Austin has always felt like a healthy food mecca, but it is only recently that I FINALLY got around to one of the newest additions, True Food Kitchen. And, well: Healthy food bliss ensued.
A bit of context: True Food Kitchen is a chain, with just over a dozen locations at the time of publishing, that focuses on whole foods and seasonal menus with options for vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free diets alike. One review describes it as “a relaxed, eco-chic chain serving health-conscious fare, including vegan options, plus cocktails.” I’d say that’s pretty spot on.
The Austin location of True Food Kitchen welcomes you in with a friendly sidewalk chalk sign and a beautiful patio full of vibrant plants and herb gardens. The interior is bright and open, with lots of white and green and touches of wood, plants and light. The menu is seasonal, so I’ve only experienced the summer menu, but can hardly wait to check out their fall and winter menus later in the year. They also offer a lunch/brunch menu, which I’m eager to try one lazy weekend morning.
The first tough decision you must make at True Food Kitchen is what you’ll be drinking. They have fresh honey lemonade with the option of adding matcha. They have fresh juice, coffee, and local kombucha. They have a full bar, with a fantastic wine and cocktail list. The Ginger Margarita is strong and super fresh. (You can always tell the quality of a bar from their cocktails and True Foods passes this test with flying colors!) I’ve also found my new favorite white wine thanks to True Food Kitchen: the organic Reisling by Snoqualmie Vineyards.
After beverages is the short but sweet “starters” option: The Kale Guacamole was tempting, but we chose the Paleo-friendly Farmer’s Market Crudite, which was a huge bowl of fresh, chopped veggies with a black olive dip and tzatziki. The staff here is knowledgable, and will help you avoid any ingredients you’re not comfortable eating.
The main menu is made up of different sections: pizza, salad, bowls, sandwiches, and entrees, totaling 25 options total. The bowls and salads all give the option of adding your choice of protein (chicken, steak, tofu, fish, etc.). Our table opted to try a few different items and ordered the Summer Ingredient Salad, the Spicy Penang Curry (with chicken) and the Grass-Fed Burger.
The salad was large and ultra-refreshing, consisting of heaps of fresh veggies, nuts, and currants in a beautiful vinaigrette. (It did include cheese, so if you’re Paleo just omit the necessary ingredients to fit your needs.) The curry was spicy and absolutely delicious, and came with brown rice. The burger was cooked to perfection, and served with a kale salad and sweet potatoes, but not with a gluten-free bun. I’ve been very impressed with the portion sizes for the price. Many similar restaurants in Austin will leave you slightly hungry with a similar price tag.
I was too full to try their desserts, but I eyed some amazing options on the menu, including chia seed pudding and flourless chocolate cake. The desserts alone might warrant a dedicated visit from me.
Overall, I’d give True Food Kitchen a 4 out of 5. I think there are some GREAT options for healthy eaters here; however, the restaurant caters more to the vegetarian and gluten-free crowd and not as much to the Paleos. This is easy to navigate however, in no small part thanks to a great staff that will answer any questions or make any modifications to your order. I’ll happily be visiting again soon to try their brunch and new seasonal menus.
True Food Kitchen Austin, 222 West Avenue, Suite HR100, Austin, Texas 78701.
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