Sup­ply­ing homemade bis­cuits done with care

Richmond Times-Dispatch Weekend - - CULTURE 2 - BY JO LORD Spe­cial correspondent Free­lance writer Jo Lord is a for­mer server at a va­ri­ety of restau­rants and a life­long food lover. The Times-Dis­patch pays for the meals in her unannounced vis­its to restau­rants. Con­tact her at [email protected] timesdis­patch.com. Fo

With­out ques­tion, the River City has been abun­dantly blessed with qual­ity bis­cuit restau­rants in the past few years. We have The Fancy Bis­cuit in the Fan, Salt & Forge in Jack­son Ward, and Early Bird Bis­cuit Co. in the Fan and North Side. (And that’s just for starters.)

Root Stock Pro­vi­sions, one of the newer en­tries, brought a veg­e­tar­ian- and ve­gan-friendly bis­cuit space to Shockoe Bot­tom in May. The break­fa­s­tand-lunch house also spe­cial­izes in homemade breads and desserts, in­clud­ing sea­sonal cakes and pies.

On a re­cent morn­ing, I or­dered the Pearl Sugar Choco­late bis­cuit ($3 each, $15 half-dozen, $24 dozen), which was a sug­ary treat — crunchy on the out­side, soft on the in­side. Other choices were But­ter­milk, Sweet Potato and Ve­gan Pep­per­corn and Chive.

Lay­ered break­fast Fruit Par­fait ($5) was fresh and light with overnight oats and chia, homemade gra­nola, won­der­fully fla­vor­ful straw­ber­ries and jam that ro­tates sea­son­ally (on my visit, it was a fab­u­lous cran­berry or­ange).

The day’s Sea­sonal Quiche ($7 with choice of side) was made with Swiss cheese, red pep­per and onion. It felt a bit unin­spired and wasn’t as mem­o­rable as some of the other items I tasted.

The BLT ($7) was nicely

Root Stock Pro­vi­sions

Stars: 3outof4

Ad­dress: 1810 E. Main St. Phone: (804) 562-3695

Web­site: www.root­stock pro­vi­sions.com

Open for: break­fast and lunch seven days a week

Vibe: crunchy-gra­nola earth­i­ness

Ideal for: low-key Sun­day morn­ing break­fast

Noise level: av­er­age

Best seat in the house:

at the win­dow ta­ble over­look­ing Main Street

Veg­e­tar­ian: break­fast bis­cuits and other break­fast items, soups, sal­ads, sand­wiches, sides; kitchen ac­com­mo­dates veg­e­tar­ian and ve­gan re­quests when­ever pos­si­ble

Park­ing: no

Wheel­chair ac­ces­si­ble:

yes Reser­va­tions: no Out­door seat­ing: com­ing this spring

Prices quoted in re­views are sub­ject to change. done with sweet ba­con, let­tuce and tomato on homemade fo­cac­cia bread. The Cubano ($9) was even bet­ter — in fact, it was se­ri­ously de­li­cious — with ham, roasted pork, pick­les, mus­tard and Swiss cheese on a sand­wich roll.

I also tried the Chicken Salad from the deli case, where Root Stock Pro­vi­sions also sells items such as smoked salmon salad, whole quiche, sea­sonal desserts and eggs by the dozen. The Chicken Salad was tempt­ing in the case with its chunky chicken, green cel­ery and red grapes, but it needed a slight fla­vor boost. (I craved the tang a lit­tle ex­tra mayo would’ve pro­vided.)

Among Root Stock Pro­vi­sions’ homemade desserts, the Tahini with Choco­late Cookie ($1) was dense and sweet, with tahini added to the cookie dough for fat and fla­vor. The Ve­gan Dark Choco­late Brownie ($4) was gen­er­ous in size, soft and choco­latey. (Did it taste ex­actly like a tra­di­tional brownie? Well, no, of course not. Still, it was tasty and an in­ter­est­ing de­par­ture from the usual.)

There was Ros­tov’s cof­fee ($3) to wash it all down, fol­lowed by a sweet-tart and fizzy Homemade Nitro Le­mon­ade ($3) for the road.

Root Stock Pro­vi­sions also does made-from­scratch ice cream in fun sea­sonal va­ri­eties. This win­ter, it’s of­fer­ing pep­per­mint marsh­mal­low and ap­ple pie fla­vors, for ex­am­ple. In the sum­mer, it made a le­mon­ade ice cream. And there’s al­ways a ve­gan op­tion avail­able.

Ryan Koontz, Ron

Morse and Jeb White of Historical Restau­rant Con­cepts own Root Stock Pro­vi­sions as well as Post­bel­lum and Sta­tion 2; Kevin Church serves as chef for all three. They’ve trans­formed the small, min­i­mal­ist space for their new­est ven­ture into one with light col­ors and an ap­peal­ing crunchy-gra­nola aes­thetic. Com­ing next door this spring from the four: Oak & Ap­ple, serv­ing bar­be­cue and cider.

A new homemade bis­cuit spot al­ways has a place here in town, es­pe­cially when it’s done with qual­ity and care. That cer­tainly in­cludes Root Stock Pro­vi­sions.

Ex­ec­u­tive chef Kevin Church (left) and Micah Head work with dough at Root Stock Pro­vi­sions, a small, min­i­mal­ist space with an ap­peal­ing crunchy-gra­nola aes­thetic.

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