Chef Edouardo Jordan's newest Junebaby recently opened two weeks ago. It's in the same quiet neighborhood of Ravenna; his first restaurant Salare is just a few doors down the road. We haven't checked that out yet, but we hopped into Junebaby first. It only takes reservations for parties of six and more. If you're under that, I think the current queue is about a 15 to 20-minute wait for a table or you could try your luck with the seats at the counter.
Gumbo of the day was quail gumbo. I couldn't tell what the meat really was because it was all minced up and stirred in with the spices and okra. It was frankly, delicious! We can't seem to get good gumbo in Singapore. And gumbo is something I'd eat as a one-dish meal. Grinned at the collard greens and neck bones. Reminiscent of steamed mui choy with pork belly. The chittlins were great. You need to like pig's intestines, especially how they smell. I do not care for them. So while I would taste and could know if they've been done well, I will not eat more than two bites of it. The man and friends slurrped them up.
Fried catfish with Geechie Boy grits, spinach, fiddlehead ferns and red sauce was on point. The smothered pork loin with shiitake mushroom, cow peas and kale greens was so good for sharing. Unless you like pork that much to monopolize the plate. Jerked smoked half chicken with fried okra and shallot marmalade was fantastic. There's something about the chicken here. It's nicer. While I'm not a fan of chicken, I can eat some, and if I get lucky, my skin wouldn't flare from those stupid allergies. Skipped the oxtail since it would be too much meat. We made it to dessert- shared two orders of rhubarb cobbler topped with a scoop of grains of paradise ice-cream.
Southern food isn't all about cornbread, fried chicken and stuff. Grits, yes! I'm glad this restaurant does it so well. This venture is all about the chef's personal journey of memories and exploration of Southern cuisine, and we LOVE Junebaby's food and how the kitchen churns them out.
"Junebaby will be a singular restaurant focusing essentially on ingredients that are indigenous to the southern parts of America and the techniques that they are rooted from," Jordan said. "It’s like grandmother went to culinary school. The food will tell the story of my family and ancestors."
~ Chef Edouardo Jordan's thoughts in an interview with Seattle Eater published April 26, 2017.