Cooking Up Some New Food Trucks

California-style taco truck with skylights

This deluxe “California Style” mobile catering center is being assembled on a 1999 rebuilt panel truck. It features a quilted stainless kitchen with glass cold cases on the outside–the cantilevered skylights are distinctive of the “California” style. The finished product will cost $45,000. To build the same food truck on a brand new chassis would run you about $90,000, Daniel Rodriguez of Rodriguez Brothers Catering Trucks estimated. The company designs, custom builds, and repairs food trucks in their Garrow Street garage on Houston’s East Side.

There were 14 trucks in various stages of assembly wedged into the shop when I visited. One was getting a giant elote (corn on the cob) cooker fitted into the back. Another had a hand-cranked raspa (shaved ice) contraption imported from Columbia. About 70 percent of their customers are Latinos, Rodriguez said. But lately they have done trucks for Chinese, Indian and other Asian customers. “The kitchen is designed for the kind of food being served,” he explained. Propane is not allowed in the Medical Center or downtown, so he also designs trucks with electric kitchens that run on generators. He showed me a scrap book with photos of some of the 200+ food trucks the shop has created.

All of the stainless steel is cut, bent, and scored with the distinctive quilt pattern on the premises. Born in Mexico City, Daniel Rodriguez went to college in East L.A. before moving to Houston and opening his taco truck fabrication shop. He invited me to come back soon and watch one of the taco truck artists paint the logos and designs onto a finished catering truck. I’m looking forward to it. (3210 Garrow, 713 222 0985 or 832 721 7570)

5 thoughts on “Cooking Up Some New Food Trucks

  1. Stuart Reb Donald

    Great timing with this post. I am in the planning stages of starting a lunch truck business in Mobile, AL and was afraid I would have to go to California to get a truck made. Now I can keep my money on the Third Coast.

  2. Daniel Rodriguez

    Hello to all from Rodriguez Brothers Custom Catering Trucks I am the owner of the shop and I am glad You like this posting we put alot of hard work and commitment to what we do. we have customized many catering trucks around Houston TX and we are waiting for you! my name is Daniel Rodriguez Contact me at:
    cell 832.721.7570

  3. SAbrina Swayder

    Hi Daniel,
    I am trying to get in touch with you to see if you can email me a truck buildout estimate. This is for a juice truck. I came to your warehouse a few months ago but now need a complete and detailed estimate that I can show the loan officer.

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