Nick Meyer, Director of Operations at the new Ember Kitchen and Subterra Agave Bar in the historic Seaholm Power Plant building, explains how Austin’s latest hot opening is an ode to fire.
Celebrating the flavor of fire is your theme - tell us more!
The centerpiece of Ember Kitchen is our coal-fired Josper oven – one of very few in Texas – imported from Spain. It gives our food a serious level of depth and intensity.
Your venue is an ‘ode to fire’ - can you feel the flame in the cocktails too?
Our mixologist, Chris San Andres, incorporates the Josper into many of his syrup and shrub preparations as well by cooking some of the ingredients over the open flame. At Subterra, his agave-forward program aims to encapsulate the many flavors of Latin America. You’ll find a range of cocktails highlighting everything from tequila and mezcal, to obscurities such as bacanora, raicilla, Peruvian pisco and charanda, Mexico's only rum with an official denomination of origin.
Explain inKind to us, and how it’s shaping and saving the Austin restaurant scene.
Traditional funding presents many challenges for restaurant operators, so inKind set out to create a more sustainable option. The model–which allows inKind to provide non-dilutive funding by purchasing food and beverage credit in the business–actually helps restaurants grow without incurring the extra costs and debt often associated with traditional equity investments or loans.
What do you love about the Austin restaurant scene?
I’m an East Coast transplant who moved here during the pandemic, and over the last two years, I’ve really enjoyed getting to experience how truly relaxed the restaurant scene is in Austin. Outside of numerous taco trucks and barbecue joints, my favorites include Lenoir and Odd Duck, where both the flavors and staff are fun and memorable. My biggest takeaway from spots like these is that great food is bolstered by teams who genuinely enjoy serving it.
Ember Kitchen and Subterra Agave Bar, 800 W. Cesar Chavez Street, Austin, TX 78701
What signature Latin American dishes will diners get the hots for?
The Salpicon de Pulpo, featuring octopus marinated in a zingy escabeche, plays so well with the charred salsa, owing its intensity to the Josper.