“the Root is king of LR” was the comment left on my instagram. My wife and I were traveling around LR and trying to decide on where to dine (i have a list of places i have to try) we checked out the online menu and were basically sold on what i had considered a fair price. One we got there however it took my breath away. There were so many people there bustling about rolling silverware and prepping stations, all clad in mismatched clothing, sun dresses, and of course beards. You could just tell right off the bat you were in for a treat of some kind. We knew going into the meal what we wanted, but after eyeing the menu I noticed a synopsis at the bottom giving a credit to all of their local food sources, incredible i thought. I ordered a beer and awaited our app, which was a delicious beer and cheese arancini. The place is beautifully decorated in all kinds of reclaimed fixtures and furniture, reused linen and of course the re-purposed shipping containers that make up their additional dining space, the view was spectacular.
Dinner arrived and to my surprise i was delivered actual carnitas, haha too many times i have ordered carnitas from various restaurants and of course was brought meat wrapped in tortilla (carnitas actually means small shredded meats used for filling). After some time of savoring every bite we continued to watch table after table enter and be seated, obviously no lack of interest.
My research continued after our visit and was revealed that their story was more impressive than their food. I encourage each of you to visit their website, check out their menu and read about their story it is truly inspiring, i believe i would like to take a page out of their book some day.
Listen, I really understand the draw for a restaurant that provides entertainment along with cuisine. Now don’t get me wrong we may be back some day, but come on. My first few steps inside of the Sumo Japanese Hibachi located in Russellville was met with a certain tackiness. You know, the kind of tackiness where your shoe sticks to the floor with each step. Why oh why would anyone ever carpet a dining room with the sole purpose to provide folks with seating around hibachi grills? Those grills will spend most of each evening cooking food with some sort of fat and as awesome as those vent hoods are they cannot catch all of the exhaust, thus begins a build up of grease on the carpet. Those of you that have worked in the restaurant industry for a long time as I have will empathize with my next point. That point being the intoxicating, all too familiar smell of the bag in the box soda syrup shelf. I was seated by the kitchen door and every time that thing opened I was greeted by it. If there are any cooks or servers reading this, you know what I’m talking about.
For my appetizer I ordered calamari and I selected the soup and salad with my entree. Soon with each of the aforementioned courses, I was met with disappointment. The calamari was an imitation product. The soup was seemingly made with fish base and the salad must have been the chunks of iceberg so closely cut from the stalk side of the head. I just couldn’t . This was on the heels, by the way of a visit some time ago, when I ordered shrimp tempura and spent $7.49 for 3 pieces of shrimp and 6-8 pieces of vegetable tempura. I had vowed to never return after the shrimp fiasco, but alas here we are. My kids love the entertainment on the grill and I’m sure I will see them again, but until then I remain utterly displeased and somewhat still stuck to the floor.