Roots: Mindful, Compassionate Cooking

By on January 24, 2012

By Nathan Douglas–

Nestled on the quieter end of Bardstown Road is Roots, an entirely vegetarian restaurant that boasts “mindful, compassionate cooking.” The laid-back setting of the building itself is accented by the inside of the restaurant, which resonates with an air of eco-friendly, upscale dining.

I stopped by Roots on a Tuesday at around 6 p.m., just as business seemed to be picking up. Where to sit is left up to the customer, which is nice because it feels like one is dropping by an old friend’s house for dinner.

Roots offers a varied menu, with dishes ranging from pan-fried pot stickers to green curry, and from my experience, it’s all very tasty. The dishes are all tapas-style, so the portions are smaller than what many may be used to, but the food is surprisingly filling.

One should expect to order multiple items off the menu, which is mindfully priced. I would recommend ordering a soup or salad with a savory dish if you’re not feeling ravenous.

My eating experience at Roots started with a bowl of butternut squash soup. The combination of red Thai curry, tofu croutons and a topping of Greek yogurt created a very hearty soup that’s perfectly suited for a cold winter evening. I was honestly surprised with the soup. Its lack of dairy did not prevent it from being thick and rich.

I also had the braised beets, which were served in a soup made with yellow curry, Thai basil and shallots. Although the beets were the featured vegetable in the dish, it was served with a generous portion of cubed potatoes that absorbed the soup and then became very delicious.

While I did not order dessert, Roots does have an appealing selection, and all vegetarian at that. They also possess an expansive tea menu that features blacks, greens, whites, oolongs and pu-erhs.

Roots also makes their own tofu in-house, which speaks volumes about the restaurant’s basic philosophies. They even let customers watch the process through a glass window if they stop in at the right time.

Plain and simply, Roots is a fantastic place to dine for vegetarians and carnivores alike. From the modern décor to the multitudes of delicious foods, I’m confident that Roots has something for anyone with an open mind.

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Photos: Nathan Douglas/The Louisville Cardinal

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