The Locomotion Truck {How it all began}

As you know from following my posts and Facebook page for a while now, it’s always been our dream to have a roaming restaurant, aka food truck. We knew that it couldn’t just be any old run of the mill food truck. It had to be special. And with a name like The Locomotion Kitchen it had to look like a train car.

We must have searched on different websites a million times for months and months. Surprisingly, you can find a lot of food trucks for sale on eBay. We must have contacted so many owners and stalked posts for so long. One day, I came across the PERFECT truck on eBay and just had to show my husband the find. It was being sold out of Miami, FL and it was fully loaded and ready to go. Once he saw my vision for what I was exactly looking for he got to thinking about searching for a truck that we could customize to be exactly what we wanted.

We came across a 1989 Airstream Bus. It already had the look of a train car and we knew just from seeing it that it was the ONE! It was a 12 person party bus with televisions inside that we just had to convert into our dream food truck. After contacting the owner, we booked our trip to Chicago at the end of August 2017.

As the week of our trip came, so did Hurricane Harvey. Our flight was canceled and the whole town of Houston was struck by this devastating storm. As soon as the airports reopened and the flood waters subsided, we were able to get on a flight to Chicago. Once we arrived and checked out the Airstream Bus it was better than we could have ever imagined. It drove like a dream and everything checked out perfectly. We completed the deal and started our journey back to Houston. We drove it all the way back, making a few foodie stops along the way.

We knew we had to get started right away with the renovation and build-out. We had already been in contact with a Food Truck Builder company called Chef Units. We showed them our vision and their talented team went to work. It was going to get completely gutted and transformed into the roaming kitchen of our dreams. See the “before” picture below.

Food Truck

The outside was so much fun to design. Since the Airbus already resembled somewhat of a train car, we decided to wrap it and change up the design to look just like a real train car.

Now’s the fun part where I get to share all of the great “after” pictures with you! And make sure to check out my calendar of events. I already have the first one under my belt since our truck’s completion.

 


What’s in his bag? {The Big Reveal}

What’s that bag and what’s inside? 

Bindle

The Hobo’s bag is called a “Bindle” and refers to the sack, bag or carrying device that hoboes would tie onto a stick. In their travels, the Hobo’s needed something to carry their food, moonshine harmonicas, or other essential belongings in, and plastic bags or satchels just didn’t exist yet.
Now, our Hobo Mascot is special because he only carries ONE thing around in his “Bindle”. And that’s our signature Hobo Sandwich. These sandwiches actually were very common back in the Hobo’s traveling time. They would usually wake up early after a long day’s work and want to make a hearty breakfast that was both satisfying and portable.
The Hobo Sandwich consists of fresh eggs, bacon or sausage, potatoes, and melty cheese all nestled between two slices of perfectly toasted bread. Since these ingredients were easily accessible on the farms that they were working, it was an instant hit among the Hobo community. And how great that it is such a portable sandwich that can easily fit in their “Bindles”. Some might argue that the Hobo’s had to-go food figured out way before it would be introduced in America.
We have been making Hobo Sandwiches in my family for years and years. Bringing them to the public at our family catering business in the 80’s. They were such a hit with the airline crews that we would always have trays of them going out in the mornings to fuel up the workers before their flights.
Our version of the Hobo Sandwich keeps it traditional, but we also add in our own Locomotion and regional flare.
We start by using our house-made Pullman Loaf. This bread is a traditional sandwich loaf, which goes by many names; pain de mie, pan loaf, sandwich loaf or Pullman bread. We are partial to calling it Pullman Loaf due to its long-standing history of being made in the compact kitchens of Pullman railway cars.
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After we toast two slices of our house-made Pullman bread, we pile on perfectly crisp and creamy hash browns, your choice of eggs, house-made pork sausage or bacon, and a slice of melty cheddar cheese.
Our house is a house divided on the topic of egg preference. I prefer scrambled and fluffy, while most of my family members like a fried egg with a runny yolk. That runny yolk part is very important. Trust me, I have the biggest food critics in my little grandchildren. The best part is that you get to choose!
Our Hobo Sandwich is satisfying, filling, and stick to your ribs GOOD.
It will be The Locomotion Kitchen’s signature item meaning it will be available on our menu as a staple and can be ordered any time of the day.
If you are excited about trying this out, stay tuned to our page where we will post local events we will be participating in.
Along with the Hobo Sandwich, our menu will feature some other amazing sandwiches that deserve to be mentioned:
  • The Big Island- Hawaiian Sandwich
  • The PCL- Pacific Salmon Sandwich
  • The Casey Jones- All-American Grilled Cheese (With a Twist)
  • The Santa Fe- Green Chile Cheese Burger

Just to name a few!

All Aboard,
Cristina 

Introducing the Hobo! Our Mascot and Logo for The Locomotion Kitchen

What is this mascot that you see on our truck and traveling anywhere that The Locomotion Kitchen goes?

Hobo Logo. PNG

Well, he’s our HOBO!

