San Marcos eatery offers casual fine dining
Rooted in San Marcos since 2005, Root Cellar Cafe & Brewery has created what owner Kyle Mylius describes as his own interpretation of casual fine dining in a place where everyone feels welcome.
"Any time you come in here you'll see both ends of the spectrum when it comes to clientele," Mylius said. "Everyone feels comfortable here, and that's our ultimate goal—to be here for everybody."
In what would otherwise be a dark cellar, the restaurant lights up to display its cozy atmosphere made up of hardwood floors, wooden tables, mismatched chairs, throw rugs and an art gallery featuring works by local artists.
Mylius said the Root Cellar relies on a creative and changing menu selection, made largely from fresh organic foods and made-from-scratch recipes to keep its patrons satisfied. The restaurant serves American cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner and offers specialty beverages ranging from in-house brewed beer to chai tea lattes, smoothies and cream sodas.
"People's tastes are constantly changing, and things can get stagnant in the restaurant business pretty easily, so we strive to change all the time," Mylius said. "We have a local seasonal menu we change every couple of months, and that's been a big hit here. People really want to see new items from their favorite restaurant."
However, some Root Cellar menu items don't change. Mylius said the restaurant's homemade salad dressings—especially the tangy balsamic and raspberry vinaigrettes—have been so popular with customers throughout the years that he found a partner to commercially bottle his dressings and sell them at the Little Shoppe of Health located on North Edward Gary Street and online at Greenling.com.
In 2010, Root Cellar became the first brewpub in San Marcos. Mylius also sells 64 ounce bottles to customers so they can take the beer home with them.
Mylius got his first taste of the culinary business at age 17 when he waited tables at a Mexican food restaurant in his hometown of Fort Worth. It was then Mylius realized he belonged in the food industry.
"I really fell in love with serving people. It just kind of felt right to me," Mylius said. "And I knew I wanted to be my own boss in some regard, and the restaurant business made the most sense because it's what I knew, what I had experience in and what I loved."
Root Cellar bakery coming soon
Root Cellar owner Kyle Mylius is opening a bakery that will also function as a catering kitchen. The bakery will be located at 142 N. LBJ Drive, the current site of an apartment leasing office. Possibly named the Root Cellar Bakery and Tea Room, the bakery is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.
Popular menu items
- Brazilian French Toast: soaked in vanilla rum sauce and topped with cinnamon sugar ($6.50)
- Eggs Benedict: an English muffin with grilled ham and two poached eggs served with hollandaise sauce, Saturdays and Sundays only ($9.49)
- Ham and Swiss with green apples: a sandwich made with grilled cinnamon apples, swiss and mayonnaise, served on wheatberry bread ($7.50)
- Salmon Fillet with Balsamic Glaze: a wild Alaskan salmon topped with a sweet balsamic reduction and garnished with crispy eggplant chips, served with a vegetable medley and wild rice ($16)
Root Cellar Cafe & Brewery, 215 N. LBJ Drive, San Marcos, 512-392-5158, www.rootcellarcafe.com, Twitter: @R_Cellar_Cafe, Hours: Tue.–Sun. 7 a.m.–4 p.m., 5:30–10 p.m., closed Mon.