Common Roots Cafe: Minneapolis, MN
I’ve been planning to visit Common Roots Cafe for a while so when we needed a place to eat before our recent trip to the UK, we decided to stop by for lunch. I like what their website says about their food and anticipated a great experience.
At Common Roots Cafe we serve great food with character morning, noon, and night. Our kitchen uses local and organic ingredients to create a monthly-changing menu of innovative food made from scratch every day.
Review: (Real Local Cooking’s criteria)
Yes, Common Roots Cafe does source their items locally and adapt the menu seasonally. They are quite sophisticated and purposeful about sourcing locally. It is impressive that they have a chart on their website that explains that they have sourced from 22 counties in Minnesota and supported 51 producers.
The description on the menu for the tacos was enticing and had us all excited: free-range pulled chicken with sriracha glaze, onion, pico de gallo and cotija on corn tortillas. When the taco plate arrived it looked wonderful.
The soup was unflattering, the burger had too big of bun which made it hard to eat, the apple salad was very good. The chicken tacos, I am sad to say, were really bad. The ingredients were all there but no flavor and the chicken itself actually tasted bad. Perhaps it was old. This is really sad because these organic ingredients have so much potential to shine if the food is just prepared with care and attention to detail.
Pleasant Surprise: No
We were more disappointed than pleasantly surprised. Everything we read about the place on the website prior to our visit set us us to have high expectations. They obviously have good intentions, but did not execute them well, at least not the day we were there. We noticed that even though the place was busy, most people had coffee and perhaps a bagel but no one seemed to be eating from the lunch menu even though it was about 12:30 on a Monday. This picture of the soup shows how little they care about presentation. The butter doesn’t even look appetizing.
Comfort+Coziness = The C factor: 3
There were not too many pictures of the space on the website, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. From the pictures I saw about the space on the website, I was expecting it to be a little cold without much charm. Even though the place was busy, I would not say it was a warm and inviting space. The service didn’t really help our sense of comfort either. They were not rude but they were not warm. The tables up front by the big windows looked to be the most desirable but they were all taken when we arrived with people having coffee and working on laptops.
Overall Rating: 8
Stopping by the Common Root Cafe as a way to send us into the world of airport food and overnight travel was overall a disappointment. I really wanted to give them a stellar review because of what they are attempting to do in terms of sourcing food and applying sustainable practices, but sadly, expect for the salad, the food didn’t meet even our most basic expectations in terms of taste and presentation.