One of Seattle’s (and, indeed, the country’s) most anticipated spring openings has made visible progress in its delayed quest to open: Junebaby, chef Edouardo Jordan’s Southern-styled follow-up to acclaimed Salare, has its menu online now to tease and tantalize you. If it also confuses you or sparks your anthropological curiosity, the website provides an extensive encyclopedia of food, cultural, and geographic terms related to its theme, ranging from “Africa” to “Yams.”
So if you’re planning a dream meal at the new Ravenna restaurant and you can’t quite recall if the Snack category’s “pimento cheese” is something you’d want with pickles and saltine crackers, flip to the “P to T” section of the encyclopedia for the following background:
Considered a southern delicacy, it is a mixture of cheddar cheese, pimento pepper, and mayonnaise. It is served with saltine crackers. Pimento cheese actually has origins in New York during the late 1800's due to industrial food manufacturing. In 1911, pimento cheese was booming within the nation and Georgia began cultivating domestic pimento peppers due to the demand of the sweet Spanish pepper. It is believed that George was the reason why pimento cheese became a southern classic.
The encyclopedia appears to be a work in progress, which means some terms are listed sans descriptions (“Angelfish”) and others are absent entirely, so you’ll still have to resort to Wikipedia to find out what the Bread category’s “hoecakes” with honey and sour cream could be (perhaps another term for a cornmeal flatbread also known as a “Johnnycake,” or simply cornbread fried in a pan).
It’s an engaging way for Junebaby to advance its lofty narrative. Jordan has told Eater his sophomore effort will be "a history lesson, a journey; from the whole Middle Passage to the building of America, which was built on the back of African slaves, who became African-Americans.”
In fact, jump to the “F to J” portion of the encyclopedia for three adjacent explanations of the term “JuneBaby” and you’ll see it’s “A seasonal neighborhood restaurant melding the diverse cuisines of West Africa and the southern parts of the Americas,” “A historical journey of the migration from Africa to Northern America told through the story of food,” and “The childhood name given to Chef Edouardo Jordan’s father.”
This attention to detail, along with the promise of nightly specials like fried chicken and biscuit Sundays and smoked turkey leg Wednesdays, surely raises the excitement level. Look for Junebaby later this month, if all goes well.
Junebaby is anticipated to open in April 2017. It will serve dinner Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday 5 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 5 p.m. to close; lunch will be Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; “Moonshine Hour” will be Saturday and Sunday 3 to 5 p.m.