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Southern Roots: Plateful of soul

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Southern Roots: Plateful of soul

Being a Marylander, seafood is tops on my list when it comes to food that touches the soul. I know, I know — food that feeds your soul and sticks to your ribs generally doesn’t come from the ocean.

However, it seems in Greensboro you can find a soul food place on every side of town, and the seafood on the menu is usually deep fried.

So when I went to dine at Southern Roots in Jamestown, I had a preconceived notion about the food. To my surprise it was like nothing I had seen before in a Southern restaurant. The d’cor was contemporary, yet gave a comfortable, at-home feeling. Hanging lampshades, twigs and sticks banded into works of art and a big, wooden bar stocked with any and everything to complement your meal had me speechless. I also noticed that the tables are arranged to have anyone for a meal: Cozy, small tables are great for those intimate lunch dates, and long rectangular tables are perfect for family dinners.

The atmosphere is very relaxed, so I wasn’t surprised to see the servers in jeans, which only added to the comfortable experience. I was told about how great the meatloaf at this restaurant was before I had even been to Jamestown, and had to try it because meatloaf is generally done best by my mom. I must admit, it was very hard to bypass the stuffed chicken breast with bleu cheese and fresh herbs, or the seafood risotto with lump crab, scallops and shrimp. I ordered my meatloaf dinner and chose mashed potatoes and their “world famous” okra. After sipping on my sweet tea and asking about the history of the place, my lunch arrived.

The first thing I noticed was the amount of food I was given. I could tell that I was intended to enjoy this meal just as I would at home. The meatloaf was steaming hot and had a layer of tomato sauce right on top.

I could tell right away that it was uniquely seasoned, and I had no reason to reach for the salt and pepper. A scoop of Yukon gold mashed potatoes was the perfect mate. I am a big fan of potatoes that can meet chunky and smooth right in the middle, and they did just that. The okra, which after ordering I noticed was on several plates all over the place, was, to my surprise, not fried. It was instead saut’ed and cut into big strips. Crunchy on the outside and gooey on the inside, I also had no reason to season it — the flavor was amazingly bold and before I knew it, I had finished it first. After eating all I could without taking the rest of the day off, I requested a doggie bag and had to find out who owned the joint.

Lisa Hawley is her name, and I found out that Southern Roots had been operating out of High Point for the past seven years before moving to Jamestown. With a new location also came new lower prices. My meatloaf was enough food for two meals and cost me a whopping $9. Lisa credits her amazing flavor and low prices to smoking all of their meats in-house and using fresh, locally grown produce. Kudos.

My favorite thing about this restaurant is how everything tastes just like real Southern cooking, yet didn’t leave me with any guilt. Nothing on my plate was fried yet the flavor was better than I could have imagined. The food kept me satisfied all day with absolutely no guilt. The irresistible menu and the warm environment was enough to make me a regular. Before leaving, I stopped in the lobby to look at the handmade baskets and jars of pure honey for sale, I thought to myself, Hmmm…they’ve really thought of everything.

wanna go?

Southern Roots 119 E. Main Street Jamestown

The veggie plate at Southern Roots teems with greens, beans and starch, the holy trinity of Southern cooking.

(photo by Kim Robinson)

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