Boheme: How a food truck saved a restaurant


by Katherine Whaley / KHOU 11 News

Posted on July 4, 2014 at 4:48 PM

Updated Friday, Jul 4 at 4:49 PM

HOUSTON -- Boheme is a popular bar and restaurant in Montrose, but it has a food truck to thank for its menu. The restaurant is best known for its flatbreads and fries, which are the most popular items on the internationally-inspired menu Chef Rishi Singh developed.

“I like to call it a cultural collage,” he explains of the cornucopia of flavors, inspired by ingredients from India, Mexico, and Southeast Asia.

Two years ago, Boheme's kitchen shut down because of ventilation problems, leaving patrons without their beloved bar food.  That’s when Rishi got creative.  Rather than axe the food program, the restaurant purchased a food truck, parked it in the back lot, and got cooking.

“It was one of those defining moments in anyone’s career where you say are you going to run or are you going to find a solution?” Rishi told us.

Rishi said most folks don't even know their food comes from the parking lot.  The food truck churns out just as many orders as a traditional kitchen, often 700-900 plates on the weekend.  

Rishi and Sous Chef Jordan Economy keep the menu fresh, with ever changing specials like the “Lobsterita” flatbread.  The dish starts with Boheme’s thin flatbread dough, which is then topped with fresh mozzarella and reconstituted sun-dried tomatoes.  After going to the oven, it’s topped with butter-sautéed lobster meat (knuckle and claw), fresh basil leaves, and truffle oil.

Boheme’s food truck formula works.

“I think it’s really neat that they service this restaurant through a food truck,” customer Dutch Small said.

Chef Rishi said the restaurant is working on setting up a more permanent kitchen.  The owners have purchased a shipping container with the intent to transform into a fully-functional kitchen by November.  When that happens, Rishi said he will consider sending the truck on the road to serve food.

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