The family tree branching from Elizabeth White, the Mrs. White of Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe downtown, has grown into an impressive spread of restaurants. This week, the family tree gets bigger.
The Root and Soul soft-opens Wednesday, April 25. The restaurant occupies a stand in DeSoto Market, in the former space of RADish. Christian Buze, "Chef Buzz," helms the kitchen. Buze is the cousin of Larry White (LoLo's Chicken and Waffles) and the grandson of Elizabeth.
Buze recently cooked out of a food truck, Buzznbees. Root and Soul is his first brick-and-mortar spot.
His menu of soul food classics is small, befitting the size of the restaurant. Buze plates chicken and waffles, fish and chips, collard greens, mac and cheese, and a catfish sandwich with shrimp and spicy aioli. The additions to the catfish speak to the slightly different direction Buze often takes with classic soul food preparations. He also has a little bit of the Big Easy in him, plating andouille sausage, po' boys, and Cajun shrimp.
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Big plates, sandwiches, sides, and salads define the menu. No category has more than five dishes. There are only three sandwiches and two salads.
RADish will be moving partly into The Provisionary, another Southern-spirited kitchen just a few windows down from The Root and Soul.
The Root and Soul. 915 North Central Avenue (inside Desoto Market); 205-670-1840.
Tuesday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to midnight; Sunday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; closed Monday.
Correction: The article originally said the restaurant was opening today, April 24. The owners changed the opening to April 25 after this was initially published.