A small mom-and-pop restaurant has opened in an Oak Cliff neighborhood that dearly needs it. Grassroots Kitchen is in the Elmwood neighborhood at 2109 S. Edgefield Ave., where it's serving sandwiches, salads, and appetizers from scratch at a laudably affordable price.
Adam Loew, who co-owns Grassroots with his wife Thania, took a true grass-roots approach to his startup by first introducing his food via a neighborhood street-corner pop-up.
"It took three years to get this place open," Loew says. "In the meantime, I sold food on the street corner across from the Kessler Theater. Every Friday and Saturday night, I'd set up a smoker and table and sell food all weekend. I got to meet the whole neighborhood, and got to know what people liked."
Loew, who previously worked at the Lakewood Country Club, attended Johnson & Wales culinary school and has been cooking for 20 years across the country, from the Boca Raton Resort in Florida to cooking for musicians in Nashville to a restaurant in Kennebunkport, Maine where he did a couple dinners for the Bush family. Grassroots fulfills his dream of having his own place.
"We have banh mis, gyros, meatloaf, a jerk chicken plate, and we're doing wings which are the jumbo size, and can be grilled or fried," he says. "We're doing all our own sauces, and even making our own pickles." He calls it "chef-inspired scratch-made with love."
He's opening with a menu so tentative that it's written on paper sheets on the wall; he anticipates that it will evolve, and does specials such as a shrimp basket and fish & chips every day. There's hummus; spinach-artichoke dip; salads including Caesar, spinach, and Greek; a banh mi with choice of sesame chicken or pork loin; a gyro platter with choice of shredded lamb or grilled chicken; a cheeseburger; and a brisket sandwich.
The space they're in has some notoriety: It was the ice cream shop in the movie Born on the Fourth of July.
"It was an old rundown building, but we built it from ground up," he says. "I wanted to set up in a place where I could feel good, with employees who want to be there and come in every day and make this happen. It's been my lifelong goal and I have a staff that busts their butts."