Houston, TX: Food Truck Chefs Get the Grand Prize

Bernies Burger Bus

By Sarah Rufca | Culture Map Houston

Bernies Burger Bus

Food and alcohol: They’ve gone together since the ancient men left their caves, squinted up at the sunlight and grabbed a few nuts and berries to wash down the fermented Jaegermeister that was in their goatskin bota bag. (This is a completely accurate picture of ancient times. I’m a history major, you can trust me.)

Since then we’ve come a long way, from beer nuts to bar menus to bars working with food trucks to sell their wares to the hungry drunk people.

Now Grand Prize Bar, which was one of the first in Houston to engage with food trucks and their chefs, is taking this partnership to the next level by inviting a rotating crew of chefs out of their trucks and into the GPB kitchen.

As first reported by the Houston Press’s Katharine Shilcutt, the schedule will include Jason Hill and Matt Opaleski from H-Town StrEATS on Tuesdays, Justin Turner of Bernie’s Burger Bus on Wednesdays, Phamily Bites‘ Van Pham on Thursdays, Ruth Lipsky from Stick It Truck on Fridays and Coreanos‘ Louis Cantu on Saturdays, with Buffalo Sean of Melange Creperie potentially taking over on Sunday nights and Eatsie Boys’ Matt Marcus eventually mixing in on Mondays.

Josh Martinez of The Modular worked with Grand Prize owners Ryan Rouse and Brad Moore to implement the new food program and he tells Shilcutt that he will also occasionally sub in behind the line when needed.

The new project is a win for everyone. It’s a way for some incredibly skilled food truck owners to cook dishes beyond the range of truck kitchens, it offers patrons the kind of high-end food they’ve come to expect at Grand Prize and with full-time food service it’s a solution to some of the permitting issues that have plagued the bar since a well-connected neighbor began complaining.

Food is available for the first 50 guests after the bar opens at 7 p.m., and the program kicks off Monday with an all-star line-up of the participating chefs.