I got the word from some yelp conversation that Roots CafÃ© was one of the places that I had to stop for my trip. I called up Jamey and he thought the project sounded cool and was in almost immediately. He’s built his business over the past year through word of mouth and is doing OK. The last guy in the space had a coffee shop and was doing a huge breakfast business but nothing for the rest of the day – he was getting a lot of teachers from a nearby school because he sold it cheap. Jamey’s primary goal is to deliver a coffee that tastes great, but his values demand that he gets his coffee from merchants who obide by fair and free trade (he uses Stumptown Coffee).
Iâ€™ve just started becoming a coffee drinker but he sold me hard on the chai tea. The last time I had Chai tea, my mom made it, and she used 1% milk in the concoction. This simply will not do. Something odd that Iâ€™ve found about milky, spicy teas and coffees is that soy milk often brings out the character of the spices in a way regular milk doesnâ€™t. I recounted a curry coffee (sic) I had at Peregine Espresso in DC and he assented. He let me know heâ€™d make my chai with cream and soy milk.
I drank that thing in seconds.
Best Chai tea Iâ€™ve ever had. I went through a chai phase about two years ago and I donâ€™t remember any this good.
He suggested we get the Green Eggs and Ham (left) and the Breakfast Burrito (pic).
Good call Jamey! Good call. He was experimenting with a bunch of different breads before he settled on the wraps for the egg sandwiches.
You can see by the picture that he uses a panini-like grill. I know youâ€™ve gotten a panini maker from some mom, aunt, or significant other and just gone nuts making paninis for months afterward, only to put it under the counter one day and forget it for months at a time, only pulling it out for rainy Sundays and snow days. The days you just wonâ€™t stand for anything but the most comfortable comfort food. I want more of those days in my life.
I got a little piece of one today with the ham, cheddar, egg, spinach and avocado in my breakfast sandwich. I only had one bite of the breakfast burrito, but Jackie was a huge fan. Jamey used salsa in the grits to add a little heat, and asked for Tabasco but received this orgasmic hot sauce he imported from heaven. Jamey, if when you read this, please let me know what this hot sauce is so I may buy it and shower in it.
In summary, very cool vibe, cool space (Iâ€™m not a big interior photographer â€“ itâ€™s all about the food, baby) and a super, super cool and genuine owner looking to do good things for the community. Worth a stop for the Chai and some southern comfort.
The IRL Arts Foundation and The Wandering Foodie thank Roots CafÃˆ for providing this meal.
639A 5th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11215