Episode 14

A Taste of Austin's Healthy Dining Scene: The Well's Story with Nicole Pfromm


March 28th, 2024

24 mins 55 secs

Your Host

About this Episode

The significance of maintaining a healthy diet extends beyond mere physical nourishment; it impacts every aspect of one's life, from energy levels to mood and overall quality of life. By reducing the intake of processed foods high in sugars, unhealthy fats, and additives, individuals can lower their risk of developing these health issues and improve their overall longevity.

Join us as Nicole delves into the importance of adopting a healthy lifestyle and prioritizing nutritious food choices. From the meticulous sourcing of high-quality ingredients to the preparation of dishes free from harmful additives, Nicole demonstrates how The Well embodies a commitment to promoting health from the inside out with a deep-rooted belief in the transformative power of food.

Healthy Eating and Gluten-Free Options in a Restaurant Setting

Nicole had always been immersed in the service industry, growing up in her family's long-standing restaurant business, yet initially uncertain about making it her lifelong career. However, she found herself deeply drawn to the daily interactions, the sense of community, and the joy of being around people. It was this passion for connection that fueled her desire to create something truly unique in the dining landscape.

The inspiration behind their restaurant concept stemmed from a simple yet profound question: Why should people have to choose between eating well and dining out? She thought it didn't make sense that eating out often meant giving up healthy options. So, they decided to create a restaurant where people could enjoy dining out without compromising on nutritious food.

Collaborating with a renowned nutrition consultant named Liv, they embarked on a journey to redefine the standards of restaurant dining. Liv's expertise guided them in curating a menu that not only prioritized nutrient density but also celebrated bold flavors and vibrant ingredients. Together, they meticulously crafted dishes that combined healthfulness with culinary excellence, setting a new benchmark for their brand.

They also teamed up with designers to make sure the restaurant felt inviting and lively, breaking away from the typical look of health-focused places. They wanted it to be a spot where people could come for anything, whether it's grabbing a smoothie after a workout or celebrating a special occasion, and feel comfortable. Through their dedication to quality, community, and holistic well-being, they aimed to redefine the very essence of dining out, one nourishing meal at a time.

Discovering the Healthy and Delicious Menu of The Well

Personally, I’ve been avoiding gluten because I’m gluten-sensitive. As for my family, it has already been almost a decade of eating gluten-free. And yet, we still struggle to find real gluten-free food amidst all the processed "gluten-free" products. Thankfully, I discovered The Well during a late meeting at another restaurant nearby. Intrigued by its promise of health-conscious dining, I quickly became a regular, even gifting my patients with cards to enjoy meals there.

The Well’s menu philosophy was simple: stick to the basics and focus on real, whole foods. Free from gluten, dairy, soy, seed oils, GMOs, and refined sugars, their dishes were carefully crafted to prioritize quality and nutrition. Also, they prioritize sourcing their ingredients organically to ensure that their patrons are not exposed to potentially harmful pesticides. And so, they specifically avoid using non-organic versions of the produce items listed on the Dirty Dozen list as compiled by the Environmental Working Group, which identifies produce items with the highest pesticide contamination levels.

One of the standout items for me at The Well is undoubtedly the bone broth, and it's not just because of its exceptional taste. This hearty broth has earned its place as a favorite among patrons, thanks to its unique preparation method and undeniable quality. Made from high-quality bones, carefully selected and simmered overnight, it's a labor of love that infuses every sip with rich flavor and nourishing goodness.

According to Nicole, they use a large emulsifier to blend the ingredients, ensuring that all the essential nutrients, including collagen, are retained. Each order is then ladled out and blended again in a Vitamix blender to achieve a smooth and frothy texture, resulting in a delicious and nourishing beverage. Whether enjoyed on its own or incorporated into other dishes, The Well's bone broth is a testament to their commitment to providing not just delicious, but also wholesome options for their guests.

More of Nicole’s personal favorites on the menu are the roasted beet salad, salmon, and chicken bone broth. She also loves and recommends the chilaquiles, which she describes as uniquely flavorful and perfect for breakfast.

Healthy Eating and Menu Options at a Restaurant

At The Well, they're all about redefining healthy eating with flavorful and diverse options, ensuring wholesome food doesn't mean sacrificing taste. Their menu has evolved, embracing local brands like Cha Cha! Foods for tortillas and it's all good for gluten-free bread in sandwiches. One of their favorites is the chicken salad sandwich which is a lunchtime delight.

Recently, they've introduced new dishes like coconut curry squash and organic brown rice pasta, catering to families seeking both nutrition and flavor. Their focus on kid-friendly choices reflects their commitment to creating a welcoming environment for families, recognizing the importance of early exposure to savory foods over sugary items.

Their dedication to providing nutritious options extends to their beverage offerings as well. Despite offering a full bar, they prioritize using natural sweeteners like maple syrup and local honey, ensuring that even indulgences like cocktails are made with quality, homemade ingredients. This holistic approach underscores their mission to offer delicious yet wholesome dining experiences for all their patrons.

Healthy Local Restaurant in Austin, Texas

The atmosphere at The Well reminds me of dining in Spain, where quality ingredients, diverse menu options, and a relaxed ambiance come together seamlessly. With outdoor seating available at both locations, patrons can enjoy the pleasant Austin weather while savoring their meals. The restaurant has garnered a loyal following, with many patrons becoming regulars.

Reflecting on her European heritage, particularly her family's Greek roots, Nicole sees similarities with the focus on using fresh, locally sourced ingredients and simple, flavorful cooking. The goal at The Well is not to reinvent the wheel but to return to the basics of nourishing, wholesome food that promotes overall well-being. Like in European villages with abundant quality ingredients, The Well focuses on preparing dishes that optimize health without sacrificing taste.

The commitment to sourcing high-quality ingredients and preparing food without harmful additives like seed oils and gluten resonates strongly with the community. Nicole and her husband, rooted in the local community with their two young daughters, are dedicated to providing an optimal dining experience that promotes both physical and mental well-being.

For those looking to visit The Well, you may visit them from these locations: 2nd Street, Westlake, and Studio 3. This accessibility ensures patrons can enjoy nutritious, inflammation-friendly meals wherever they are.

About Dr. Rob's Solutions Podcast

Austin’s natural plastic surgeon Dr. Robert Whitfield brings you the true stories of actual patients, navigates through their surgical and non-surgical treatment options, then reveals their chosen path forward and the results they achieved.

Dr. Rob is a board certified plastic surgeon and Austin’s Natural Choice for plastic surgery, laser and energy treatments, and aesthetics.

Visit Dr. Rob's Austin plastic surgery practice website or follow him on Instagram at @drrobertwhitfield

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