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people + places | eats + things
For a while now, I saw friends from my hometown post about going to this new coffeeshop called Rooted Coffeehouse. It looked absotively, posilutely Instagrammable: the drinks were beautiful and dressed with care; the decor had all the muted, neutral tones that are so modern and "in" right now; its actual Instagram account is straight-up eye candy and to be honest I am heavily inspired by the way they shoot their drinks, so hey, I'm going to copy that cat at some point for future stylings, I'm sure. But what I did not realize was that Rooted is much, much more than a coffeeshop.
vibe. No offense to Starbucks, of course, but y'all know I have a penchant for supporting local businesses and people. I'm as basic as they come (not pictured is the "You had me at Pumpkin Spice Latte" T-shirt I was wearing while visiting Rooted), but what I found when it comes to working from home is that you often need a change of pace. Or, well, place.
And truth be told, when I'm visiting my family, there are not a lot of options in the Evans and Grovetown areas for locally-owned restaurants that have an atmosphere I find both inspirational and able to focus in. Usually the music or the people are too loud; the lighting blows (have you ever tried digitally editing photos or video in the dark with your computer brightness up for full color clarity? If you haven't, don't; your eyes will thank you); there are distractions; it doesn't have WiFi; you get the drift. The difficulty of finding such a place that's not a minimum 30-minute drive from my parents' house was a tad annoying.
I was so, so excited when I realized that having to come to Evans for dreary duty — oops, I mean "jury duty" — meant that I finally had an excuse to check out Rooted myself. My mom, who's a retired educator and published author, and who happens to be working on a couple writing projects already for 2019, walked in and the first words out of her mouth were, "This would be a great place to come write!" BAM, y'all! And that was before we did so much as get our drinks and food.
Oh, yes. Food. That's right. I don't know how I missed the memo, but Rooted has breakfast sandwiches, lunch-ish sandwiches (it's open until 6 on weekdays and 4 on weekends), Millennial-approved toasts, oatmeal and those purple bowls of fruits and berries. Mom, Daddy and my uncle Abram indulged in "The Classic," which was a breakfast sandwich of egg, cheese, bacon and spinach on ciabatta, and let me tell ya, the breakfast sandwiches are hearty helpings. I should've snapped a photo (ugh, #hindsight) to demo just how big they are!
At most places I've been with picturesque atmospheres like Rooted, a $5 breakfast sandwich is a weensy lil' English muffin that has maybe a tablespoon of filling and the thought of a piece of bacon. Not. At. Rooted. Be prepared to bring your appetite if you order one of the sandwiches. The price is ridiculously reasonable for what is brought out on your plate.
On top of the avocado mash was a pile of microgreens, which not too long ago became a bit of a favorite of mine. Microgreens are the edible shoots of salad greens or flowers, picked just after the first leaves show up. I'm not sure which microgreens made up the mix on my toast this morning, but they have a lovely light, almost nutty flavor to them. The avocado was sprinkled with Himalayan salt, red pepper flakes, black pepper and hemp seeds. I didn't get much from the hemp seeds in terms of flavor, but overall the combination led to a gentle blend that had a subtle kick to it. Avocado by itself doesn't have much flavor to it — somewhere between a roasted cashew and unsalted butter? — so it takes seasonings very well, especially ones that are salty or spicy. I was not disappointed at all with this kind of breakfast, and it far outshines my own attempts at making avocado toast.
Obviously it is difficult to visit a coffeeshop and not purchase a beverage of some sort, and since the seasonal menu was still available, I partook in a cinnamon white mocha (made with the house-produced cinnamon syrup). It was really sweet, so if you like coffee-flavored-coffee, this one may not be for you. Being that I like quality coffee seasoned with quality creamer, this was a great treat! I love how it was presented — kind of hard to see in the above photo, but it came out in a tallboy glass topped with whipped cream and powdered with cinnamon. I felt so fancy taking it to the table! Bonus points go to Rooted for its custom cup-grips that say "spread joy," which I got when I poured the rest of my cinnamon white mocha in a to-go cup.
I'm quite excited about this new place to work, and also excited for what seems like such a positive addition to the Evans area. Not only is it a locally owned business, but it supports fellow locals as well. Some of its coffee mugs are made by Tire City Potters, located in downtown Augusta, and during the holiday season it started a series of craft, music and community events. I'm bummed I missed out on them and hope that I'll be able to make it back for future ones!
Now, if you need Mom or me any time in the next few days ... we'll likely be sitting on one of the Rooted couches, writing up our latest stories.