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Cajun cuisine

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Posted: Friday, January 21, 2011 12:00 pm

By Mason W. Canales

Harker Heights Herald

KG's Cajun Seafood Kitchen owner Kathy Arnold has served Louisiana-style cuisine for nearly 15 years on Farm-to-Market 2410 in Harker Heights.

Arnold opened the doors to her first establishment in 1996 at 1606 East FM 2410 with the help of family members before the city expanded farther east down the roadway.

"I am from Louisiana, and when we moved up here, everyone wanted me to boil crawfish for them every weekend, so after while I decided to find myself a little place and get paid for my services instead of just cooking for free," Arnold said.

She was born in the same city where the hot sauces on KG's tables are made, St. Martinsville, La.

When Arnold cooked her first meal in the restaurant, there was pretty much nothing on FM 2410 and there was only one other Cajun-style eatery in the Killeen area, which was Papa Jazzy's Seafood Kitchen, Arnold said.

"I watched everything grow, that is for sure," she said.

The first three years at that location, now the Kings Cup Tea House, saw a lot of business and KG's menu saw many more additions, including alligator, frog legs, catfish, dirty rice, gumbos and etoufee.

"We were slammed," Arnold said. "People would bring in their own tables and chairs."

People told her to move to downtown Killeen, but Arnold often frequented the Harker Heights City Hall and back then she could tell the city would be growing.

Around 1999, the city annexed her property, which meant she had to bring her old building up to code. Instead of just doing that, she took the opportunity to move into a neighboring house which would provide more space and a more comfortable environment for her patrons.

The city let KG's continue to operate the business from the old location while the home was retrofitted to become the restaurant. Arnold made sure the move would be seamless.

"We moved on a Monday, the city inspected on Tuesday and then we opened on that Tuesday," she said.

While Arnold has been running the business for nearly 15 years, she never thought she would be operating the restaurant until it happened.

"Never once did I think I would make this long," Arnold said. "This started just as an exciting thing to do."

Once she got in the kitchen, she realized there was just something about cooking and sharing the meals like her mother used to make.

Almost everything is made from scratch, Arnold said. The shrimp, for instance, are always hand-peeled and battered in her special recipe for breading. Her honey mustard sauce also is made from scratch.

To this day, Arnold trusts very few people to boil her crawfish right. Crawfish should be coming into season in February and stay in season until July.

During crawfish season, Arnold will spend more time in the kitchen than any other time of the year, she said.

That is probably KG's busiest time of year, and she has received calls since Christmas from customers wanting to know when the crawfish will be hitting KG's tables.

Contact Mason W. Canales at mcanales@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7554. Follow him on Twitter at KDHheights.

If you go

KG's Cajun Seafood Kitchen, 1608 Farm-to-Market 2410, Harker Heights

Hours: 11 to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and noon to 9 p.m. Saturday. Monday and Sunday it is closed.

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