Unless you’re the type of person who spends their entire Sunday meal-prepping intricate salads and grain bowls, healthy work lunches can be forgettable. But Dirty Root, a fast-casual restaurant in the West Loop, is a great option for a lunch that you won’t forget about as soon as you’re finished eating.
Dirty Root is mostly a takeout operation, with a menu focused on bowls using local, unprocessed ingredients like schmaltz-roasted brussels sprouts or mushrooms cooked in ghee. You can make your own, or pick from pre-made options like the classic, which has cauliflower, sweet potatoes, and chicken thighs. All your choices are lined up in cast iron pots, so it feels a little like being at a potluck, but one where somebody brought gremolata-covered beets instead of coleslaw from Jewel. Our main complaint is that while everything tastes good, it all tends to get mushy. But textural issues aside, if you work in the area it should definitely replace the canned tuna currently in your weekday rotation.
This has a cauliflower and mushroom base, kale caesar mix, honey-roasted sweet potatoes, and roasted chicken thighs, with kale and pumpkin seed pesto. We prefer making our own bowls, but if decision-making stresses you out, this is a good place to start.
We’re not crazy about Dirty Root’s bland and soft falafel. But we’re big fans of everything else going on in this bowl, especially the cabbage slaw and roasted garlic aioli. We usually swap out the falafel for another protein, but we understand that “Awfully Pork Shoulder” isn’t as catchy.