Kitchen completion is in sight

Today is St. Patrick’s day and it is also the day that the great people at Dellco completed the ductwork they were building for us and came to complete the installation of the hoods.  While delivering the ductwork they brought with them most of the remaining items to complete the equipment line up.  That leaves us with two more steps to final completion of the kitchen.  Step one is to get the ANSUL system installed (that’s the fire suppression system and is essential if we are to have insurance on the property).  Step two is to get the approval of the health inspector.  We have been very careful to work with the inspector at every step of the way and expect this to be both simple and easy.  All in all, we feel are now in good shape.

This morning I was in the kitchen making sure that everything was on track.  We had three kitchen installers, two electricians, one cook, one handyman, one cleaner, myself and three dogs including a Great Dane in the kitchen at one time.  If we had any more help we would need a bigger kitchen.


The ANSUL installers are the last delay and they are scheduled to be on site on the 28th, 29th and 30th of March.  That means that we are really close to being fully functional.

The next big thing is to have you sample our food.  I get a LOT of questions about the menu.  Let’s look at what we know we will have.  First of all will be pizza.  The intent is to provide you with Great pizza on a homemade crust.  We may not be able to come up with a homemade gluten free crust that can compete with the frozen gluten free offerings but we will keep working on that.  Initially we will be working on simple toppings such as cheese (Margherita pizza), pepperoni, sausage, mushroom and a meat lovers for example.  We are going to be emphasizing quality.  Home made crust and top quality ingredients.  We want to take care of our vegan and vegetarian customers as well as those of you with gluten sensitivity.  A major frozen pizza manufacturer was caught selling sausage pizza that contained no sausage (textured vegetable protein or soy) and no cheese (synthetic cheese) and as a final insult the crust had an inert filler that was made from a waste product from the paper making industry (sawdust).  We will be going in the opposite direction and will make every effort to provide premium ingredients resulting in a pizza that is memorable and worth eating with absolutely no synthetic ingredients at all.

The Leaning Tower of Pizza

The next food group that we will be doing will be barbecue.  We have gone to considerable trouble to locate and then buy and transport back the best barbecue cooker we could find.  There is much mystery and black art to barbecue cooking and the basic rule seems to be that if you cook something and you describe it as barbecue, then it is barbecue.  We do not mean that.  When we cook barbecue we mean West Texas barbecue.  We do not “mop” our meat with mystic ingredients nor do we pour a sweet and or vinegary sauce over the meat.  We rely on the following four ingredients for flavor.  Meat, smoke, salt and pepper.  The meat should be good quality and if it is brisket, then it should have a good fat cap on it.  Brisket can be tough and to get over that you have to cook low and slow so we have a fourteen hour  cooking time using the finest ingredients and we use pecan wood for smoke.  We do not use gas, electric or woods other than pecan for our cooking.  Personally I prefer post oak but the current consensus is that pecan is preferred by more people than the oak.  I want to do some taste testing and see if I can’t change some minds.  It may be as simple as the people from West Texas have easier access to pecan and have developed a taste for it and post oak is more prevalent further east.   Mesquite is for grilling and it makes barbecue too bitter and strongly flavored There have not been a lot of barbecue options in Terlingua for a while, but suddenly we had four options and that was before I started cooking.  I think that one of those options has already closed and some of the others don’t have barbecue available every day.  We plan on barbecue every day.  I love it that we have got some serious competition.  The poorest will not survive long and what is left will be really good barbecue.  Right now we have some serious competition and that has to be a good thing.

The last food grouping will be the non pizza, none barbecue foods. steak, chops, pasta, fish, sandwiches etc..  Many of these items will only ever appear on the chalkboard.  Corned beef and cabbage on the board for St. Patrick’s day, turkey dinner for Thanksgiving, a special Christmas dinner, fish and fries because chef found some great Atlantic cod or several pasta specials because we have a group of cyclists in town needing “carb loading”.  Of course that is also where are chefs can “strut their stuff” and put on Boeuf Wellington or Duck a L’orange or whatever else they feel impelled to make.

The future is exciting and we are looking forward to it with anticipation.

