A morning stop at Roots Juice has always seemed more ideal in theory than in practice, but still, we hated to hear from a CultureMap tipster several weeks back that she received a "soggy" chicken sandwich and "an overly sweet" Kale Tale on a lunchtime visit to the Montrose juice bar.
We went to check it out, and while the details following former general manager Becki O'Brien's late-February departure are unclear, we're happy to report that the juices are still on the menu and back to normal — except that they're now on the menu next door at Roots Bistro, which first launched lunch service just two weeks ago. The actual Roots Juice entrance is closed off.
Executive chef Chandler Rothbard became fast friends with local farmers and ranchers, fishmongers, knife sharpeners and dairy maids when he created the opening menu at Down House, a relationship that he has further fostered since he took over the helm of Roots' kitchen last October.
Think crisp, just-plucked produce, colorful plating and unexpected flavor profiles from this Culinary Institute of America grad and vocal locavore.
Early on, Rothbard committed to a menu focused on "local and fresh," and his attention to fulfilling that promise shows through in the new lunch menu at Roots Bistro. Think crisp, just-plucked produce, colorful plating and unexpected flavor profiles from this Culinary Institute of America grad and vocal locavore.
Some items on the newly-unveiled lunch menu — served Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. — have been carried over from the established dinner service, like the mouthwatering Tomato Bisque with Roots Grilled Cheese (on Slow Dough bread), the guiltless Raw Beet "Ravioli" filled with cashew creme and the wood-fired flatbreads. Plus, you'll also recognize the juices and smoothies that area residents have come to crave.
But other offerings — like a flavorful open-faced Smoked Chicken Sandwich (topped with a fried egg), a bright Smoked Shrimp Salad served on a tomato coulis and a Sabra Ranch Longhorn Buttermilk Blue Cheese Burger with a side of crispy potatoes — are unique to the lunch menu.
Rothbard estimates that 80 percent of the ingredients on the menu are local, and some come from as close as the community garden at the corner of Kipling Street and Stafford Street, where Roots tends three beds.
"I want my whole culinary staff to be connected with the growing," he tells CultureMap.