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New eatery goes old school for flavor

Kindling Texas Kitchen uses regional cuisine to create its menu, including pork belly with crispy skin, charred cabbage and a peach barbecue sauce. Courtesy photo

CIBOLO — Cooking couple Gwyndolyn and Justin Hammerson have transformed a house built in 1911 into their first restaurant, Kindling Texas Kitchen.

They hope the eatery attracts visitors to a resurgent downtown.

“This isn’t a ‘just come get dinner really quick and go.’ We want it to be a dining experience down to every bite,” Justin Hammerson said.

Kindling Texas Kitchen opens on Dec. 8 at 209 N. Main St. in a structure Hammerson’s great-great-great uncle constructed.

The Hammersons — Gwyndolyn, 23, and Justin, 25 — have been kitchen workers since age 15. They helped Lis and Jayme Mathis launch the nearby 1908 House of Wine & Ale last year. The Mathises convinced their friends to create Kindling.

The restaurateurs focus on contributions of several cultures to develop regional Texas cuisine: Native Texans, Comanche and Apache; Spanish/Mexican; French Cajun/Creole; German, Czech and Polish; and Southern American.

A wood-burning grill adds a touch of authenticity to the dining experience, the owners said.

“We don’t have any deep fryers in our kitchen. We don’t have a lot of things that most modern-day restaurants have because we’re trying to do a lot of old-school techniques,” Hammerson said.

Dishes are created with farm-fresh ingredients sourced from near and far.

The menu includes dinner and Sunday brunch. Staples are steaks, pasta, chicken, vegetarian options, cakes, pies and Bluebell ice cream.

“We want everyone to feel really super satisfied at the end of the night,” Gwyndolyn Hammerson said. “There’s a lot of hard work behind this place, and there’s a lot of us in this place.”

Hours are 4-10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.

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