Food Porn: Merge Restaurant

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A couple of months ago, Alli and I tried Merge, a newer restaurant on Delaware Ave (near Allen) that caters to the vegetarians, vegans, and anyone who wants a healthy lunch or dinner.  It appears that the place is getting a great word of mouth and I’m optimistic about their future.  They’ve since acquired their liquor license, updated their menu, and their staff performed much better than during our previous visit (the service has been the biggest complaint from other customers as well).

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We started our meal with an appetizer of bruschetta, which had fresh mozzarella and roasted red pepper/tomato pesto on seasoned croutons (in addition they were drizzled with some of their house balsamic).  Now I’ve eaten a lot of bruschetta in my time (it’s one of my favorite foods) and Merge’s version did not disappoint.  Typical bruschetta has a chunkier tomato element, but the creamy pesto was a very nice (and delicious) twist.

Katie Panini

Katie Panini

Alli ordered the Katie Panini, which is a grilled cheese panini, with granny smith apples and lightly packed jicama.  Jicama is basically a root, otherwise known as “Meixcan Turnip” and I think it was added to the sandwich as more of a filler and less about taste (which was also masked by the sour-ness of the apple).  Regardless, I enjoyed the panini, Alli, however, did not.  (Alli edit: it wasn’t horrible, but apples in sandwich form just didn’t quite taste right to me.   It was pretty much just warm apples and toasted bread, which isn’t totally a bad thing, but I just wasn’t impressed.)

Pita Pizzas

Pita Pizzas

I ordered the Pita Pizzas (my one way to eat pizza during the current ‘health kick’ I am going through right now).  It’s pretty much what it sounds like, slices of pita bread that has sauce (extremely sweet, think marinara sauce), mozz cheese, and your choice of two vegetables.  I opted for my favorite pizza toppings, black olives and broccoli.  I normally don’t love a very sweet sauce, but in this case, it worked rather nicely with the crisp pita bread.  The side dish of mac & cheese was not as impressive as it was the first time around (during our first Merge visit); it was sort of “old” tasting, like it has been sitting in a fridge too long and thrown in a microwave real quick before serving.  That was disappointing but not something that should deter you, they have plenty of sides to choose from (check out their menu for options).  Other than a subpar mac & cheese, overall, my second experience was as enjoyable as my first (and even though Alli was unsatisfied with her sandwich, I think that was more due to her personal taste, and not because the sandwich was made poorly).  Side note: I really wish their new menu still offered the Brushetta Trio we enjoyed during our first visit.

Whether you are a health nut or not, I highly suggest you check out Merge; they are a great addition to the downtown restaurant (and entertainment/art) scene.  Other than a nice place for a healthy lunch or dinner, they also second as an art gallery (complete with art supplies at every table in case you feel creative while waiting for your food).  They also seem to have different events going on all the time; movie nights, art classes, music, etc (check out their calender of events).

(If you have been there and didn’t like the service or maybe the menu didn’t suit to your tastes, I urge you to give this place a second chance).

Merge on Urbanspoon

4 thoughts on “Food Porn: Merge Restaurant

  1. Michelle

    I was really disappointed with Merge. Especially since everything sounded so delicious in print on the menu. I thought the ambiance was excellent, but what we tried was much too sweet. My boyfriend and I shared the Sweet Potato Calzone and the Greek Wrap I believe, and there was nothing to balance the extreme sweetness of the items. I got macaroni and cheese on the side and that was delightful.

  2. Mary

    I love Merge! I have friends who are vegetarian and don’t like going out a lot to eat because most restaurants don’t offer (a lot ) of veg options. I have had both the Katie panini and the Pita Pizza – both are delicious. I actually like the apples in the panini, no offense haha. Gives it a good crunch. Also – their sweet potato fries (a side option) are so good!

  3. I am always on the lookout for good veggie food. The pita pizza and panini both look delicious, will have to try this restaurant some time.

  4. Please make another visit to Merge. As you know, Merge has gone through many changes in the past few years. The food is amazing,and they are one of the only places in town where you can listen to live music along with your wonderful dinner in the city. The menu changes with the season, and they serve Only dinner and Saturday brunch, but also are available for private parties, weddings, and special meals for lunch and other occasions. They show local art in their ever changing gallery…and there is a completely wonderful local vibe…worth another visit!

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