Grass Roots Kitchen: A Unique Healthy Fast Food/Eat-In Rivertown Restaurant Option 

Food for Thought

Finally, finally Grass Roots Kitchen has opened “down the hill” in Tarrytown – another star in owner David Starkey’s constellation of rivertown restaurants (Tomatillo in Dobbs Ferry, Sweet Grass in Tarrytown, and Red Zebra in Sleepy Hollow).

Grass Roots Kitchen’s fresh, local, and seasonal menu has been created with sustainably grown produce and ethically raised meats and poultry. As Starkey noted, “It all starts with the roots. So many varieties, growing from the ground up. A community of colors; all are welcome and equally celebrated in our kitchen.” And, a huge plus – plenty of free parking right in front for a quick hour lunch, food pick-up, or leisurely meal without worrying about finding a parking space or feeding a meter.

Starkey’s new venue not only serves healthy food, but serves it quickly; in fact, one could describe Grass Roots as a healthy fast food and take-out restaurant that accommodates diners in a warm, open, newly light-filled space where hand-painted murals decorate the walls. The eatery “bookends” McDonalds at the opposite end of the small strip mall, and one couldn’t find a more dynamic contrast in food preparation and quality.

For breakfast, biscuits, muffins, donuts and pastries are baked in-house. Grab a healthy bowl or plate on your way to the train: yogurt and house-made granola, root smoothies, a cheddar omelet with seasonal vegetables, cheese grits with spinach and shitake “bacon,” bread pudding French toast or a buckwheat waffle with fresh fruit, honey butter, and maple syrup.

GRK (Grass Roots Kitchen) provides heartier but healthy breakfasts as well: the egg & cheese roll, a breakfast burrito, beet cured salmon and cream cheese on a bagel, avocado toast or the vegan “egg “sandwich. In fact, many menu choices are vegan (v) or vp (vegan possible) and accommodate food allergies.

Lunch choices feature a variety of salads with mixed greens or grains and a salmon or tempeh addition. Root soup brims with fresh winter vegetables in a rich broth. A salad/sandwich combo offers the possibility of combining an avocado toast or grilled cheese with a side of salad. The fried chicken biscuit served with aioli and slaw, and the salmon avocado sandwich – beet-cured salmon, smashed avocado, watercress, red onion, beet ketchup, and Dijon mustard all served on multi-grain bread have quickly become signature creations.

Burgers range from a 100% grass-fed beef burger to the “Mindful Burger”- two ounces grass-fed beef, complemented by four ounces of pinto beans and mushroom, for a less heavy burger. Both are accompanied by lettuce, pickles and GRK sauce. Vegetarian burgers are made from root vegetables, celeriac pastrami, carrot and quinoa or chickpeas for a falafel presentation with onion parsley, cilantro, cumin accompanied by tahini sauce, red onion, lettuce and pickle.

Popular sides are the French or root fries. Sweets include a salted caramel brownie, donut holes with apple butter, a walnut chocolate chip cookie and bread pudding enhanced by caramel sauce, banana and a topping of walnuts.

Smoothies are served all day as are artisanally combined juices for an extra vitamin punch. Serendipiteas and Coffee Labs coffee will warm you up as you rush off to the train or “back up the hill.”

But, if you choose to dine in at Grass Roots Kitchen you will delight in the vegetal murals created by Natasha May Platt, a Brooklyn artist. And, look for a delicate parsnip designed and colored by Starkey’s 11-year-old daughter. The $ Dream sign, left over from the old dollar store at the same location, graces one wall, and who doesn’t wish for a $ Dream? Wood banquettes, chairs and tables give a comfortable natural feel, as does the open kitchen. Property owner Joanne Landau accommodated Starkey’s idea to open up the space with two large windows, created by Juan Merino of V & J Contracting. Alyssa Price manages the new operation with amiable grace, and multiple local young residents provide the staffing.

Chef Juan Jimenez, a six-year employee who runs Starkey’s kitchens, helped him devise the Grass Roots Kitchen menu. What started as a “commissary kitchen” idea for Starkey at the GRK location morphed into a full bricks and mortar operation, and rivertown residents will be glad it did. After all the heavy eating at Thanksgiving and Christmas time, Grass Roots Kitchen will provide the antidote: tasteful, healthy, fresh and satisfying culinary delights. Then, in 2019 and beyond Grass Roots Kitchen will await customers with delicious seasonal in-house offerings, and, yes, plenty of easy, free parking.

If You Go:

124 Wildey Street (in the mall across from Walgreens)
Open: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. 7 days/week
Call ahead for your order:
Or order online:

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