Restaurant Review: Restaurant Review
Chef-driven, high-quality eats from a new food trailer court
Reviewed by Kate Thornberry, Fri., Oct. 7, 2011
The Kitchen Window415 Jessie, 750-8396
Wednesday-Thursday, 11am-3pm and 6-10pm;
Friday-Saturday, 11am-3pm and 6pm-12mid;
Sunday, 11am-3pm and 6-10pm
The Kitchen Window is one of a handful of trailers in a little trailer food court called Jessie Street Eats behind Thom's Market on Barton Springs Road. The court itself is gracious, inviting, and spotlessly clean, with sturdy, comfortable seating, shade umbrellas, and fans. The ground is thickly covered with clean, white gravel, and at night, the tables are lit with candle lanterns. Underneath the towering pecan trees that favor this area of town, Jessie Street Eats is more elegant than many restaurant patios.
The Kitchen Window is the anchor of the food court. Word has been getting out about its chef-driven, high-quality eats. The menu is short, consisting mainly of burgers, salads, and appetizers, all of which are prepared with an almost obsessive concentration on perfection. The burgers are made with enormous charcoal-broiled patties of grass-fed Windy Bar Ranch beef. The bacon cheeseburger ($10), kimchi burger ($8), and plain burger ($8) are all juicy, flavorful, and magnificent, and almost (but not quite) too large to finish. The frites ($3), served with both ketchup and mayonnaise, are also remarkable: more like hot, handmade shoestring potatoes than typical fries, and topped with fried garlic and fresh parsley. The eggplant dish ($5) consists of freshly picked baby arugula topped with slices of tender grilled eggplant. Served with grilled pita bread and two dipping sauces, it's a great deal. But the very best offering of all are the wings ($7). Smoking hot, drenched in a sweet sesame-habanero glaze, and served with a grilled habanero, they are without a doubt the most flavorful wings I have had to date, and the portion is beyond generous.
All of the eggplant, arugula, tomatoes, onions, and peppers are supplied by certified organic local grower Johnson's Backyard Garden, and as the seasons change, the Kitchen Window will continue to source as much as it can from Johnson's and other local farmers. There are blackboard specials nightly, and beverages include locally brewed sodas, Mexican Cokes, and Topo Chico. Each day, either a homemade gelato or a fresh sorbet is available as well. As the weather cools off and we head into patio weather, Jessie Street Eats is likely to become standing room only.