we sold

well, if you have not figured it out, we sold our trailer to another food truck operator in LV.  we had a great time and our last week was amazing.  with the help of jolene @ sloppi jo’s we had a great final week in addition to first friday and other events. 

we had a ton of fun serving LV smokin good BBQ for the past year.  we met so many amazing people from other operators to customers to the drunk guy that wanted mexican food from our truck….you got tacos?

we stressed every week making sure that we would have the best food ever coming out of the smoker.  we wanted 100% perfection everytime we went out.  i was a real pain in the ass to work for….just ask Larry.  i could have never done it without him.  We definitely served up a ton of people though.  I stressed out over the number of followers on twitter, the number of likes on FB and the reviews on Yelp.  all in all we did pretty good though.

although i liked serving the crowds at StrEATS or First Friday, my favorite event was Saturday Night Truck Stop at Tommy Rockers.  There we serve some of the most creative stuff that we put together.  me and momma would try to out think each other each week for something good to serve.  home made bacon, pastrami, bacon wrapped scallops, many different types of sliders, savory bread pudding.  it was all pretty incredible but 4 am sucked ass.

the second best was parking on decatur with Yellow Lunch Box.  we set up our table, heat lamp, two trailers and some good fucking food.  one night that Ron was not there, I was having some beers early with Momma and then later with Larry and Ninewire.  it was a Sausagefest…no offense with the namesake Oliver.  Again a night for me to remember.

Then there was the charity side of it and organizing the food truck round up at NVCI or doing the school charity for Grouchy.

the coolest thing was having all these restaurant people come up to the truck each week:  Chef Josh, Chef Edmond, Chef Chris P and Chef Chris H, Chef Sheridan, Steve, Duece, ELF, the vegas foodie,  and others who, I am sorry, I forget names.  It was the most amazing feeling when these notable chefs and food people would tell me that our food was good.  i would think in my head…I am just some schmuck accountant serving BBQ.   

Then the weekly characters of Ninewire, Mitzula, Illsey, etc.  Each and everyone was incredibly nice and supportive.  we appreciate each and every one. 

One person who was always retweeting our tweets was Teshua.  I remember being at SNTS one night talking about turkeys with her.  it gave me a lot of good ideas, but i was really drunk too!!  Thanks Teshua. 

then we had our board of director meetings with the VP of Marketing (JT) who used up all of his business cards giving them out to everyone else but business contacts, VP of Wood (Smiles) who only touched an actual piece of wood once, CFO and VP of Rub (Bens BBQ Momma) no intro needed, Mascot (Sergio) i still curse myself for not buying that outfit in Texas and getting him drunk to sit on the back of the trailer, and our VP of Liquor (Steve) who got us shit faced one BoD meeting!!!

lastly the other food truck operators….many thanks goes to Sno Ono for letting us park next to them at Sharon Sugars Bakery.  without them we would have never had that first place to park.  Grouchy Johns, LuLu’s, Sloppis, Yellow Lunch Box, Tasty Bunz, Chi Town, Sausagefest, Haulin Balls, BBQ Boy, Sin City, Quality Food Service, Fuku, Sliders, Curbside, Red Neck, Lola D’s, and lastly A-1 catering.  again, sorry if i missed anyone.

I miss it.  Momma misses it.  for a B lister truck and in the beginning the “elusive truck”, we sure did good.  we hope to be back one day…maybe doing something a little different!!  I speak for Kara and I but I feel blessed that we were a part of it.

yours in smoke…..Peace.  



the last time we posted was in September.  we just did StEATS and a big catering event.  it was such a crazy week.  well, we are in StEATS again for January.  once again we are really looking forward to this event. 

since the last time we spoke, Bens BBQ & Smokehouse went full time.  we have been smoking about 200 lbs a meat a week.  crazy!!!  BensBBQ Mama has been with me the whole way!!  we have been making some crazy good food and people are supporting it well which we are very thankful.  I really liked meeting many of our loyal customers.  many have become friends that i would definitely belly up to a bar with and have a beer. 

we have to give a huge shout out to all the trucks that have been supportive of us.  I do not want to name trucks so if i miss one, i will not make anyone feel bad!!  i have always thought that having a couple of friends in your life is special…we have many now. 

