You aren’t going to find an Upland in Bushwick, and won’t find a Babbo either. In part, that’s due to demographics. Yes, many families live in the neighborhood (and have for a very long time), but there’s also just a sh*tload of twenty-somethings making synth-pop or performance art or whatever it is you do when you graduate from college and want to prove to your parents that you got poetry in you. And that’s why you’ll find places like Sally Roots here.
On any given night, the median age at this restaurant will be about 24. It’s a neighborhood spot full of neighborhood people, and nothing costs over $20. The food itself is Caribbean/American, and it’s pretty straightforward. Order a bowl of braised oxtail, and that’s what you’ll get - a scoop of meat on a pile rice and peas.
Which isn’t to say that you shouldn’t go here. Sure, the plating isn’t fancy, but Sally Roots has other things going for it: it’s well-designed, dimly lit, and they play loud music. This place is perfect for a casual dinner date or a night out with friends, and if you’re one of the seven billion people who enjoy backyards, they have a great one.
So when shouldn’t you come here? Maybe when you’re looking for a life-changing meal. Mostly, this is just food you put in your mouth while you talk to other people. It isn’t fancy, but it makes you feel good, and if you have a bad weekday, the pulled pork will put its arm around you and tell you that things could be worse.
Although don’t expect comforting service. Most employees here give the impression that they just got back from a Father John Misty show, and it totally wiped them out. Your drinks might even sit at the bar while the servers take pictures of each other and field compliments on their hats. But what are you going to do? It’s still a fun place to eat.
If we lived nearby, we’d come here once a week - selfie-taking servers and all. We might even post up at the bar on a Friday night and have a few cocktails (and tostones) before heading to Three Diamond Door. We probably wouldn’t text home about our meal, but at least we’d be full and have money left for drinks. In Bushwick, that’s important.
This main is called pork. As you can see, it’s pork. Also, rice and peas. Dump some hot sauce over this, and that’s a comforting plate of food.
Not our favorite. We’d pass on this and go for the salmon or pork.
A good piece of fish, although it could use more sauce. Add some of the stuff that comes with the tostones.
Pretty good tostones with an exceptional garlic sauce. Even if you don’t get these, ask for a side of the sauce, and put it on everything.
Not what you should be getting here, although you won’t go home in tears. Despite all the toppings, it’s really just an average burger.
First, why is this on the menu. Second, why is it actually good. We’d order this again.