buffet-- and less than $7 each buffet? AMAZING food, amazing prices, amazing service!

Pros: HUGE portions!, AMAZING prices!, great service/staff!

1 Response

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gr8d8 22 Feb 2013 - update 8/6/2011: Just found out mock meats are not vegan here :( They are selling the mock meats they use in a freezer case in the restaurant (I asked them to make sure those are the ones they use and the lady told me indeed they were) and they all contain whey. I'm very disappointed because my husband and I have been eating here very frequently and sending all of our vegan friends here. :(

Give it another chance - Edit

I have been going to Pine Forest Garden since they opened and I have to agree that early on their food was bland and inconsistent,but after my meal today I would have to change my review. The food was fresh, clean, and tasty, anyone that has not been there in 6 months should give them another chance.

Pros: Fresh, Good variety , good taste

Cons: wish they were inside the loop

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Vegetarian Buffet - Edit

I had the pleasure of finally visiting Pine Forest Garden. It was a long time coming. I thoroughly enjoyed the buffet which was fresh and tasty. I agree that the seasoning is understated but it is delicious. They supply sambal sauce at each table to pep it up a bit. The standouts were the mock fish in brown sauce and this yummy tofu ball in green sauce (not sure what it was but it was very tasty). Also they offer whole mock fish rolls to take home. I did and will definitely travel back.

Pros: Clean, Fresh, Variety

Cons: Parking lot

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Authentically Chinese - Edit

You will see this beautiful restaurant packed everyday for the lunch buffet, especially by the Chinese community. Very delicious all-you-can eat everyday. More authentically Chinese maybe than other places that cater to Westernized palates, but always plenty of fresh fruit, salad, soup and many varieties dishes to please anybody. Less spicy over all than some places. The proprietor has a heart of gold and very proud to speak about everything in his restaurant being vegan.

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Nice owners, but bland food - Edit

We've been to Pine Forest a few times for the buffet, but always find the food to be bland and not the freshest ingredients. We really want to support our local veggie restaurants and wish this one was more flavorful. I also question this restaurant being listed "vegan", as so many of the Asian-sytle veggie restaurants use the mock meats that contain whey and even some egg products. Perhaps the owners of the restaurant can verify they use only vegan ingredients in all the mock meat products?

Pros: nice owner, inexpenise

Cons: bland taste, question their mock meats being vegan, food not always fresh

1 Response

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gr8d8 22 Feb 2013 - This restaurant is sadly NOT VEGAN. The mock meats are NOT vegan. They contain whey, as I found out today 8/6/2011. :( I don't know if the owner knows that whey is not vegan?

Good Food, Good Price - Edit

While I agree that the fake chicken appetizer was kinda weird tasting, that is the only thing I agree upon with the last few reviews. I eat here about once a month, and I've always been pleased with my food and never felt like I was overcharged for it, in fact the portions are the perfect size for the price. My personal favorites are the corn soup, flat noodles with beef and the cashew chicken. I think it's just a matter of what you order; if you order something that sounds crazy, than it's probably going to be kind of weird. I've never tried the buffet, as it never looked that personally appealing to me. It may be better to just order from the menu, which has a ton of choices. It's no Quan Yin, but it definitely deserves a chance.

Pros: lots of options, resonable price

Cons: buffet-iffy

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That's right. This restaurants food doesn't taste anything like garbage, in fact it doesn't taste like anything at all. I've eaten at Quan Yin and Pepper Tree and a ton of other vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Houston and this one is by far the worst of the bunch.

The fake chicken nugget appetizer tasted like salty cardboard, the chef house specialty eggplant & tofu in brown sauce was so slimey and bland it was ridiculous. It had absolutely no taste at all and the fake chicken curry was the only dish I tasted that was passable.

Initially I was going to go try out Hometown Vegetarian Cafe, but it was Wednesday and they were closed so I tried this one instead and I will never eat there again.

Do not be fooled by the menu. It has a ton of selections on it. Tons. But if you want to waste between $12 and $15 bucks a trip and eat tons of bad food to find something that's only passable, please be my guest.

Pros: Clean environment, Helpful Friendly service, Good location

Cons: Bland, tasteless food, Overpriced for the value, Specialties are the worst menu items

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~~Not My Type of Restaurant~~ - Edit

I felt the same way as the previous submitter. My co-workers and I were there sometime last month due to a gathering and I had felt nauseous after having their lunch buffet. Either they were using severe MSG, which I am allergic to, or they were serving NOT-QUITE-SO-FRESH food. The food, overall, had no taste and the one gentleman would keep looking my way everytime I got up for another serving, which made me quite uncomfortable to eat more although it was supposed to be ALL YOU CAN EAT. Complete waste of money.

Pros: not too greasy, nice atmosphere

Cons: freshness not guaranteed

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