What happens when you combine two passionate chefs, a celebration of Central American food, and a dash of spice? Masa Taqueria! Chefs Chris Caldarone and Jonathon Kirk started doling out their mouth-watering medley of flavors last winter and now the duo plans to hit the streets with their very own food trailer by early summer. What sets this new food destination apart is the care poured into each dish, right down to hand-grinding heirloom corn to make their signature tortillas. Kirk insists, “There’s nothing quite like a perfect, freshly made corn tortilla!”
Caldarone and Kirk are proud to offer tacos inspired by Tijuana-style Mexican street foods, such as Birria de Res, a hearty stew of beef, chiles, and spices. Kirk recommends dipping the crispy, cheesy Quesabirria Taco in Consomé de Res, their flavorful beef-braising sauce. Be on the lookout for new menu items, like vegan tacos, fresh salsas, and agua frescas. While the two are putting finishing touches on the trailer, anyone interested in sampling their current dishes can check out the pop-up schedule on their Instagram (@masataqueriapvd) or website (MasaTaqueriaPVD.com). -Maia Correll
“I created Kin Southern Table + Bar because I wanted to share the many Southern influences from our childhood that I hold dear,” begins Julia Broome, owner of the new restaurant at 71 Washington Street. “Picking fresh vegetables from my Aunt Birdie’s garden, rolling out biscuits, cooking with my great grandmother’s cast iron skillet, and letting pitchers of tea sit in the sun.” It’s through serving soul food that she shows love and honors her ancestors.
“I always dreamed of owning a restaurant,” says Broome, who began to write up a business plan to keep busy when her job was impacted by COVID. “I just kept thinking about all my fond memories with my family growing up – and the food! It brought us together.” From there, the plan grew into a location and menu. Broome lists mouth-watering dishes like shrimp and grits, baked mac and cheese, and her favorites, fried green tomatoes and banana pudding. But it’s not just about the food: “Our mission is to celebrate Black culture. We do that through cooking traditional recipes that were passed down and educating people on soul food.” -Megan Schmit
If you’ve been lucky enough to catch their food truck posted up around Providence in the summer, then you know these are no ordinary frozen treats – Kow Kow’s bubble waffle cones are heaped with colorful ice cream and then topped with fruit or cookie crumbles and a drizzle of chocolate syrup. Soon, you won’t have to track down the truck for fan favorites like Cocoa Crazy and Berry Nutty, plus new vegan options, as owner Vilada Khammahavong prepares for the opening of her new brick-and-mortar shop on Ives Street this month.
The name “kow”, repeated for emphasis, is a familiar phrase in any Laotian household that translates to both “food” and “rice”. Essential to Khammahavong’s approach to tasty treats is capturing memories from her hometown: “Bubble waffles were a treat from my childhood that brings back a distinctly happy memory because it was something my family would only get once a month. Ice cream has always been my favorite dessert so, naturally, I wanted to combine the two!” It’s hard not to smile at the sight of Kow Kow’s decadent desserts. -Abbie Lahmers
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