It was about a year ago that I introduced the JSGB readers to a plant based café and market in Victoria Harbour that was serving up some great fare. It also offered a market including refrigerated and frozen take home meals that were ready to serve, once reheated. Well, a lot can change in a year, and this year Rooted Plant Based Café and Market have replanted their location in downtown Midland. Their grand reopening is scheduled for April 20th and I was lucky enough to attend their soft opening this past weekend.
Located on King Street, just down the alley from Mr. Sub, the new location has three distinct spaces. Once inside the door, to the left, you will find the dining room with the kitchen behind and visible through a large pass-through window. To the right is the market, with dried packaged food, refrigerated soups and sauces, frozen meals, the pastry case filled with fresh baked items, frozen coffee and gelato. Rooted is known for its plant based, dairy free and whole food offerings and since my last story their kitchen is entirely gluten free.
The pastry case is full of Jen’s moist and delicious gluten free baking. For the Easter weekend she created these amazing bunny bum cupcakes, and glazed sugar cookies in the shape of eggs and bunnies. Their carrot cake is amazingly spiced with lots of creamy icing. The strawberry cake is one of my favorites with fresh strawberries blended into the cake and icing, finger licking good! They have cookies, muffins, date squares, brownies, macaroons, and butter tarts all made in house. I often leave with a box of goodies as I can’t resist the gelato and frozen coffee.
Speaking of which, I remember back in the day when if you weren’t holding a Frappuccino, you were totally out of the loop. Then the frozen blended coffee craze became ubiquitous and hasn’t stopped, well unless you gave up dairy. I am happy to report that Rooted has the most amazing frozen blended coffee I have had, and I often require a refill because it is just so good. They even have flavour shots if you want to kick it up a notch. They are making their own gelato flavours! Current flavours include tropical treat, pistachio, black cherry, and lemon. With the heat starting to rise, I am excited to be sampling all their flavours.
There are several breakfast items on the menu including the Rooted benny, brekky sammy, brekky burrito and cinnamon French toast, but today I decided on the famous waffle. A house made gluten free waffle served with real maple syrup, topped with coconut whip, and served fresh strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries. I don’t often indulge this way as my first meal, but this was very satisfying, sweet, and fresh.
One of the most unique things they have on the menu is the carrot dog. I have eaten at numerous vegan restaurants and I’m not sure I’ve seen this anywhere else. Truth be told I have not eaten an actual hot dog in a tremendously long time. This carrot dog’s texture and flavour are spot on, giving you hot dog vibes all day long; top it with ketchup, mustard and relish and enjoy. You could probably even trick the kids! The meatless-ball sub is also delicious, both plates come with Neal Brothers chips and salsa that are available for take home in the market.
Rooted is one of the only places around to be able to get a Canadian classic poutine with house made cheese curds and gravy. Watch their Facebook story and get the inside scoop with Frank announcing the daily soup and specials. There are four salads on the menu including harvest, taco, Greek and spinach Caesar. My favorite is the harvest with the maple citrus twist vinaigrette, also available in the market. To top it all off much of their salad greens are grown in the dining room in a vertical garden. The menu is rounded out with a burger, pulled “pork” style sandwich, chilli cheese fries, and avocado toast.
Visit them at their new location at 349 King Street, Unit 4 starting April 20th, they are open Monday – Friday 10-7, Saturday 10-6, Sunday 10-5.