The night before this brunch we had gone to the Blue Apron and Red Rooster in Salem, which meant that Local Roots had a lot to live up to (see my Blue Apron review.)
I love brunches out — it may be my favorite meal out — and I suffer from there being no consistently notable place to have a good brunch in my current hometown of Staunton. So when I’m traveling, I am hoping for a happier outcome. And I can say, bar none, that Local Roots was off the charts!
Located in the hipster Grandin neighborhood, just across the bridge from Black Dog Architectural Salvage, this restaurant sets the standard for many a place in Roanoke. Our meal was more than perfect in every way.
I made brunch reservations because I was here on a different Sunday about a year before and it was clear that they get a line before opening. I’m glad we did because the place filled up within 30 minutes that morning.
To my delight we were given a lovely window table overlooking the street that was situated up and out of the way from restaurant foot traffic.
I’m pretty sure their menu changes either seasonally or even weekly and that there were also specials.
I ordered Eggs and Bacon with collards and cheese grits and, while I was surprised when it came as one dish layered in a bowl, I ended up loving it that way — the flavors became multi layered, the egg yolk oozing onto the greens — perfecto! I’ve since served all my home eggs on a bed of wilted greens which is decidedly a good addition to one’s diet.
Like the Blue Apron, everything was expertly prepared and the flavors were rich yet subtle, with many nuances in the eating process and the presentation was beautiful!
A service glitch
The service thus far had been pitch perfect — fast coffee, waters without ice as we asked, specials rattled off knowledgeably, and a streamline presentation. So my hubby asked the waiter his advice between choosing Eggs Benedict (one of hubby’s faves) and the local house-cured Sunburst Farms trout ‘bene’ with slow cooked egg, green tomatoes, home fries, and brown butter hollandaise for only $14.
However, a sad service glitch happened when the waiter launched into a ridiculously grand statement about how he, “Didn’t like to make other people’s decisions for them because he might say a preference and then the person doesn’t end up liking it,” or some such blather like that. We found it very unprofessional and a little pretentious.
If you’re a waiter, you’re supposed to know your menu, be available to your customers, and lend your professional advice with confidence. My hubster wouldn’t have asked for insight if he didn’t want insight. So maybe a little service coaching would go a long way at this establishment or at least for some staff.
I mean, it didn’t affect our 20% tip, but it just wasn’t necessary.
Though forced to choose unguided, hubby chose the trout since it was local and unusual for breakfast. He ended up quite pleased.
A creamy finish
We don’t usually have dessert or even pastries with our brunches out or at home but we couldn’t resist when a Mocha Chocolate Mousse type dessert was on offer. Though small, we shared it and it was more than enough for the two of us. And it was perfect with every mouthwatering bite. Topped with what seemed like small toffee bits and sea salt, this pudding-like bowl was small but packed an enormous punch — so worth it.
They serve excellent coffee there. If I recall you had the option of regular or a French Press and we chose the latter to our caffeine-addled satisfaction.
Before or after brunch try the nearby river walk starting next to Black Dog Salvage across the bridge from the Grandin neighborhood. We took the walk first and it worked up our appetite nicely while getting a chance to explore Roanoke local life just a little more.
This one’s a winner — go! (But PS, their Website truly sucks and is so not mobile optimized, so try not to get frustrated if you’re trying to find them while traveling.)
— Lindsay Curren, Girl Goes Virginia
1314 Grandin Road
Roanoke, VA 24015
Tuesday – Saturday 11:30 – 2 pm, 5 – 10 pm
Saturday, 5 – 10pm
Sunday Brunch, 11 – 2:30 pm
Family-style Sunday Supper, 5 – 9 pm