Here’s one of my favorite San Marcos caterer, The Root Cellar!
You know what I love? Fantastic food. Know what I hate? My food allergies. Oh boy, you know how vegans always tell you they’re vegan or Crossfitters tell you they Crossfit? I’m like that about my allergies. Does food pass my standards? “That’ll kill me dead” is normally what I proclaim to anyone around me. Buffet with literally nothing allergy-friendly? You’ll hear from me first. Get yet another fruit cup as “dessert”? Be ready to hear about how I lost weight because no one wants to attempt gluten-free, dairy-free, and potato free desserts (IT’S NOT THAT HARD PEOPLE).
So imagine my delight, my pure unadulterated joy, when I discovered The Root Cellar. I have complicated allergies. I hate them as much as the waitstaff normally hates hearing about them. Or trying to find a single thing on the menu I can eat.
I’m not bitter, I swear.
Anyway, IMAGINE THE JOY. The GLEE I experienced, looking at the menu at the brick and mortar location of The Root Cellar in San Marcos! It was early into my allergy days, two months after I had to give up gluten. Do you know what it’s like to lose your best friend, but see them everywhere? Yeah. Donuts, pizza, Texas Roadhouse Rolls, ramen, fried chicken, gravy, chicken parmesan, cereal, oatmeal from Jamba Juice, Italian food almost entirely, ice cream cones, they were all my best friends. I have been rejected by them and yet, they tease me almost every day!
So there I am, in the quaint little restaurant, looking over the menu. I hemmed and hawed with the waitress, still in the general state of having to learn every ingredient for everything ever made ever. “Are you sure this is gluten-free? This doesn’t have potato starch?” After being assured that no, it doesn’t have anything that will cause a slow burn of lava in my gut. Cool. I order the tuna sandwich. My first bite? I was overcome with emotion. It was delicious and it wouldn’t kill me. Or make me wish I was dead.
Then I had their food once more.
Then again. Each time, it was SO GOOD. Now get this: they’re LGBT friendly. They’re all about the gay, which makes me go yayyyyy. So they make delicious food AND are decent people (yes, somehow being gay means you can only ever be a good person, apparently)(but they really are amazing people). So I decided to interview them, so you can know the joy that is Root Cellar.
1. How did Root Cellar get started?
The Root Cellar story started 14 years ago, with our cafe in downtown San Marcos. On a VERY shoestring budget we opened our doors, serving breakfast and lunch only. I came on when the cafe decided to open for dinner as well, about a year in. I would get requests from our staff and regulars to cater to their private events. For about four years, on top of running the increasingly busy restaurant kitchen, I catered everything as well…which is reeeeaallly hard to do in an already small kitchen! About 5 years ago, we opened up our catering kitchen and Coffee Bar storefront on the square in downtown San Marcos, on an equal shoestring budget! Now we are a complete full service, stand-alone, catering company. We’re still growing, and hopefully, we’ll be celebrating a new milestone soon…stay tuned. 😉
2. What is the theory and intentions with your ingredients and dishes? (i.e. sourcing local, allergen-friendly, etc.)
What makes us different from most catering companies, is that we make our food from scratch. That is soooo important to me because we know exactly what is in each and every dish we serve. It’s a two-fold benefit for those people that do have an allergen or dietary restriction; as a client, you can have allergens taken out or subbed; and, as a guest at an event, you can get a quick answer about a dishes ingredients with certainty. For public events, I try to incorporate as many dietary needs as possible, but ultimately, it’s the client who gets the final say!
3. Who is Root Cellar’s ideal client?
It seems obvious, but people that love food! Everyone has to eat, but our clients want more than just sustenance. They want an experience. They want togetherness, and they want to share in something that humans have done for as long as we have existed, a great meal surrounded by loved ones.
4. Do you think your team of employees could survive a zombie apocalypse together? Why or why not?
I dunno, I feel like Bryan (my kitchen manager) would sell me out for a sausage biscuit, and that’s before the zombie apocalypse!
5. Are you LGBTQ friendly? If so, why so? (I know the answer to this, but for posterities’ sake!)
Absolutely. Hands down, 100%, all about love. Why are we LGBTQ friendly? That’s a hard question to answer because how does one say, “because I’m not a terrible person” gracefully? One of our company’s core values, that I insist upon, is kindness always. Kindness doesn’t care about your race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or social status.
The Root Cellar was also one of the caterers at The Pride Shindig earlier this year! Make sure to check out that blog!