Roots on the Square (Bloomington, IN)

Being a vegetarian in such a hip place as Bloomington isn’t too hard. Every restaurant has at least one vegetarian entree, but where do you go for just vegetarian food?

Cory and I went to see IU Theater Department’s production of “Hair” last Saturday, but as always, we had to eat first. I decided to choose the first place we ever ate out together…


Cory's Cufflinks!

After giving Cory the best birthday present ever (custom cufflinks from Esty), we trekked to the Bloomington Square for birthday dinner at Roots, which unfortunately does not have a website. They should look into that.

The Atmosphere

To put it bluntly, sitting in Roots is like sitting inside an old, classy tree. The interior is furnished with hard wood floors, wooden tables, chairs, and booths, and a juice bar.  Get it? Tree…Roots. It makes sense.

Roots is located on the north side of the Square (6th and Walnut), a prime spot for people watching. Luckily, Saturday was a game day so we watched plenty of inebriated IU fans, stumbling to the nearest bar. We had plenty of time for people watching as well, because the service at Roots is pretty laid back. The servers are all very friendly and personable, but the laxness of the restaurant kind of puts quality of service in a grey area. Everyone has kind of a “you’ll get your food when you get your food” attitude. Which is fine, as long as you’re not in a hurry.


I’m impatient and always hungry, so we decided to get an appetizer. There are a variety of appetizers to choose from, but we decided to go with the Guacamole Plate.

Guacamole Plate

The plate came with a dish of guacamole and some pita bread. The pita bread was the best part. It was warm and doughy, like it had just been baked. The guacamole was good, but nothing special. I personally love all guacamole, but it’s my favorite when the cilantro is potent enough to give it some spice.

What I got

My favorite thing about Roots is their variety of foods. If you’re in a mood for Asian food, they have Pad Thai and fried rice. If you’re in the mood for Indian food, they have Curry. If you’re in the mood for a burger, they have those, too!

I could seriously eat Indian food every day of my life, so I went with a curry. It was a tough decision, though. Red Curry (savory) or Yellow Curry (sweet)? Cory and I decided to settle this with a class match of Rock, Paper, Scissors, best two out of three. He chose Red and I chose Yellow…

Giant Tofu!

He won…
I won…

Yellow Curry it was. The spice scale runs from a 1-5 at Roots and I was feeling like a daredevil, so I went with a 4.

The curry came with a side of rice and nice mixture of greens. The dish was based around sweet potatoes with peas, tofu, and carrots. The tofu chunks were pretty large and therefore didn’t soak up all the flavor of the curry. The spiciness wasn’t as hot as I’d expected. I could have gone with a 5 and been fine, but it was a good amount of sweet and spicy. If I were getting the Red Curry, however, it would have been about as spicy as I could handle. I was pretty satisfied with the meal, and I ate the majority of it (of course).


What he got

Previously, when we had eaten at Roots, Cory got the Country Fried Seitan and was disappointed because the Seitan wasn’t as crispy has he had expected. It has a nice breading,  but the inside is

almost the same consistency as tofu.

This time Cory again expected the Seitan to be crispy. He went with the Gyro but instead of getting it in a pita, he got it on wheat bread. When you get the Gyro, you have a choice of Seitan, tofu, or Tempeh. Cory went with the Seitan and was overall pleased with his meal, but was just slightly disappointed that the Seitan was mushy. It even came with Tzatsiki, which Cory loves!

Final Words

Regardless of how mushy the Seitan was, I love Roots. I think it’s a great Bloomington staple and gives vegetarianism a good rap.

Roots Stats:
Vegetarian Friendly: Yes
Vegan Friendly: Yes
Price: $

Dig in,


5 thoughts on “Roots on the Square (Bloomington, IN)

  1. Pingback: The Owlery (Bloomington, IN) « The Hearty Herbivore

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