Food Truck Profile: Bernie’s Burger Bus
Ring, ring! Class is now in session, and at the head of its class while serving up detention to its Houston customers, is Bernie’s Burger Bus.
Justin Turner, chef and owner of Bernie’s Burger Bus, is the former personal chef for Houston Rocket star Shane Battier (3 years in Memphis followed by 4 in Houston). Turner has been able to start up one of the most popular mobile food trucks in the Houston area, a city already known for their burgers.
Chef Turner started his career flipping burgers at a local Wendy’s at the age of 16, but over the years has honed his skills and culinary talent and has moved into a mobile kitchen which sits inside a yellow school bus. Before you start reminiscing about cafeteria food, let us stop you there, because the American cuisine served from the Burger Bus is nothing at all comparable to what the lunch lady served you.
Chef Turner explains his business model on his website this way, “Bernie’s Burger Bus is taking the old school (no pun intended) approach to the classic American burger and fries joint – from scratch. From our fresh ground signature blend of three cuts of all natural Black Angus Beef, to the homemade ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, pickles, etc… Come experience an all-natural, totally from scratch food experience made by people who just love good food for people who love to eat good food without all the chemicals, preservatives and fillers.”
In a city that is saturated with burger joints, it can be hard to find a burger that goes above and beyond with their menu items; however this burger bus has done just that. All of food ingredients are home made from their ketchup to their hand cut fries and burgers. The bread they use for their buns is provided from a local bakery, Slough Dough Breads.
Much of Turner’s success is due to his burgers and the fantastic service they provide to their customers. The school themed menu includes such fare as: The Principal, The Substitute, The Bully, Detention, Homeroom, and others.
With the growth of the mobile food industry in Houston, there are a large number of food truck festivals and gatherings around the city the burger bus is able to join in. When going to this type of venue, Chef Turner miniaturizes almost his entire menu including The Homeroom, a concoction of applewood bacon, cheddar, “tipsy” onions, chipotle aioli and a fried egg.
“This way, visitors won’t fill up on one giant burger and not be able to try other trucks.” Turner said.
The converted school bus, which Turner named as a tribute to late grandfather, brings its own cheerful presence front and center through the use of their color scheme, graphics and the “Ring bell for burger” sign which is placed at the service window.
Bernie’s Burger Bus can be found schooling its competition at Inversion Coffee House EVERY Wednesday, & Friday from 11am-2pm and Lizzard’s Pub EVERY Wednesday,Thursday and Friday 5:30p.m.-9p.m.
The Substitute: (their biggest seller) a grass-fed beef burger with bleu cheese, thick sliced crispy bacon, burgundy laced mushrooms and “tipsy” caramelized onions.
What their fans have said:
O…M…G… I literally found the BEST burger place ever (thanks to a buddy of mine)! Talk about gourmet burger! What’s even more awesome about this “burger joint” is that its cooked and served on a SCHOOL BUS! How crazy is that?!
Sandy H. Pearland, TX