The delectable combination of tequila and Tex-Mex is bound for Interbay in January when Batch 206 Distillery releases Washington’s first “100-percent blue agave spirit” (the company can’t actually call it tequila since it’s not made in Mexico) and welcomes to its Batch Bar kitchen Oaky’s Tex Mex, a wood-smoked take on classics like carnitas tacos and enchiladas.
Oaky’s is the latest project from Matt Davis and James Barrington, the owners of respected food truck and Central District restaurant Wood Shop BBQ. Oaky’s is replacing superb Chicago-style pizzeria Windy City Pie, which announced last week it’s moving out of Batch Bar’s small kitchen and into a full restaurant on Phinney Ridge at the beginning of 2019.
Davis’ elevator pitch for Oaky’s is simple: the comfort food bliss of Tex-Mex from a smoker. “The goal is to honor our love of real, authentic Tex-Mex, but we just can’t help smoking all the meats,” he says. The menu ought to include smoked and braised meats like barbacoa for tacos, crispy taquitos, borracho or charro beans with copious amounts of shredded cheese, and what Davis calls his “real core passion,” creamy chile con queso for dipping tortilla chips.
Batch 206 owner Jeff Steichen is excited about the new addition as he himself has an affinity to this style of food, having owned a little chain of Mexican restaurants, Casa U-Betcha, in Belltown and Portland in the 1980s and ‘90s. Oaky’s post oak-smoked fare should be a perfect match for Batch 206’s new agave spirit, which will be barrel-aged like an añejo tequila, for added flavor and color, and released around the time Oaky’s opens, hopefully around the first week of January.
A little something to look forward to in the new year.