Going Farm Fresh: Heather Baker and Hilary Hunt Chow Down at the Root Cafe
Another month, another Bucket List! Throughout November, AY Publisher Heather Baker will be tracking down the restaurants with the best farm fresh food. It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it!
As always, the latest issue of AY About You magazine contains a full Bucket List that you can check out on your own culinary trips. But Baker and her compatriots will give you their two cents on the best places around the state.
This week, Baker and KARK host Hilary Hunt are heading to the Root Café in Little Rock. It’s a perfect first stop for the Farm Fresh Bucket List, with the Root being dedicated to building its community through local food. According to its website, the restaurant aims to “foster a sense ofconnectedness among the individuals, families, organizations, and businesses of central Arkansas by offering a focal point for sustainable activities in the area.”
For Baker, choosing the Root as the first stop was a no-brainer. “This is kind of what I think you think of farm fresh,” she says.
“The Root is my jam because you can call in, you can pick it up to-go, you can dine outside and, boy, are they going to keep you warm because they have the heaters going. And the food! It warms your stomach,” Hunt says.
“They have already been teasing me with pimento cheese burgers. It is time to eat. Let’s go, girl,” Baker says.
Inside, owner Jack Sundell is preparing a farm fresh feast for Baker and Hunt. Naturally, the pimento cheese burgers are on the meal, but he is also throwing on the curry chicken salad. Both of these dishes feature products from Rabbit Ridge Farms near Conway.
In addition, they will get to try out the Root’s ham-and-cheese sandwich, which features ham from Rabbit Ridge Farms, yellow cheddar, house garlic mayo, Dijon mustard on local country white bread.
“We’ve got our house salad which features rotating seasonal vegetables. We’ve got our bread pudding, and the bread comes from Community Bakery,” Sundell says.
Once everything is prepared, Baker and Hunt start dividing and conquering. Hunt heads for the curry chicken salad while Baker takes the pimento cheese burger.
“You know what they say: some chick for the chick over here. I’ve got the chicken salad, and it is one of my favorites things,” Hunt says.
“I cannot get enough of this burger. They make the pimento cheese in house, even make their mayonnaise in-house, and local buns from Community Bakery,” Baker says.
In addition to the great taste of the food, eating locally has a significant benefit on the local community. Hunt sums it, saying that, “It makes you feel better eating something local.”
The pimento cheese burger isn’t the only dish that Baker loves at the Root. She loves the ham-and-cheese sandwich, praising the fresh ingredients that make it up.
For Hunt, eating at the Root ticks all of the boxes. “What better place to come and eat. You can get brunch, you can get lunch, you can dinner, you can get dessert. What’s better than that?”
Make sure to check back next week to see where Baker and Hunt end up next. Pick up your copy of AY Magazine to plan your own Farm Fresh Bucket List tour.