Peace everyone.  Happy New Year.  make it happy, healthy and GREAT one.

this past week….

we had the biggest week in Bens BBQ & Smokehouse existance last week.  The two biggest events were Vegas StrEATS and catering for CCLV Housekeeping department.  we cooked well over 1500 pounds of meat for the events.  it took us several days of straight cooking with the smoker going constantly.   if we could get a couple of those a week, we would be in.

StrEATS was a blast.  we easily served over 300 people.  our ribs went out the door quickly as we served up 12 racks of ribs within 2 hours.  we will definitely be cooking a couple more cases next time.  our smoked salmon BLT was a huge hit as well.  we had three other people working with us for a total of 5 on the truck.  this does not include Jen who watched the baby, took pictures, etc.  a huge help.  being downtown is fun too.  you get to see a ton of characters there.  i was excited i got to stand out front and talk to everyone about our food.

i really enjoyed doing the catering event at CCLV.  the housekeeping and internal maintenance staffs are hugely underappreciated.  they work hard and are completely behind the scenes.  cooking for them just made me feel good.  they were super appreciative of our efforts. 

we are finally getting our trailer repaired.  we had the folks at Mobile RV Repair jack up the trailer and build a whole new base for it.  it completely correct the halfed ass work of the original builder.  Concession Nation sucks.  we have to get the generator fixed next.  all good times!!

thanks to everyone who supports us.  we really do appreciate it.

yours in smoke….

catering impossible

so the other day we were preparing for a tasting at Primm Resorts in Primm NV with the marketing committee.  There were approximately 12-15 people there and not all were eating.  we were planning on serving half sandwiches of pulled pork or chicken, mac and cheese, and blue cheese cole slaw.  should have been pretty easy….

for that day, we had the street outside closed off so they could repave the road.  the road is less than 3 years old, so why they would need to repave is beyond me, but it just had to happen that day.  we had to transport everything from our location to the automobile down the road.  so again, with baby in tow, we packed up a tent, table, food, cooler, etc.  fortunately for me, since my wife has taken everything over, she did most of the work.

on our ride down to primm, we were contacted by our contact and he informed us of a change in plans.  instead of setting up outside and serving, we were supposed to set up inside and serve.  not a problem.  we had everything in boxes for easy transport.  he would just have to help us out and carry some of the stuff up to the meeting room.  he was a little surprised when i asked him to carry some stuff!!

fortunately the meeting before was extended and we made it there on time.  i showed up in my shorts and t-shirt, just barely shaved in 3 days.  i set up in a corner of the room and waited for people. 

a few people rolled in and smelled the smoked BBQ in the air.  you could almost see how people’s attitude changed when they smelled the food. 

my contact introduced me and i was able to tell them about Bens BBQ and that we were a food truck able to cater as well.  i explained some of the different types of food that we could serve and that we were fully licensed, insured, and health inspected.

catering impossible went off without a problem.

our imaginary participation in the food truck race

so we thought it would be funny to think about Bens BBQ being on the food truck race.  keep in mind that we are the elusive food truck.  we are not on the road that often, we both have full time jobs (my wife being on maternity), we just had a baby, etc.  you really have to search us out to get our food, but here goes>>>

the first stop is in Phoenix.  we have to make sure we pack up the dogs and the baby.  with the baby comes the stroller, diaper bag, and a sleeper.  phoenix is about 8 hours away so we will have to stop off at least once to feed the baby and take doggie bathroom breaks.  if the baby is not feeling up for it, we may have to get a motel room.  our room of choice is La Quinta with the dogs.  in addition, they have a great free breakfast which we would have to partake in the waffles.

