10 October 2010

The Satan Push - Stop 3 - Root Cellar Cafe and Darkside Fermentations

It had been a long time since I had been to San Marcos.  In a previous life, I was a route salesman and I worked San Marcos for a few months.  Long enough to get the general geography down, not long enough to learn all the details.  San Marcos is a small city with a large university, and the whole town feels like the campus.  And Satan and I love the vibe of college communities.

I will say that it was easier to find the Root Cellar than it was to find a parking place, but we managed.    The restaurant is in the basement of a three story building.   The ceilings were low, the rock walls covered in a thick, glossy tan paint.  Art hung everywhere.  Very laid back and hip atmosphere.  A couple of attractive waitress scurried among the tables: one a shorter, curvy blond in jeans, and a taller blonde in shorts (with a fistfull of straws stuffed in her right back pocket) with great legs.  Runner's legs, Satan decided.  There were a couple of guys working there too.  They looked like guys.

We had to wait for a table; not a surprise, it was 12:30 pm on a Friday.  We scoured the menu and had already picked out what we wanted when we were seated.  We had seen a chalkboard at the cashier's stand advertising a Golden Strong Ale and a Grooms Ale, made with yarrow root.  We ordered a bottle of each, only to find out the Grooms Ale was sold out.  So we ordered two bottles of the golden ale.

I thought the Golden Ale was a little on the Dark Strong side, but it was still a very nice Belgian ale.  Dark, dried fruit, with hints of spice and a nice alcohol warmth.  A perfect beer for a neat little place.  Satan commented that the restaurant reminded him of some places he had been to in Europe.

I love being in college areas.  There's a sense of education in the air.  At restaurants in non-college towns, the conversations you overhear tend to be about work, last night's TV shows, or something else that is important in people's lives, but hardly inspiring.  At the table next to us, two ladies were discussing Shakespeare, Shylock and politics as they discussed the opening of a Shakespeare Festival they were organizing.  You don't hear that in Eola, for example.  The conversations in Eola are more prosaic and tend to be about farming and family.

 I ordered a rosemary citrus chicken, Satan had Shepard's Pie.  Really great food.  If I have a complaint, it is that the service was a bit slow.  It was a busy Friday, true.  But the ladies next to us waited an hour after their order, and only got their food because they flagged down the waitress.

Stuffed, we made our way back to the car and headed for Blanco, our last stop of the day.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 09:06

2 Comments:

Anonymous make your own beer said...

You are so spot on about college towns. Having a daughter in college and visiting often, I actually noticed the same atmosphere. It was actually quite refreshing. Great post.

10:41 AM  
Blogger assurbanipaul said...

Heard rave reviews about this place. Brought back two bottles of their lambic-style, with very high hopes.

Unfortunately, it was a drain pour. Liquid aspirin.

6:55 PM  

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