New Beginings


25 days. That’s how much longer I have in Kansas City. I’ll be Austin bound on the 27th. I’m excited to start this new chapter of my life. Going back to school after high school, 13 years ago, is going to feel weird.

So on to updates.

Went down to Austin last weekend to tour the school and look for apartment. Found one only about 10 minutes from the school. It’s not bad but it’s smaller and more expensive than my current apartment here in Kansas City. Traffic sucks down there. Just seems like there’s tons of traffic all day long.

My favorite cousin lives down there so that’s awesome. I have someone to talk comic books, video games, and all things nerd with. Future in-laws live in Houston so we’ll have family to visit every so often. I’m really excited to be able to do things outside. The area around Austin is beautiful and begs for me to explore it.

Once school starts next month expect posts about once a week. I’m going to try to do more but writing and me have never really gotten along all that well. I think its time to change that.


So there’s been some changes to my great food truck plan, I’ve decided to hold off on the time being.

I started working at a pizza joint last year so I could gain some experience. Worked there for about 6 months or so then got offered a job at a taco joint. In hindsight I should have stayed at the pizza place as I did ZERO cooking at the taco joint. But (there’s always a but) it did help push me into the path I’m on now. I applied to a culinary school down in Austin, TX and go accepted. With the Post 9/11 GI Bill I don’t have to worry about getting a second job as they pay for all my schooling and a living allowance (pretty sweet deal I know). So now I’m set to move down there in June, start school in July, graduate 21 months later, and hopefully land a good job somewhere in Austin. So now my 5 year goal is to work in Austin for a few years and then hopefully have the skills to open a food truck or a small restaurant down there.

So my goal is to use this blog more frequently and update you on my journey moving down there and going through school.

Date set and other news.

So things have been going slowly here but now it’s going to go into overdrive. We have officially set the date for our opening. We will be parked and ready to serve Saturday June 1st. This will allow us to get a good steady start and a week to prepare for the June First Friday in the Crossroads. With us opening close to that date and it being the biggest First Friday of the year it will be a huge boost getting our name out there. We are planning to be at some other events over the summer and once we get word on those we will post dates and locations. 

Some other things that’s been happening. Sat down with a friend of ours to pick his brain on running a restaurant and came away with some good info. He is willing to use his connections to help us push the truck and get some exposure. We plan on meeting up with him in the next couple of weeks to discuss events and where some prime places we can source ingredients locally.

I have a great design in my head for our logo. Just have to meet with some people to lay it out on paper. Just like us it will have a little bit of old and some new to show our appreciation to this city.

Menu…. Still working on what is going to be on the final menu. I have tons of ideas but it’s getting them down to a workable menu. I continue to try out new ideas and I’m getting great feedback.

I think that may be it for now. Stay tuned for more info because it’s about to get fun!

What’s in a name?

For as long as I can remember I always enjoyed watching my Dad cook. It was never anything big or fancy just good home cooked food. I would go outside and watch him grill burgers or maybe make us some fried chicken. When he cooked I was there watching. Even around our house when he was making burgers they were always called, still to this day, Johnny Burgers.

Even before I knew what the name would be knew I wanted it to be be catchy. I knew the burgers I would serve would be called Johnny Burgers after my Dad but I couldn’t think of anything to fully name the place.

My girlfriend and I found out that Casablanca was going to be playing for one night only at a local theater and I couldn’t miss out on finally seeing it. After being amazed by the movie it hit me, the bar was called Rick’s Café Américain. This would be a perfect name for my restaurant.

So, after a little thinking I decided that the name would be Johnny’s Americana. Named after the man who has taught me so much in life, one of my favorite movies, and a great style of food.

We all have to start somewhere……

So I’ll start with a little background.

I love cooking, always have. Something about being in the kitchen and mixing things up and seeing what comes out. Some good, some bad but it’s all a learning experience. After leaving the Army I had a tough time deciding on what I wanted to do with my life. I ended up taking a job at UPS because I needed a job and have been stuck here ever since. But like all little boys growing up I wanted to do the fun things, Paramedic, Police Officer, Firefighter etc. After doing research on each of these I decided that it was not something I wanted to do everyday (potentially) for the rest of my working life. So here I am at a job I really don’t like being miserable at life and I thought, what makes me happy? Well cooking makes me happy, why don’t I do that?

Jump to present day.

After speaking with a friend of mine we agreed that a food truck is in my future. He decided that he will help run it with me. Lucky for me he is an über smart guy, B.A. in Management, working on his J.D. then a M.A. in Management (I think that’s what he said). He will take care of the business side while I take care of the cooking side. Match made in heaven. So the plan is to use the food truck as a way for me to get experience, I’ll be cooking dishes I’m familiar with while testing out new ideas. I’ll be doing this on my off time while I put myself though culinary school. Going to be a brutal schedule.

So here I am, starting this journey and scarred shitless. Fun times are ahead.