Grassroots Kitchen & Tap
2119 E Camelback Rd, 85016
If you drive by Grassroots Kitchen & Tap too fast, you might miss it. Tucked into the shopping center on the southeast corner of Camelback and 20th Street, the restaurant is the second location in the Valley. The original was opened in north Scottsdale in 2011. Three years later, owner Christopher Collins decided to bring Grassroots to Phoenix.
Collins grew up in the area, attending Brophy College Prep and working at Hillstone. His father, Wally Collins, ran Wally’s American Pub & Grill, a longtime iconic restaurant in the Arcadia area. Chris spent time in New Orleans in the years after Hurricane Katrina, helping to reopen Houston’s. His time in the South is evident in the Grassroots menu, which is described as classic Southern-influenced American cuisine.
The doors of Grassroots swing open to a well-lit seating area, with windows allowing for natural light. Visitors’ eyes are immediately drawn to a circular bar, sitting in the direct center of the restaurant. Guests can grab a seat at one of the red chairs surrounding the bar, or they can head to one of the many tables.
The unique sharing plates are a good way to start off the meal. There is a House-Made Smoked Salmon, spread over toast points with cherry & applewood. A fan favorite is the #1 Tuna Poke, with avocado, scallions, wontons and some jalapeño to give the dish a spicy edge.
One shared plate that grabs a menu-reader’s attention immediately is the Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus. The asparagus are larger than expected, and the prosciutto is grilled and drizzled with maple, with a good amount of salt layered on top.
If guests choose a more laid-back soup and sandwich route as opposed to a fancier dinner, they won’t be sacrificing taste. The Cardiff Salad is a mixture of greens, cherry tomatoes, corn, avocado and radishes. The shrimp are poached and seasoned, and the dressing is tastes almost like a creamy tartar sauce. The corn gives it a sort of southwest feel, without being spicy.
The sandwich offerings are as varied as you could ask for, with a Grilled Portobello sitting next to Smoked Brisket on the menu. The Angus Burger has all the makings of a classic American burger, with all of the usual components. Fresh lettuce, tomato, cheddar, onion, pickles and mustard. Sides options include Brother’s Tangy Slaw, Shoestring Potatoes, and a warm bowl of Pork Belly Baked Beans with brown sugar. This is every bit as sweet as it sounds, with the dish taking on a candy feel, and the end of the beans coming sooner than one might hope.
A fancier dinner could end with a seafood plate or something from the entrée list. Standouts from the seafood menu include Southern Shrimp & Grits, Ahi Tuna Steak and the Almost Famous Pork Chop. Guests can choose to end the evening with one of the restaurants signature cocktails on the covered patio.