Pot roast is a quintessentially American comfort dish, once a staple of Sunday dinner throughout mainstream America. Yet most Americans today rarely eat it. Why is that? Pot roast is neither difficult nor expensive to make and the meat is moist and tender from slow-cooking.
Prominent American chefs have been looking abroad for inspiration and new ideas. James Beard award winner Jerry Traunfeld opened an Indian style restaurant, Poppy, in 2008 and a Szechuanese cuisine influenced restaurant, Lionhead, in 2015. Iron Chef competitor Rick Bayless offers modern interpretations of everyday Mexican cuisine. Rising star chef Tyler Akin serves “bright, herb and chile-laced dishes with roots in Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, and further afield in Southeast Asia.”
Pot Roast (the proposed restaurant) is inspired by American culinary history and acquaints diners with classic American cuisine that’s becoming forgotten, and introduces new ways to cook, eat, and think about American food. Beet pickled eggs, for instance, is a nearly forgotten Southern American bar snack. Braised pig trotters is another example of a classic American dish almost erased from memory.
My aim here isn’t authenticity, but to update the classics and to remind diners that there’s a fascinating culinary history that can be a source of ingenuity for chefs and home cooks alike. Braised pig’s feet shouldn’t be something you can only find in a Chinese or Mexican restaurant, it was once a common American victual.
Everything below has been served at Alive Juice Bar. Dinner is a five course prix fixe menu, ranging from $22-$28, tax included.
Course 1: Basket of beet, kale, and yam chips.
Course 2: Soup of the day (vegan option available)
Course 3: Main (vegan option available)
Course 4: Salad
Course 5: Dessert (vegan option available)
Sample of rotating soup options (two available per day)
- Pumpkin chili
- Gluten-free New England clam chowder (cauliflower broth)
- Tomato carrot soup
- Face and tail soup (oxtail and beef cheek)
- Coconut carrot soup
- Chicken and rice soup
- Salmon stew
Mains (everything braised)
- Pot roast
- Lamb shank
- Pig trotters
- Vegan patty
Sides served with mains
- Coconut mashed potatoes or rice and beans (or mac and cheese?)
- Seasonal greens, carrots, and pineapple pickled beets
- Gravy and seasonal jam
- Kale salad w/beet pickled egg or fried tofu
- Romaine salad w/beet pickled egg(contains raw egg)
- Black bean brownie w/tomato whipped cream
- “Raw” carrot cake w/ginger whipped cream
- Milk shake topped with fish eggs
- Ice cream (uniquely flavored) w/candied orange peels and fish eggs
- Seasonal fruit w/celery whipped ream
Smoothies, $7 tax included
From Alive Juice Bar menu
- Rum or vodka can be added to any smoothie for $1 more
- Red wine only, $20/bottle, tax included. Customer physically picks out bottle from wine rack and glasses from glass rack
- Forty-ounce malt liquor options, $12/bottle. Customer physically picks out bottle from fridge and glasses from glass rack
I don’t know anything about coffee. Let customer get their own k-pod cup of coffee for $2?
One person in juice bar prepares and brings out smoothies, salad, and desert courses. One person manages the 24 seat main dining room and the waiting area. One person in main kitchen to prepare main course and chips, helps with service as necessary. An additional person to manage patio area when it’s open.
Leftovers (from kitchen, not dining room) will be packed in microwaveable bowls and sold at Alive Juice Bar alongside the existing meal bowls that are for sale.
Jams, chips, candied orange peels, and pickled veggies will be sold in waiting area.
Lunch Service and Menu
Lunch will be self-serve and provided by Alive Juice Bar, as it is now. We’ll consider creating a lunch menu for Pot Roast once we have dinner service figured out.