Marietta has played the backdrop to Louis and Jessica Kramer’s lives together. It’s where they dated as high school sweethearts. It’s where, after going their separate ways, the two eventually got engaged 25 years after graduation, marrying in October of last year.
This coming September, Marietta will yet again play backdrop for a new stage of the Kramers’ lives as they open Siete Tacos + Tequila in the Marietta Square Market.
“It’s all kind of happened in Marietta,” Louis Kramer told What Now Atlanta in an interview Tuesday. “So it’s a really special place for us to start a restaurant and hopefully, give back to the community.”
Like its backdrop, Siete is closely tied with the Kramers. Its name references the number of members in the Kramer family: Louis, Jessica, two sets of twins, and a daughter.
“We’ve joked, since we’ve all been together, that whenever we go to restaurants, we’re Kramer party of seven,” Kramer said. “And then that was just always our name.”
With the ambitious variety of Mexican cuisine—not just tacos—that Kramer and his executive chef Joey Wojtczak will serve, it’s hard to put any single label on the type of food that Siete offers. “It’s just creative flavor profiles that a lot of people may have not thought of putting together or didn’t think would be all that great,” Kramer said.
This is perhaps best exemplified in one of several types of guacamoles they plan to offer: guacamole with charred tomato and goat cheese. “You get that creaminess from that goat cheese and that kind of pungent taste with the guacamole and charred tomato taste,” Kramer said.
Kramer’s culinary background is in barbecue. He founded Pork U Seasonings and Rubs which sells natural seasonings throughout America and Canada. They also have a pro-circuit competitive barbecue team.
Though Kramer’s background lies in barbecue, he has dabbled in tacos as a way of serving barbecue. “You can’t just sit there and give people the same ribs or pork or brisket. So I always specialized in using the taco as my vessel,” he said.
This vessel took the form of one of Kramer’s signature tacos, a guava-glazed pulled pork taco with a sour orange and jicama slaw. “If I had to throw a number on it, I’ve probably made about 50,000,” Kramer said.
The other half of Siete Tacos + Tequila, as the name would suggest, is the drinks, which the Siete team has designed with the same mindset as their food. Though Siete will offer the seven different high-end tequilas they’ve selected in flights, the team has been toying around with several cocktail concepts. The frozen margaritas and cocktails, in the vein of Blood Orange Palomas and Oaxaca Old-Fashioneds, can be smoke-infused.
“It’s an edible bubble that [the customer] will pop on top of their cocktail,” Kramer said. “When they pop it, the smoke from inside the bubble will infuse their cocktail.”
Drinks can also be ordered in 20-oz. Capri Sun-esque bags that guests can walk around the food hall with. They’re one of the two restaurants in the hall that can serve alcohol. They’re also occupying the only full-service restaurant in the hall, with 2,009 square feet of space, not including the outdoor patio area.
That space in the food hall used to house Street Taco Taqueria, which closed in May due to COVID-19. Initially, Kramer wanted to open a burger joint in the space, but the idea was shot down since the food hall already had a burger place. Marietta Square Market really only had space for a Mexican restaurant. “Because I already cooked a lot of custom tacos and creative tacos and we loved the space so much, we said ‘let’s do it,’” Kramer said.
Though tacos may not have been his original choice, Kramer has thrown himself into the restaurant and its recipes. Ultimately, in developing new recipes and new flavors, he is the same reaction regardless of what food he cooks.
“When I make food or I create a new recipe and let someone try it for the first time, there is nothing that makes it more worthwhile than seeing that person take that bite and just have an uncontrollable smile on their face, like ‘wow, I wasn’t expecting that’ or ‘that was amazing,” Kramer said. “And that’s what we want everybody to feel.”