Strong Roots

This veggie-centric restaurant could become a Montrose mainstay after working out some kinks.

But it was a different tomato dish that intrigued them the most — an heirloom tomato salad with Himalayan pink salt — as well as a Celeste fig and Idiazabal cheese plate that our friendly waiter recommended. We ordered both along with complimentary sangrias and waited.

The food came out quickly enough, although we soon found out that "complimentary" appears to mean "one glass and then we mostly ignore your empty glass instead of offering you a different beverage instead." It's hard to complain about free stuff, so I'm won't. I'm complaining about having an empty glass for almost the entire meal without being offered the chance to purchase a glass of orange juice or bubbles to replace it.

But if the empty glasses were annoying, the tomato and fig plates quickly sent my parents over the top. On the $19 fig plate, one Celeste fig was split in half and set next to another, smaller Golden fig that had also been halved. One quarter of another fig rounded out the plate, along with a small wedge of Idiazabal, a Spanish sheep's-milk cheese. And on the $12 tomato plate were three cherry tomatoes cut in half, one half of a larger tomato and five tiny Cherubs on the vine. My parents goggled, looking at the plates and then back to me, as if to say, "So this is how you spend your money?!"

The fig plate is $19.
Troy Fields
The fig plate is $19.

Location Info


Roots Bistro

507 Westheimer Road
Houston, TX 77006

Category: Restaurant > Bistro

Region: Montrose


Hours: 5 to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays through Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays
Kale and avocado salad: $11
Sautéed kale: $11
Heirloom tomato plate: $12
Baby carrot polenta: $12
Swiss chard and potato hash with fried eggs: $15
Celeste fig and Idiazabal cheese plate: $19
Sirloin pizza: $18
SLIDESHOW: Montrose's New Veggie Paradise at Roots Bistro
BLOG POST: Would You Pay $19 for a Plate of Figs?

My father's $20 Texas veal breast over two duck eggs was almost pure gristle and barely cooked. My mother's "Kobe" beef omelet filled with crème fraîche was good but marred by an oddly sweet jam-like sauce on the side. Only my Swiss chard and potato hash with fried eggs was a complete triumph, but that small plate still set me back $15. Two medium-size peach muffins with maple syrup were a nice "dessert" but cost $2.50 each.

Before tip and without booze, we'd managed to rack up a $99 bill at brunch for only three people. It was a far cry from the dinner I'd had there only two weeks prior, in which my best friend and I chatted happily over a relatively inexpensive sirloin-topped pizza with stretchy cheese beautifully melted over a soft, thin crust — all of it a tribute to Chef Mosquera's skills in the kitchen, as he himself is vegan and would likely never eat or even taste the pizza himself.

We were just as pleased with our vegetable dishes that night, too, including an ample portion of baby carrot polenta for $12 and a bright, bouncy kale and avocado salad that resonated with spicy crunches of cucumber and a stunning curry dressing. And neither our wine nor water glasses were ever empty that evening.

If Roots can work out its service kinks and make its menu more user-friendly, it will no doubt become one of the most appreciated and useful restaurants in Montrose for its veggie-friendly attitude, if nothing else. But vegetable-centric cuisine is still new in steak-loving Houston, and while I understand the costs associated with picking produce straight from the markets "three times a week," which is what Chef Mosquera claims to do, the city isn't quite ready to support a nearly $20 plate of two and a half figs. I desperately hope that Roots gets its pricing in line, and soon, because I want to become a regular there — without going broke in the meantime.

« Previous Page
My Voice Nation Help

This looks pretentious and overpriced. This is coming from someone who will pay a premium for good food but I'm getting fed up with places charging more just because they can - it's insulting. I'm also a bit confused because the headline and final paragraph do not match the tone of the rest of the article. It sounds like the restaurant needs to do more than "work out its service kinks and make its menu more user-friendly" as the food doesn't sound too great either. PASS.


I'll pass


I found the food to be above average, but not spectacular and I had a similar sticker shock when I left the restaurant still somewhat hungry after 3 small vegetable dishes, no drinks, and a $60 price tag. And the service was truly terrible!

Jodie Eisenhardt
Jodie Eisenhardt

I did love that kale! Sadly my next dinner there was a huge disappointment (in every way) and I have not been back. I look to you for guidance as things (hopefully) become consistent.


Thanks, Katherine. My jury is still "out", but may have to get by at some point.


Kudos to the professional waiters/waitresses out there; who actually check their libido at the door.