Jjim BBQ Opens, Siete Brings the Jambalaya, Kemuri Gets Boxy, and a Texas Rep Possibly Sells His Soul to Satan

All the news that’s fit to get your taste buds quivering

Here’s some of what’s currently happening in Austin’s culinary scene for this second week of February, as wrangled from numerous PR releases, official posts, words on the digital street, and even the occasional (verified) IRL eavesdroppings.

Kemuri Tatsu-ya is boxing clever.

Has anyone mentioned that Valentine’s Day is coming up this weekend? That would totally explain all these events in our Food Listings section for the past couple of weeks. But where did Valentine’s Day itself come from? The answer may surprise you.

We told you that Jjim BBQ was going to open in the Lamar Union, bringing that Korean method of slow cooking or braising meat until tender to the forefront, right? We told you that a while ago, actually. And now, “After many delayed months,” says Min Choe of CKN Hospitality, “we are super excited to finally offer Jjim to Austin.” And when we say “now,” we mean it: The new place opens on Thursday. “Guests should come hungry and prepared for a fun and delicious experience,” says Choe.

The community-forward folks at Siete Family Foods have cooked up something special to bring you a night of tasty fun and support the beloved Wheatsville Food Co-op at the same time. Cooking Con Siete: Grain Free Jambalaya is a free, interactive virtual cooking class (Tue., Feb. 16, 6pm) in which Siete’s Chef Scarleth and Chef Dan will lead a step-by-step demonstration of how to create, yes, grain-free jambalaya. The idea is that, once you sign up for the class, you’ll buy your ingredients at Wheatsville – where, just by showing your class-confirmation email at checkout, you’ll also get gifts of Siete Mild Taco Seasoning, Siete Red Enchilada Sauce, two Matr Boomie Spice Bowls, and a $5 coupon for your next purchase there. But you have to buy ingredients somewhere, right? And this way you get a free class and then they give you gifts? And it’s from the flavor professionals of Siete? Reckon Wheatsville is even more beloved right about now. Register here.

You know this whole thing about pivoting? Wherein the people who run our favorite restaurants are having to, ah, to think outside the box in order to accommodate the various pandemic restrictions without losing their shirts, their shoes, their entire livelihoods? Of course Kemuri Tatsu-Ya’s been really sharp about that, but now they’re thinking inside the box. The bento box, that is, as they’ve just introduced the Kemuri TV Dinner, which is a chef-curated bento box inspired by their acclaimed Omakase Club. Each one ($35) contains enough food for one person, and, depending on what’s in season and available, you could be nomming on house-smoked brisket, Heritage Farm wings, yuki green breans, pesto edamame, inari sushi, kabocha salad, mini-guaca poke, cornbread tayaki, spicy miso soup, and more. And if you wanna think outside that box when you order, go ahead and add a tamago pudding dessert with winter strawberries, caramel, vanilla, sansho, yuzu – or, you know, any of their fine sake and cocktails.

Out at Kuhlman Cellars in Stonewall – you know: right along that Hwy 290 Wine Trail between Fredericksburg and Johnson City? – at Kuhlman, we say, where Chris and Jennifer Cobb (and Texas wine pioneer Bénédicte Rhyne) continue to produce terroir-driven wines of the highest quality, they’ve added a new Barrel-to-Bottle tasting to their lineup of Estate Experiences. It’s a vertical tasting, timewise, wherein you’ll explore vintage variations as well as wine maturation while sampling wines from the 2016, 2017, and unreleased 2018 vintages. You can book such a tasting on Fridays and Saturdays, and – oh, look: Here’s that reservation link again.

And out in Round Top, the most talented carnivores in the state are gearing up for the Butcher’s Ball Dinner Series. Taking place over four nights in March at the Halles indoor/outdoor pavilion, each dinner will showcase two notable Texas chefs collaborating on a five-course meal using only ingredients sourced from within 100 miles. Cocktails, beer, wine, and of course some incredible live music are also in the lineup – and a portion of each evening’s ticket sales will benefit culinary-related charities.

Oh, and we hear that Texas State House Representative Richard Raymond has introduced a new bill that would cancel the state’s Prohibition-era ban on distilled spirits sales on Sundays. But, um, gawrsh – won’t such a bold move offend that big, magical, gray-bearded, gown-wearing Daddy in the sky? The idea of allowing grownup Texas-based humans to sell their tasty, legally distilled liquids any old day of the week? OMG, leave it to a Democrat to foment such dire Satanic madness!

Meanwhile, eat as well as you can, citizen – and watch out for those ‘ronas.

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Jjim BBQ, Siete Family Foods, Wheatsville Co-Op, Kemuri Tatsu-ya, possible demonic possession of a Texas citizen who was duly elected by his community

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