Southern Roots - Upscale Casual RestaurantFood ★★★★☆
Service ★★☆☆☆ Creativity ★★★★★Value ★★★★☆
$20-$70 meal for 2 plus drinks
Southern Roots restaurant is a very popular restaurant located on Main Street in Jamestown. Expect a 45-60 minute wait for a table on the weekends if you arrive around 6:30-7:30PM. The interior is a mid-sized to a small-sized restaurant, but they do have a very large outdoor seating area with live music. They had plenty of strategically place fans outside to help keep the warm summer nights bearable.
The best time to arrive if you do not want a long wait is very early or after 8 PM. Southern Roots DOES NOT take reservations, expect a wait during peak times.
The interior of the restaurant is a bit cramped. They have put up curtain walls in strategic areas to break up a crowded room into visually pleasing spaces. Being small and crowded, the noise level is high. This is not a great restaurant for private conversations as you will have to talk loud to have the person sitting next to you. It is a great spot for fun and delicious food. The interior is a bit on the dark side, but the lighting at most tables was adequate and filtered to prevent harsh glare or bright bulbs in your eyes.
Southern Roots Service
The service tonight was not stellar. Our server was not as attentive as I would have liked. The dinner was FAR from rushed which is typically what you get in a very popular and crowded restaurant like this. We were seated and a server was at our table within seconds asking us what we would like to drink as we were opening the drink menu. We asked for a minute and she disappeared for 15 minutes. After getting our drinks it was another 10-15 minutes to take our order. I prefer a slower paced meal but this was a bit more on the server having too many tables and was unable to properly serve us. This was unfortunate as the food was really fantastic.
Southern Roots Food
The price range for 2 is $20-$70 plus drinks. This is a crazy range and it reflects what is on the dinner menu. There is a nice selection of $10-11 sandwiches and pizzas that all were creative and sounded delicious as well as entrees ranging from $15 to $30. I think anybody would be able to find a dish here that meets their price range and desires.
Tonight I had the Southern Roots Seafood Gumbo. It had a good portion of very fresh and perfectly cooked scallops, shrimp, small pieces of crab that they described as lump, sausage, okra, roasted red peppers and caramelized onions in a light fumet (reduction sauce) served over red beans and rice. The flavor was a well-balanced blend of spices, heat, and seafood. The highlight was the wonderful scallops and the fantastic sauce. The let down was what they called lump crab and the small portion of rice. The lump crab pieces were less than 1/4 of an inch. Being a native Marylander, our definition of lump crab is about 4x that size.
Most gumbos I have eaten, have significantly more rice and beans. More of a soup or stew served over a bed of rice. This was more of a soup with only a couple of tablespoons of rice. The server DID NOT serve this with a spoon and was nowhere to be found after it was served to get me a spoon. We tried several times to wave down a server with no success. After I was halfway through the dish, we were able to get a server to get me a spoon.
We also had Southern Roots Cast-Iron Seared Angus Flat Iron Steak with a Steak Butter sauce with a side of Mac and Cheese and Eggplant French Fries. The steak was perfectly cooked. Tender and flavorful but to my surprise, the highlight were the eggplant fries. Normally eggplant is not one of my favorite vegetables. It is easily cooked into a flavorless mush. Southern Roots took eggplant and coated it in a well-seasoned batter and fried it. The resulting eggplant fries were crisp and flavorful. This was a very creative way of preparing this. Well done.