Call it the Oprah effect. Since the queen of all media announced in July 2018 that she was investing in True Food Kitchen, the restaurant catapulted from being a cult brand to a household name. But long before that vote of confidence, Austinites were in on the secret, making the Seaholm location one of the most popular eateries in town.
Now the company is set to build on its success in the Capital City with a new location opening at 11410 Century Oaks Terrace, Ste. 100 in the Domain. The restaurant was originally slated to debut in late 2018, but inevitable hiccups pushed it back to mid-February, according to a release.
True Food was founded in 2008 by celebrity physician and alternative medicine advocate Dr. Andrew Weil and Sam Fox, the powerhouse restaurateur behind Fox Restaurant Concepts (North Italia, Culinary Dropout, and Flower Child). The concept was build around Weil’s anti-inflammatory food pyramid, an omnivorous eating plan with a heavy emphasis on fruits, vegetables, whole and cracked grains, and beans and legumes.
The difference between True Food and some other health-focused eateries is that the menu doesn’t necessarily seem like diet food. Although there are plenty of lean proteins, seasonal vegetable offerings, and whole grains, the chain focuses on a wide variety of globally inspired seasonings in dishes like roasted Brussels sprouts with Asian mushrooms, miso sesame vinaigrette, and chili threads and Moroccan chicken with mission fig, heirloom carrots, chickpeas, olives, Greek yogurt, and chermoula (an herb relish traditionally served with fish in several Middle Eastern countries).
The restaurant also makes room for indulgence. The mostly vegan and entirely gluten-free dessert menu features satisfying but sweets like a squash pie with a graham cracker crust and coconut whipped cream; chic seed pudding with banana and toasted coconut; and flourless chocolate cake with caramel, almond, cocoa nib, and vanilla ice cream.
True Food also doesn’t shy away from alcohol. Although there are several options like matcha horchata and pressed apple soda for the non-imbiber, the restaurant is fully stocked with wine, beer, and spirits. The cocktail program is based on fresh fruit and vegetable juices, often with an herbal component as in the Forbidden Root with lemon-infused vodka, apple, red beet, and rosemary or a grapefruit martini with a hint of Thai basil.
In keeping with the sustainable theme of the food, the design of the 8,000-square-foot space uses recycled materials like reclaimed wood floors and plastic dining chairs rehabilitated from soda bottles. Keeping in the same general feel as the first Austin location, there are few barriers between the kitchen and dining room and an expansive patio provides plenty of al fresco dining space.
A company rep says the exact date will be announced in the coming weeks. Until then, the construction team will be finishing up the last details and job fairs to fill approximately 135 front and back of house positions will be held daily January 7-26, with the exception of Sundays.