The inspiration for him came from stories of the original traveler. Unlike pop culture will have you convinced, the hobo was actually a well-seasoned traveler and the ultimate foodie. You see, folks that yearned for the grand untethered life would often hop on locomotion trains and travel from town to town in search of work, shelter, and food. This was a way of life in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s. Hoboes would jump off of the train at each town and request work in exchange for fresh produce from household gardens, bread, and local farm fare.

In this particular time, when work was hard to find for many Americans, the traveling hoboes were living their best life. Seeing scenic views from their boxcars they would reminisce about towns they had traveled to and from creating a community of sorts among the other hoboes. They all supported one another in work and in travels by helping each other wash their clothes, cook meals together and by sharing secrets of the best towns to stop in. After a while, they started referring to each other as tourists, which is where we can credit some of our modern-day urges to travel and see the sights.

It’s been a dream of mine for quite some time to take others on a journey through my food and to pay homage to our roots by incorporating our dear Hobo mascot throughout The Locomotion Kitchen. My step-father, Darrell Lee Lucas was the inspiration for the Hobo’s likeness in our logo. He loved to travel, eat and explore. He served in World War II and was so kind to share his passion for traveling with his entire family. He had seen it all while keeping a humble heart and always doing for others. Much like that of the Hobo’s in the late 1800’s, he was never without work. Even after he retired, he would write, fix, and tinker with just about anything in exchange for a great meal and the for the company of others.

Paw Paw Picture

Now that you have been introduced to our mascot and logo, I am sure you have a couple of questions at least. Maybe what comes to mind is,  “what’s that bag that our Hobo carries around with him? what’s in it?” Wouldn’t you like to know…

Stay tuned for the next post when we reveal what’s with that bag and more importantly what’s inside!Hobo Bag

All Aboard,

Cristina 


Thanksgiving {on and off the tracks}

To my family, gathering together around food has always been important. So naturally, we do Thanksgiving quite big every year. Something about an excuse to make a bunch of food, share thanks, and wonderful company just gets everyone in the spirit.

There are some pretty interesting and unique dishes that find their way onto our Thanksgiving table every year. We have such a diverse background, so you can imagine what a group full of Filipino, Italian, and Spanish heritage will come up with. Not to mention the love of cooking that has been instilled in our family since my great-great grandparents time. Now that same love of cooking I have passed down to my kids.

So about these Thanksgiving dishes. Deep Fried Turkey and honey glazed ham always has a place on our table. That comes from our Texas heritage. I’ve been in the South since I was 2 months old and all things southern are in my blood.  We always make room for traditional Southern Thanksgiving sides like mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, spinach casserole, corn bread dressing, green bean casserole and cranberry sauce as well. Now for the interesting twist. Since we pretty much eat and gather all day long there is plenty of room in the kitchen for a few more dishes.

 

My mom and grandmother have been making Filipino Eggrolls (aka lumpia) since before I could walk. It’s not a family holiday without them. In fact, it’s the first request I get from my kids anytime we all get together. “Will there be egg rolls?”, they say. My mother taught me to make these egg rolls years and years ago and I have taught my kids this family recipe as well. My mom always whips up a batch of her delicious fried rice as well in addition to these yummy dishes that I’ve already mentioned.

 

Some would say that this is plenty of food, but of course we are not done here. You have to have appetizers out for everyone to snack on while waiting on the main course. Now the egg rolls usually go pretty fast, but we have pay homage to some of the other crowd favorites.

Two words. Baked Brie. This dish is something I have found to go with any occasion. It’s a wheel of Brie wrapped in puff pastry and then baked to perfection. You can serve it alone in it’s ooey gooey awesomeness, but we serve ours with fruit preserves. Trust me, this bit of sweetness is the best compliment to the melty and savory cheese dish. I like to get creative with my designs on the brie to match the event.

 

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Baked Brie

And because you can never have enough cheese, we got creative with some cheese balls and made them into a cute little turkey couple. Served with some crackers and it will keep the hungry ones at bay until the main attraction is served.

Turkey Cheese Ball

“Turkey” Cheese Ball Platter

The dessert table has to be one of my favorite things on earth. No matter how much turkey we eat, we always seem to find room for dessert and coffee. Pumpkin Pie, Apple Pie, and Carrot Cake were the winners this year.

 

Thank you for letting me share our Thanksgiving with you,  “On and Off The Tracks”!

All Aboard!

Cristina

 

 


What is The Locomotion Kitchen?

The Locomotion Kitchen is a mobile food truck that will take you on a “trip” through taste every time.

Join me in this journey while I build out my mobile food truck! All the work will be completed by December, 9th 2017. My passion for food comes from my travels all over the world to my culinary adventures in school and cooking for my family and friends for over 20 years.

We will be designing our menu to feature regional and worldly cuisine from all over. My dream throughout the years has always been to take others on a culinary journey with flavors, sights and new experiences. The Locomotion Kitchen will do just that!

Be sure to follow me on Twitter and Facebook for examples of my work and a look into my journey.

This is my food truck that is currently being customized and built out. Stay tuned to see what it will look like next!

All Aboard!

Cristina

Food Truck