Where to Root, a sweet little Allston cafe that opened this summer.
What for The restaurant’s tagline is “inspired food & juicery.” Come here to eat corn and jalapeno hushpuppies, Korean quinoa wraps, and cauliflower po’boys — or, for weekend brunch, waffles, pancakes stacked with fudge and coconut creme, tofu scrambles, and biscuits with mushroom gravy. It all happens to be vegan, but mostly it’s just tasty, generously portioned, and reasonably priced. (And conveniently located by dairy-free ice cream parlor FoMu.)
The scene Everyone from punk students to Indian businessmen eats at the copper counters and tables. Folk-rock plays, and on the walls are farm-themed paintings and a bike-wheel sculpture. Order at the counter, where an allergy key informs patrons which dishes contain soy, gluten, tree nuts, and peanuts. A bike messenger type waits for takeout; someone is reading a book about mindfulness. A group of young women are clad in hand-knit woolens and flowing scarves; they have either very short or very long hair. A couple in matching Sox shirts tucks into sandwiches.
What you’re eating The Root burger is a popular order, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a beauty of a veggie burger, made from black beans and quinoa, topped with lettuce, tomato, onion rings, and a very garlicky aioli-esque spread. It comes with fine herbed fries.
Care for a drink? Juices are made to order. The veg blend — carrot, beet, kale, and lemon — will make you feel healthy and vibrant, the perfect thing to balance those fries.
Overheard People talking about genetics, food trucks, investing, curried quinoa, and things their therapists said. “That just goes with your social phobias and anxieties,” one friend tells another. Conversations about Facebook, cellphones, laptops, and other trappings of technology. Conversations about internal growth: “It took me a while to come around, but I decided I’m ready to make a life commitment.” “Maybe we will get together if the right circumstances happen.” Unexpected run-ins and introductions: “I know you from somewhere!” “These are my college friends.” “I’ve been meaning to come here. I go to FoMu all the time.” It’s a supportive environment: People compliment one another on their scarves and shoes, then compliment one another on complimenting one another. “You are so tasteful with your compliments!”
487 Cambridge St., Allston. 617-208-6091. www.rootboston.com.