Root and Bone Alphabet City
Saturday afternoon. Across Ave B is the usually boisterous brunch crowd. Outside Root and Bone, on East 3rd Street, was dotted with diners waiting to be seated and others waiting for their take-out orders. I left my name with the host and was told it'd be a 30 minute wait. Not so. My friend arrived about five minutes later and we were called in about five minutes after that.
The set-up is a cross between a home kitchen, a front porch and classroom. They went old school with the chairs. There's even a cubby under the chairs that the host put my bag in when it fell off the back of my chair. It's a very cozy atmosphere.
"Remind me to take pictures," I told my friend. I'm good for just jumping in to my meals.
I couldn't decide what to drink so I asked if there was something light and refreshing on their cocktail menu. It's summertime -- I like my drinks pale in color and distinct yet light flavor. We were paired up with Alex for our meal. He suggested the Lady J Ivory -- Tito's Vodka, tangy strawberry shrub, lemon and celery. I think Alex sensed my hesitation at the "tangy" and asked if I prefer drinks more on the sweet side. "Not sweet, but refreshing." He nodded and off he went. Lady J Ivory is a great summer cocktail. Perhaps Alex told the bartender not to make mine too tangy. If so, I appreciate it. They did not, however, skimp on the vodka. Even I thought it was strong, in a good way, and I can handle my vodka. Bang for you $12 bucks. I spied many Bloody Mary's with bacon being served throughout the room.
Fried Chicken and Waffle Sandwich
We all already know what I ordered, the Fried Chicken and Waffle Sandwich -- pickled green tomato, watercress stuffed in a cheddar cheese waffle served with whiskey maple syrup. I ate the first sandwich like a sandwich. I needed to know how the tastes and textures would work together. Great compliment. I used the whiskey maple syrup on my second sandwich which I deconstructed and ate layer by layer, primarily with my hands. That was delicious and fun. Whiskey maple syrup and cheddar cheese? Who knew! Now I do!
My friend ordered the BLT that will tickle your pickle -- bacon, lettuce, fried green tomatoes, tomato jam and their secret sauce on a potato roll. As she bit into her sandwich, Alex pointed out that I should've taken a photo of her -- that moment of satisfaction, and bacon, all over her face. Great idea but I'd already put my phone down and was digging in myself (not after I'd posted the photo to Instagram, of course)!
Let me go on the record and say that I've never had dessert with brunch or lunch. I also am not a fan of strawberry ice cream. The options for the ice cream sandwich were oatmeal cookies, chocolate chip cookies, banana-caramel ice cream and strawberry ice cream.
The butter. You can taste the butter in those chocolate chip cookies. So buttery. I let Alex know how pleased I was that the Pastry Chef, Crystal Cullison, bakes with butter.
My friend had chocolate on her fingers for what seemed like the rest of the meal.
I took a sip of water to cleanse my palate (I swear my glass was never more than halfway empty - they were on top of everything!). The ice cream was not overly sweet like strawberry ice cream made by commercial brands (which I hate). The strawberry flavor is subtle very natural and that ice cream is creamy. Yes! I would easily eat a pint of it.
Just so you know, the brunch dessert is not the same as the desserts available during dinner.
We lingered, we talked, and by this time my friend and I and one other party of 4 who were seated at the end of brunch service were all who remained. The staff was prepping for dinner and then I saw it. My eyes bulged and I salivated at the sight of the huge slabs of raw pork that were brought out. "They make their own bacon on the premises," Alex told me. He said that everything that comes out of the kitchen is phenomenal when we asked if he liked the brunch menu or the dinner menu better.
Executive Chef Jeff McInnis and Chef de Cuisine Janine Booth are doing an awesome job. For dinner, I have my eye on the Crispy Free-Range Bucket of Bird, Grandma Daisy's Angel Biscuits, Macaroni and Cheese, Waffle Cut French Fries with the cheese and bacon and the Shrimp and Grits...
200 East 3rd Street
New York, NY 10009
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