On this week's episode of "What's Eric Eating," chef Tony Luhrman joins CultureMap food editor to discuss El Topo Truck, his taco truck that's earning praise for its artisan approach. Already a fixture at the weekly Urban Harvest farmers market, Luhrman got a boost when he won the coveted golden cleaver at this year's Butcher's Ball.
Luhrman is a self-taught chef who says that he first started cooking as a way to get some relief from his mother's bland cuisine. After working at restaurants in college, he tried a couple of well-paying corporate jobs that didn't stick. Together with his wife Kale, he moved his family to Houston and opened El Topo three years ago. Like most food truck operators, he's looking towards a brick and mortar future.
"My goal is an actual restaurant. That is what's in the works currently," Luhrman says. "Everything takes way too long in Houston, because I'm still a little guy. I don't have half-a-million dollars in my bank account. To move on properties here, you have to move very quickly. Luckily, I've made some good friends, and we're going to announce something soon. We're looking at a couple of places, one that's very promising. My hope is to make something that's very intimate . . . 50 or 60 seats."
Prior to Luhrman joining the show, Houston Barbecue Festival co-founder Michael Fulmer joins Sandler to discuss the news of the week. Their topics include Bobby Heugel and Justin Yu's plans to open a new restaurant in the Heights, Snooze opening in the Galleria, the Harp closing, and Ronnie Killen's plans to bring Killen's Steakhouse to The Woodlands. In the restaurant of the week segment, the two hosts share some thoughts on their meals at Indianola, Eunice, and Georgia James.