I’m sure you’ve got a few questions to ask prior to joining us for a meal, so I’d love to tell you a little bit about us.
A few years ago, I, along with my wife Astrid, my sister Rose and her husband Lourin worked together to open a small restaurant in Lafayette called The Hideout Kitchen. Although we didn’t have much for resources – we had plenty of motivation, an approachable menu in hand and the common understanding that we would do whatever was necessary to provide a dining experience that was unlike anything around. Even if it meant starving all eight of our children for a day so we could spend the money on inventory. True story. We really do have eight kids between both families. And no, we didn’t starve them all. Just the three teenagers. Mainly because the smaller kids have smaller appetites, so small appetites mean more to go around. (Economics 101. Learned it on YouTube.)
At The Hideout, we didn’t try to reinvent the wheel or come in with a so-called “concept”. There was no “business model”. Just the desire to serve wholesome meals in a space that actually felt like our home. Most important of all, hospitality in our family came naturally and unlike most (admit it, you hate hosting), we enjoy it.
The name “Vic’s” comes from my grandfather, whom aside from the name, has inspired many traits and a moral foundation that has guided us throughout our years. He grew up poor, worked his way through an education, became a teacher, then a steel worker, and eventually owned his own small steel fabrication business. He was a man of few words, wore the same two outfits, dipped his sweet bread in coffee, read the newspaper leaned back on one side of the chair with one leg hanging over the other. He loved golf, liked cars, a good meal and had a killer scotch collection, which I accidentally stumbled upon when I was 11 and took my first sip. He was a man’s man. But above all, he loved his family, his wife and all 7 of his children. He was known to have taken care of those around him and never owed anyone an apology.
When you come in, you’ll feel his lasting influence in our lives when you have a conversation with us, from the minute we welcome you in until we show our gratitude as you leave. We intend to give you an experience that’ll have you coming right back for the very next meal or even just a conversation.
We hope to eventually meet everyone through our time in Martinez. We intend to be here for many years. We hope you’ll help us build a place that will last through generations so your grandkids and ours may share the same space and conversations like you and I will.
We’re overwhelmed with the welcome already. The least we can do is invite you over for a cup of coffee and some good food.
So, please, would you join us? Bring a loved one, a friend or just come on in. We can’t wait to meet you!
JB Balingit Chef & Partner Vic’s Martinez
1. We have eight kids between both our families, ranging from ages 1-18. If you see one acting like he/she owns the place, you have our permission to keep that kid grounded. A good ol’ “back in my day” speech is always welcome.
2. You’ll see a lot of roses around. Aside from my sister Rose, Vic’s wife, our grandmother, was also named Rose.
2b. Also, if you pay my sister a compliment, she might buy you a meal. She tends to get a little excited when complimented.
3. Lourin served in the Air Force for 20 years. If that isn’t enough to applaud him and those alike, how about this; he joined when he was 18, retired at 38. When I think about that in admiration, I can’t help but mumble to myself in my best Bernie Mac impression “you summmamich.”
4. Astrid left her position in the financial industry to build our family business. She enjoys the long hours, payroll taxes, human resources and product procurement. She loves it so much, she’s agreed to not leave me. Yet.
5. You’ll see my mom around from time to time. She’s the little ol’ Filipina lady walking around the dining room asking you if you’re enjoying your meal. If you happen to tell her that we’re doing a good job – she’ll shed a tear out of pride for her children. And it’ll get really awkward for you.
When she’s not walking around checking to see if her kids are living up to her expectations, you’ll find her sitting on the counter. Most likely on facebook.
Tue-Fri | 8am-3pm
Sat-Sunday | 9am-2pm