He’s around 1.80m, sports a firm handshake, has a big smile on his face, a shitload of tattoos all over his body, and is charismatic and talkative. Markus Obleser-Dietrich is standing tall in the middle of his bistro-cum-greisslerei, Von Walden. And although he rather dubs what he deals in as “pure food”, we’d call it food inspired by the world famous diet, Paleo.
Paleo is a dietary concept based on the assumption that the human body is best nurtured and fed with only unprocessed food. Since not much time has passed since we invented fire, the wheel and fancy beard styles, it’s a fair theory to say that a diet focusing on nuts, meats, eggs, fruit and veggies accommodates to what our bodies have been used to in the Neanderthal ages.
That means no (beet) sugar, no wheat, and definitely no strawberry-scented chewing gum. While no single diet can be the perfect fix for all people on Earth, Markus was in awe when he first tried eating the stone age way:
“I always was a sporting ace, loved to outdo myself, but was far from lean. In fact, I felt unhealthy – although I did so much for my body. Then my wife tried the 30-day-Paleo-challenge, and I couldn’t believe my eyes. She lost weight without cutting back on anything. I took on the challenge and lost a good 15 kilograms in only two months. Both my gastritis and the belly fat were gone.”
The couple were hooked, but there was only one problem: finding a one-stop-shop for the Paleo lifestyle was impossible, so Markus decided to start his own. “After years in the digital media sector, I wanted to have something to my own liking. And I always fantasised about being self-employed by the time I turned 40, anyway, so I’d call it good timing.”
Markus got together with one of Austria’s leading design agencies, developed a concept for a bistro and shop, and started Von Walden in April 2015. The forest theme was even subtly implemented in the furnishing – check out the vertical wooden slats quoting trees, and the fanlight provoking thoughts of sunrays falling through the foliage.
So whether it’s gluten-free bread, sweet and savoury snacks, marmalades and fresh meat you’re looking for – or rather a quick chat and a warm lunch – this place will suit your needs.
The overall offer is set in the higher price segment, but from our point of view the quality ingredients involved are worth it. And if you need a conversation starter to approach Markus, simply ask him about his bulletproof coffee – or why his muesli is the godaam best in all of Vienna.
All pictures in this article were taken by the talented Johannes Staudenbauer, a member of Leafhouse Collective. Thank you very much.