so we roll into phoenix at least 12 hours later than our counterparts.  they have already completed the challenge and are onto the next location, but we decide to try our luck anyway.  we get our food and start to smoke.  keep in mind that most of our foods take up to 14 hours to make.  once we are done smoking, it is 4 am.  we are not in vegas anymore and there is no one out to buy anything.  we sell nothing.  crap, onto the next town.

we head off to TX.  this should be great.  we are a BBQ truck and we are headed to one of the top five BBQ towns in America.  we should do great in TX, even though we are about 3 days behind everyone else.  we get presented with the challenge and it has something to do with tofu.  how the hell are we supposed to smoke tofu?  we decide to leave town without selling one piece of BBQ.  crap onto the next town.

now tyler florence is starting to get pissed.  he no longer wants the camera and crew to shoot us and he wants us to take our own video.  probably a good thing since Chia just bit the cameraman for shoving the camera in her face one to many times.  Mississippi here we come…

i like Mississippi.  i have a few friends there still from my casino days.  it will be great to catch up with them. on our way in we get pulled over by the police.  he comes up to the car with gun pulled.  oh shit i forgot about that ticket that i did not pay for in 1993.  they take me out of the truck in handcuffs.  my wife is more pissed that i am leaving her with both dogs and the baby to take care of.  i spend the night in jail, until i can post bail.  we are falling so far behind in the food truck race.  i do not know how we will be able to catch up.

how many days behind are we now and we still have not sold one damn thing.  this food truck race is not going as planned.  on to south carolina…..

you get the point….i do not think we would do so well in a food truck race.  for now we will just stay in vegas and go out once or twice a week and be the elusive food truck.

yours in smoke…..

where do we go???

we are putting together numbers to take Bens BBQ full time.  the numbers work.  the events are there.  we could definitely take this further.  my wife and i are both from a finance background.  we put the numbers to it.  it works going full time.

we served Cirque du Soleil’s KA the other day at MGM.  we served 300 people.  a job like that does not make it to many other catering businesses.  we need to make a decision.

we have a new up and coming local restaurant owned by a highly acclaimed chef who wants us to make his bacon for his restaurant.  we have opportunity.

we are seconds away from going big.  i feel it.  i can almost touch it.  i smell the smoke.  i touch the hot pans, burn my fingers, and it makes me want more.  we have everything we need to do it…..and we can.  we just need to take that next step. 

i am watching taylor on america’s got talent.  he is taking his step.  he grabbed his balls and went for it.  i am ready. 

i hope this motivated you to take your next jump.  we are ready….

yours in smoke…..


so we are preparing for Ben’s biggest test this saturday.  we are catering the party for Cirque du Soleil’s KA at the MGM.  we are cooking for 300 cast and crew members.  we set up a pretty easy menu, pulled  pork, brisket, and chicken.  it features all the classic BBQ items with a lighter fare for the cast who worries about eating healthy.  the sides included mac and cheese, potato salad, and cole slaw.  we calculated the amount of food necessary to serve all these starving cast members….325 pounds of proteins.  we are going to make 20 lbs (dry weight) of mac and cheese.  once you add in the cheese, alfredo sauce, etc, it will weight about 60 lbs of mac.  we will have about the same amount of potato salad.

in addition to calculating the amount of food, we have to prepare on how we are going to cook all this food.  our smokers can handle up to 250 lbs of food in each.  so both smokers will be going.  the refrigerator space is limited so we need to prepare for this as well.  we will have to make arrangements with our commissary to handle the multiple numbers of full pans that hold the food.

once we have all the food completed and ready to serve, how are we going to serve it?  what sort of containers will we use?  how do we coordinate taking orders and packaging up the orders?  preparing for logistics when serving food is probably more important than actually cooking the food.

finally, we are serving on the loading dock of the show!!  we know already that the loading dock has a slight incline.  we prepared by going to look at the site.  we came up with a couple of different solutions on how we can park the trailer and make sure people are comfortable in coming out to order and get their BBQ.

Just as CdS prepares each night for their shows, Bens BBQ has prepared to serve them some of the best BBQ they have ever had.

yours in smoke…..