Kevin Martinez has been working on making his own mozzarella for a seasonal plate of heirloom tomatoes, watermelon and cheese drizzled with balsamic vinegar. Photo by Meda Kessler
It started with a text last September from Randall Archie, fourth-generation owner of the popular family business in Fort Worth. It caught Tokyo Cafe chef Kevin Martinez by surprise.
He says he didn’t really know Randall but was intrigued by his proposal to open a small dining venue at the nursery. “I told him I’d pass it on to Jarry and Mary [Ho, the owners of Tokyo Cafe], and get back to him.” Fast-forward to a new year and plans are well underway for Heirloom, a breakfast/brunch/lunch trailer that will sit in a dedicated spot under old-growth trees in the garden.
The custom trailer is being built in San Antonio; an elevated patio sits where a vintage truck was parked. Cafe tables and chairs have been ordered — there will be seating for as many as 40 to 50 — or guests can get their food to go. “We will start small,” says Martinez, “but everything will be seasonal, and eventually, we’ll grow it here, too. After all, we’re in a garden.”
The chef is working on migas (he’ll use his mother’s salsa), an eggs Benedict, biscuits and other approachable items. “We want to serve really good coffee, too, and we plan to compost everything,” says Martinez. Archie says he tried to create a rotating schedule of food trucks, but it was too time-consuming to make it a dependable bonus for customers.
He laughs and says he’s a bit out of his comfort zone when it comes to cooking but that what he has tasted so far has been great. “I do love to eat, and my wife is a vegetarian, so she’s excited, too.” Eventually, the team would love to provide recipes using herbs and veggies grown at Archie’s, host cooking classes and private events, and possibly expand.