My wife and I found ourselves at Roots Catering on a warm Sunday morning. This was not our first occasion coming here, but it was with some trepidation. The initial visit was during the holidays and it was packed. We chalked up some of the misfires to the restaurant simply being busy. The very obvious takeaway was that the food is fantastic; with delicious dishes inspired from a worldwide perspective,

it offers something more in a town dominated by omelets, scrambles, and champagne brunches.

Tucked away on Esplanade far from
the wild antics of downtown, there is something charming about its location. The interior has high ceilings, but makes poor use of the space. They’re doing very well, based on the volume at any given time (which, for a couple who came with us, was just too much to want to return). The tables are unstable (I spilled water and coffee on myself twice from simply placing my arms on the table), and the service left something to be desired both times we’ve gone. This past weekend, the waitress failed to return to take our order until our tea had gone cold.

The volume presents a difficulty that

I have come to dread in brunch places around Chico. When it’s colder outside,
it makes sense that everyone would be packed in; however, when that summer wind starts blowing, I can’t stress enough the importance of investing in some outside seating. For a lot of folks around our little hamlet, Sunday breakfast is a great change- of-pace social gathering from a busy workweek. It’s important to consider the social aspects, as well as culinary aspects, when running a business.

With those detractions on the table, let’s talk about why you should still give them a chance. The menu is incredible. The Huevos Montuleños are fantastic, and easily my favorite dish on the menu. There’s cuisine inspired from cultures across the world, which provides a wonderful option for adventurous palates. It’s worth noting that they are also caterers, which makes sense as you leaf through the menu.

So, the question becomes: will I go back again? I imagine that will be a knee-jerk deci- sion at some point in the future when Sunday brunch comes up again. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to bring it up without noting the problems that make the eating experi- ence less than satisfactory.

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Dan O’Brien wrote more than a dozen novels (all before the age of 30), including the bestselling Bitten, which was featured on Conversations Book Club’s Top 100 novels of 2012. Before starting Amalgam, he was the senior editor and marketing director for an international magazine. In addition, he has spent over a decade in the publishing industry as a freelance editor. He currently teaches psychology at CSU, Chico. You can learn more about Amalgam by visiting his website at: