Well Café [Auroville]

We will go anywhere for food. Seriously, anywhere.

That explains why we took an hour long ride in the hot sun, after a scuba session (❤) to reach the forest region of Auroville. Hidden away in the interiors of Auroville, you will find many a treasure and Well Café is one such treasure.

Wilderness is that word that defines this place the best.

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Why we recommend this café?

Firstly, the food is insanely good. It is simple yet amazing. The café specialises in Mediterranian cuisine with lots of hummus, falafel, salads and more. The options are limited and the food is prepared fresh by the local women.

Secondly, the ambience is amazing. An open garden café with random chairs strewn under a thick canopy of trees whose trunks are covered in colourful sarees. You will find crafts made from recycled paper hanging from above. Chirping birds, a dog or two, and a few really colourful insects (we did not know God made these, this colourful too) are your company. But don’t let this worry you, sometimes, such an ambience can do wonders!

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Thirdly, the café and the entire WELL centre (that includes a handmade paper shop, art gallery, etc. ) is managed by women for the empowerment of women in this area. This place gives you a peek into their lives. Spend some time and chat with the locals and they will share their stories with you! There also is a homestay next door and in case, living amidst a thick cover and with locals is your calling, you should definitely check out this place.

Fourthly, this café also hosts musical nights and other events from time to time. The ambience is then transformed to one of those mid forest camping-party style places which makes it even more awesome.

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We tried the Mint Cooler here which was a bit too sweet for us but was minty none the less. What we absolutely love and still lust over are the Vegetable Omelette & Cheese Baguette and the Eggplant & Labane Baguette. 

First I burned my tongue fighting over the super hot vegetable omelette and now I am drooling all over my laptop at the thought it. This cannot be good!

Vegetable Omelette & Cheese Baguette – The vegetable omelette was delicious on its own. Thick and so well spiced, it had onions, coriander and more. The curd cheese that was spread over the crispy pieces of bread was heavenly. Yup, we did lick it off the plate! If only we could fill like a jar or a room with it and bring it back to Mumbai!! These were served with three salads, a beetroot and cream based, a mixture of cabbage, beetroot, carrots & more and another one which had a little tart due to the addition of vinegarette.

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Vegetable Omelette & Cheese Baguette

Eggplant & Labane Baguette – Labane or curd cheese spread generously over the crispy bread which was then topped with smoked eggplant slices. This was another delight! This was also served with salads, with a pepper spiced cauliflower based salad being one of the portions served.

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Eggplant & Labane Baguette

Well Café is a place you would enjoy as much for the food and courteous, smiling service as you would for the peaceful escape it provides from all forms of chaos!

If you are ever in Auroville, this is definitely a place you should check out!

P.S.: Trust Google Maps, even if you feel it has lost its mind! It will bring you here.

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Well Cafe [Auroville] – Google Maps

Well Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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The American Joint [Borivali]

We are among the folks who were very happy when we saw that The American Joint has popped up so close to home. Every time we passed by the junction that is now home to The American Joint, we would smile.

We had been to the BKC outlet (read more here) earlier and had loved every bite we had there. So when we visited the Borivali Outlet, our expectations were sky-rocketing.

The outlet is huge in comparison to the BKC one. They have two levels of seating, the lower level with a few tables and a sprawling upper floor.

The interiors are classy and stylish and definitely make you stop and read/see again. Mainly done in greens and whites, the place has a good ambience and is quite spacious. You may miss this, so let us tell you, there is a small passageway on the first floor with tables to accommodate 2 and a maximum of three people, hidden away. We love the tables near the huge glass windows that give a good view of the road and park outside.

The service is pretty prompt and friendly. The menu is quite spread out compared to their BKC outlet and that is because they have introduced a whole new range of dishes, burgers, pizza, soups, salads among others, while also keeping their hot selling chef specials from the earlier menu.

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Here is what we tried at our meal at The American Joint:

Hummus to You  The hummus was perfect  – soft, well spiced with chilli powder and coriander and had a little tang. It was served with slightly crisp whole wheat pita bread pieces. The pita was really light and the dish was tasty overall.

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Hummus to You

Mountain O’ Nachos  Crisp tortilla chips with lots of veggies and loaded with Queso cheese sauce. It had olives, tomatoes, jalapenos that added a much-needed spiciness along with charro beans. We were served a smaller tasting portion but the actual portion size is filling to even look at!

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Mountain O’ Nacho

Garlic Bomb Cheese Bread ⇔ Small bread buns with sharp garlic flavour. Served on a bed of sizzling hot tomato and veggies sauce. It was spiced with a lot of chilli flakes and topped with lots of cheese. The cheese was the right amount of stretchy and chewy. This is something you will definitely not want to share. And the aroma was equally mouth watering. Delicious!

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Garlic Bomb Cheese Bread

Tikka Fries ⇔ Thick, crispy fries served with a gravy. But they did not do justice to the tikka gravy. It was supposed to be spicy but it lacked any strong flavours. It was just a creamy tomato based paste. Did not do justice to the name or description. Also, the fries, though were crispy, could have been much better. They were essentially hollow! 😦

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Tikka Fries

We called for Pineapple Julep which was a delicious blend of juices. It was tangy-sweet and one would not be able to point at a single flavour but will definitely smile at every sip! Mint and lemon made it refreshing!

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Pineapple Julep

We called for a few shakes as well. The shakes are very light. Going by the name, if at all you are assuming them to be freak-shakes of sorts, then you will be in for a huge disappointment. But if you are looking for light, flavorful shakes, then go on and order one of these! Though be warned, you will not find even the supposedly chunky shakes to be chunky. We would be disappointed too but were not coz the lighter version was welcome this time around. Another time? That is another story.

Khaike Paan Banaras Wala ⇔ This was the best of the shakes. Refreshing and light. It was not overly sweet and had the perfect paan flavour. Just imagine a delicious meetha paan crushed with milk to make a shake. The shake had everything, from beetle leaves to fennel seeds to those yummy cherries. Much recommended.

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Khaike Paan Banaras Wala

Cookies and Creme Oreo Shake and Nutella Be Chillin’ Shake were light and flavourful and as mentioned, lacked any chunky bits of oreo or frozen Nutella.

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Cookies and Creme Oreo Shake and Nutella Be Chillin’ Shake
 Overall Experience: We liked the food overall, except a few hiccups. The biggest disappointment was that we did not get quite a few items from the menu. From their entire dessert range, only the Ferrero Nutella Mousse was available. From the shakes and mocktails too quite, a few weren’t available.

Food 🙂

Ambience 🙂

Service 🙂

The Battle: The ambience and those juices and paan shake in your hand, won’t let you wanna leave. It is so perfect for a good time with friends and family.

The American Joint – Google Maps

The American Joint Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato