We were in Lakewood trying to fix our stolen, reclaimed scooter (spoiler: it was declared totaled, and we ended up getting a new one) and decided to stop for lunch at the Root Café.

The feel of the restaurant is woodsy and organic, fitting the moniker. Service is at the counter, and there is a good beer selection. They also use primarily local produce.

Sarah ordered a leek, cheddar and sun dried tomato scone. It was exceptionally tender, flaky and loaded with sun dried tomatoes. She liked is so much that I made a clone a few days later using this recipe as the base.

I ordered the a tempeh sandwich with chipotle ($5.95), which was outstanding. The chipotle aioli added a distinct but not overpowering heat, and the sandwich was packed with veggies. Tempeh is by far the meatiest vegetarian sandwich filling, as is evidenced by this great recipe .

Jonathan had the grilled cheese with pesto and tomato ($4.50), which he thought was okay. Oddly enough, he likes pesto and grilled cheese, but kids aren’t great about combined flavors. We enjoyed it, though.

Sarah also ordered a side of beets ($1.50), which were tasty and generously portioned.

We look forward to a return visit to The Root but are sad that we can’t find much like it on the east side. Does anyone know any restaurant near Cleveland Heights that features local produce (or meat, for carnivores) at a reasonable price? Fire and Rockefeller’s are excellent but are priced at “special night out” rates, while Tommy’s offers decent vegetarian but hasn’t changed their menu much in decades and doesn’t seem to have a local emphasis.

The west side also has Spice, Jammy Buggars and Degans in this category. Are we missing something on the east side? Or do any of these places (including Root) feel like opening an east side location? We’d gladly and loudly promote it.

The Root Cafe on Urbanspoon

  • Darcy

    I also really like Root Café and wish there was something like it here in our neck of the woods.