This week on Saturday, 19th of March  we will be celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary.  We have “The Battleground” from Los Angeles playing for us up until 10:00 and then our own Moses will be entertaining from 10:00 until 1:00.  Come and join us and help us celebrate this once in a lifetime event.

20 thoughts on “Kitchen completion is in sight”

  1. Wish best to yu man, looking taste that BB soon, concerned doing DAILY as might not all sell, then NO income/a loss,etc BBChef going away (like previous ones) yu said one in Alpine(Cuban food) have not been able locate that guy. BEST
    Houston Tx

  2. Wonderful to hear the end is nigh and hope the restaurant will be open by mid – late April when we will be visiting.

  3. Excellent news John!

    Congratulations to you and Josie on your 50th anniversary, a milestone very few make.

    Laurie and I can’t wait to come back and we will probably be bringing our camping buddies with us, most likely in October.



    1. Ditto on the congrats. As it so happens, my wife and I celebrate our 50th this November.
      I have been coming to BB and Terlingua/Lajitas since 1986 and have always stopped at La Kiva for a beer (ok..maybe several) and eats. Shocked two years ago and found it closed and asked around and found out about the unbelievable. So glad to see it open again. Many thanks for the past great times I (and my friends and my two sons (44 & 46) and my grandson (19)) that we shared at La Kiva. Will stop in again when I come (solo this time) in a couple of weeks. God bless all.
      Don Brillhart
      Alice, TX and Ruidoso Downs, NM.

    1. Hi Don,
      Sorry if I offended you with the mesquite comment but I am puzzled by why you should care. I thought you used old railroad ties for cooking.
      PS Don is the only real BBQ competition in Terlingua. You should check it out. It’s on FM 170 About a mile west of the post office. I am going to pick on Don every chance I get after the roasting I took from his son who revealed that I am an albino mexican who only learned English four years ago. It appears that I am El Chappo’s third cousin and have overstayed my visa. My social security number is the winning lotto number from the day I came to America from Mexico. To learn the rest of the salacious details you will need to visit and hear Bachman the youngers vicious attack on me and then make up your own mind.

  4. Such good news! Can’t wait to try it. I never saw the kitchen at La Kiva “before” but, I’m pretty sure it didn’t look like THAT. 😀

  5. Looks fantastic!! You have worked so hard and diligently! Few could have accomplished what you and Josie have done.
    See you Saturday to take part in the celebration of your and Josie’s 50th. ( didn’t think you could get married at only 10 years of age)

  6. Happy belated Anniversary. Can’t wait for October to come around so that we can come visit again. The kitchen should be in full bloom by then and I am sure whatever comes out of it will be very delicious. God bless.

  7. The new kitchen looks much larger and cleaner than the old kitchen!!!!!!! We’re looking forward to eating GREAT food at the new La Kiva!!

  8. Does anyone know if Thanksgiving dinner is on this year at La Kiva? Plans have to be made ahead of time for those on the other sides of Texas and elsewhere 😉

    1. Oh yes. Thanksgiving is definitely on and we have live music almost every night over the entire holiday period. Come and join us. It’ll be fun.


      1. We will be down there thanksgiving week , looking forward to seeing u and the new kiva . I have family there maybe I can get them to show up too . Do you know what days there will be live music

        1. I think you can pretty much pick any night and we will have live music. We will be posting more information soon. Looking forward to showing you around.

  9. John – Dawn and I had an absolutely magical time at La Kiva on Wed evening. We were on our way back to our campsite in the basin when I asked Dawn if she had ever been to La Kiva – her answer of no sparked a u-turn that was planned for a 5 min walk thorugh to show her the bar and ended up turning into a 5 hour layover. The highlight of the evening was getting to meet you and learn of your history and see the joy and love you are putting into this bar and the town. I look forward to catching up in March when I’ll be back for the annual Round the Bend motorcycle get together.

    1. It was a delight to meet the two of you. Thank you for your very kind comments and we look forward to seeing you in March. It seems that more and more people are realizing that FM170 goes right past our door and it is one of the US’s premier motorcycle roads. I have got to admit that it is pretty spectacular.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *