Eighth Street's newest tenant, Wild Root Cafe and Market, opened quietly today for lunch. Owned by husband and wife duo Michael and Anne-Marie Trebbi, Wild Root specializes in breakfast and lunch fare made with organic, local and sustainable ingredients.
Situated in the former Yokozuna Teriyaki space at 276 N. Eighth St., Wild Root boasts large windows that let in lots of light and vibrant chartreuse walls. Behind the walk-up service counter is an open kitchen and tables are dotted with wooden planter boxes filled with fuzzy green moss.
The menu is equally bright and thoughtful. Consisting mostly of salads and sandwiches, Wild Root's menu steps it up with artisanal flourishes like seeded flatbread crisps, house-made ricotta and caramelized onion jam. Even the grab-and-go snacks are fancy: Think cubes of brie, fresh figs and pomegranate seeds piled in a to-go cup for $4.
I went with the Avocado Banh Mi ($9), stacked high with crispy tofu, avocado, shredded carrots, sprouts, shaved cucumber and vegan red chili mayo with a side of housemade Sriracha kettle chips. While I was waiting for my lunch, I checked out the pile of old Bon Appetit's hanging from an adjacent wood beam. Nice touch.
The banh mi was super fresh and the blackened tofu had a pleasant sweetness. The crunchy house-made Sriracha chips were just as awesome (and spicy) as they sound.
I didn't get to try any other dishes today, but the kitchen enthusiastically sent out a few others for me to photograph.
This is the Bruschetta ($11) with butternut squash, house-made ricotta, grilled chicken, arugula, hazelnuts and balsamic.
And here's the Green salad ($9) with market greens, shaved root vegetables, avocado, soft egg and herbed yogurt. This lovely little pile of freshness is definitely in my future.