Well + Proper Makes You Want to Drink (and Eat) All Your Veggies
Smoothies, shrooms and swings. We explain it all.
Photos: Kristin Lipman
Mushrooms. We eat them on pizza. We kabob them. Some even eat them for “magical” purposes. (I plead the Fifth.) But, not many can say they’ve chugged some shrooms—until now. Thanks to Well + Proper, a newly opened health bar in Downtown, people are learning the perks of drinking the understated superfood, which could be the next matcha.
“Each hot elixir on our menu has mushrooms in it and each one has a special job, whether it’s energizing, immunity or calming nerves,” says owner Jenelle. The all-organic mushrooms are curated by an herbalist in Canada, then turned into powders.
Mushroom Medicine ($8), The Kickstart ($7) and Chaga Chai ($8).
The hot sellers are the Mushroom Medicine, Kickstart, Activate and Chaga Chai. I tried the Mushroom Medicine ($8), which has five different types of mushrooms including turkey tail and lion’s mane—yeah, never had those in an omelet—that are blended with coconut butter, raw honey, raw cacao other good-for-you ingredients. It was surprisingly ‘ono. It tasted like a marriage of malt chocolate and coconut water and had a silky-smooth texture. I didn’t taste any mushrooms, although my palate is not familiar with turkey tails. According to Jenelle, the benefits of drinking this are increased adaptability, enhanced mental capacity and a stronger immune system. In other words, it’s supposed to help me get sh*t done, learn more and live long. I drank every last drop.
My co-workers tried a couple of the other elixirs. The Kickstart ($7), aka the coffee substitute, is a simmering brew of mushrooms, roasted dandelion, raw cacao, dates, almond milk and other health-store staples. They described it as creamy, earthy and slightly chocolatey with a strong coconut finish. Again, there was no taste of mushroom, but it did its job and gave them more energy. The Chaga Chai with dark chocolate ($8) was an instant draw just from its name alone. The chaga mushroom—known for lowering blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol, along with other health benefits—is the hero, and although my co-workers couldn’t pinpoint exactly what this elixir tasted like, they described it as having a unique earthy flavor with dark chocolate notes.
In addition to the wake-you-up-before-you-go-go cups, the daily specials include a rotation of fresh cold-pressed drinks that contains the juice from 4 pounds of produce, Well + Proper claims. Hell yes! That takes the chore out of steaming, grilling, broiling and chopping produce ourselves. You’ll also find smoothies and pitaya and acai bowls on the menu. I highly suggest trying the acai bowl—it’s bamboocha—topped with cacao nibs, strawberries, coconut, granola, bananas, raw cacao drizzle and mac-nut butter. (Butter makes everything mo’ bettah!)
Oh, as if you needed another reason to visit the juice joint: Jenelle was determined to incorporate skateboard swings into the charming urban décor. “When I moved here from Canada, we left our home, which had these swings made of skateboard decks. Having it be a part of the shop was a way I could have a piece of my Canadian home in here and keep the fun theme going,” she says. Our editors (and I) were definitely pleased with this whimsical addition. I mean, who doesn’t love swinging with a fungi?
5123, 918 Smith St., Unit A, (808) 319-7544