Episode 24: Loop 107 Burgers
Episode 24: Loop 107 Burgers: Transcript
AP: How you doing?
Mousetrap: I’m good. How are you?
Trina: Hello. Hi, I’m Trina: Nice to meet you.
AP: Alberto, good to meet you.
Trina: How are you doing?
Trina: Do you want to try something?
AP: Oh, yeah.
Trina: The menu is right there and…
Mousetrap: Today we travel to Adkins, Texas for our most delicious episode yet. The story about a South Texas family that turned a used mobile home and their secret family recipes into a successful restaurant.
Intro: Woo Go Stros!
Mousetrap: Well alright, alright. Welcome to another episode of the Doublewide Dudes. There’s a lot of things happening in the state of Texas in the past couple of weeks AP.
AP: Yeah. Looks like Texas sports are all on the charts right now. We’ve got the Cowboys taking it to the Redskins. Texans lost but their quarterback is just looking incredible right now, and how about the Astros, man?
Mousetrap: I think they have the chance to win their first world series.
AP: Yeah, yeah. And I tell you it couldn’t have come at a better time. We know the city of Houston really took a beating. We talked about that on this podcast, but it’s just awesome how sports give people an opportunity to just kind of forget the real world and the problems they have and just unite and rally around something, something that’s just fun. And I think more than anybody the city of Houston needs this and the Astros are certainly putting up a fight, they definitely deserve it.
Mousetrap: Yeah. There’s been some close games. Yesterday’s game was crazy.
AP: It was nuts.
Mousetrap: I mean, the ups and downs and finally pulling off the win.
AP: Yeah. I don’t even really like baseball that much. My wife’s from Houston so I kind of felt obligated to sit with her and watch it, and man, I wasn’t a fan of baseball going into it; I’m certainly one now.
Mousetrap: Yeah. I don’t watch baseball myself to much, but I saw a bunch of posts on Facebook of Astro’s this, Astro’s that and I was like, “Oh, something’s going on here.” You know that they’re in the World Series and that’s awesome. We just got to win one more in LA – hopefully we take it to them.
AP: That’s right. That’s right. It’s crazy how Facebook and social media just kind of bring the outside world to you and let you know what’s going on. It’s actually how we found out about this family that we interviewed, this restaurant that we went to. They were on KENS 5 last month and I had seen the video post on Facebook. It was their neighbor eats where folks would email them and they’ll go out and interview and taste food and kind of critique a restaurant. And what was super cool and what caught my attention about this one, aside from the awesome looking food, was they had actually converted a mobile home into the restaurant.
Mousetrap: Yeah. I remember seeing that pic that you sent me on Facebook. I saw the KENS 5 clip and they seem to like the food. I know you’d ordered something, right, what did you think of the food?
AP: Man, the food was — well, actually, check it out, we’ve got some sound effects before the interview.
AP: We’re the Doublewide Dudes so I’ve got to try the double-wide Burger.
Trina: All right. Do you want fries or do you want to try the onion rings?
AP: The onion rings are what ya’ll one the award for, right?
AP: I’ll try the onion rings.
AP: This is real good burger. This is real good.
Trina: Thank you. Thank you very much. Yeah, they love those onion rings.
AP: I can see why.
Telly: You want some more tea or you good?
AP: I’m okay. Thank you.
Telly: You’re welcome.
AP: I’m glad I didn’t get that tripple-wide burger.
Telly: We have the burger with five patties.
AP: You have one with five patties?
Mousetrap: Wait, they had a burger with five patties on it?
AP: Yeah, and we’ll post some pictures with the podcast but it was really cool out there; beautiful Adkins, Texas, gorgeous oaks trees, rolling plains and you had a singlewide that definitely had some work done to it and had a new addition and, really, this cool rustic exterior and you walk in and you just feel like you’re in a small town bakery and a grill. Just walking into the door, Mousetrap, the smell — if you weren’t hungry when you walked in, you were certainly hungry as soon as you open that door .
Mousetrap: Yeah. I love myself a good burger, man, so I got to go with you next time to try it out.
AP: Yeah, for sure. I was talking to Trina when we were done with the interview and we might have to have them cater our company Christmas party this year.
Mousetrap: And it’s not just burgers, its pies, it’s all types of delicious stuff.
AP: Oh, my goodness, I left with a piece of fried fish, that was their special of the day and looking at their menu fried pies, they had all sorts of pastries, just way too much to eat all in one sitting so I’m definitely looking forward to going back.
Mousetrap: Yes, yes. Count me in when we do. All right, let’s jump into the conversation you guys had. You guys enjoy.
Trina: That’s my dad’s house right next door.
AP: This was his property?
Trina: Mm-hmm, this was his property, yeah. And actually there’s a neighbor that lives further down, that’s the story about the actual part of the mobile home, he actually gave it to us.
Trina: So we renovated that and he gave it to us so…
AP: So this home was actually donated?
Trina: The mobile home was donated and then all the additional part my dad and my uncle kind of built.
AP: That was eight years ago?
Trina: January first will be eight years.
AP: Very cool. I know businesses, and especially restaurants it’s tough so eight years…
Trina: Yeah, especially in a rural area that’s on the outskirts of town. So we pretty much survived on word-of-mouth and just repeat business because, I mean, we’re really far out, obviously.
AP: We put a lot of homes in Adkins so…
Trina: Oh, so yeah, you’re familiar with this area then.
AP: I know KENS 5 did a story on y’all; and the San Antonia Express News, when did all that happen?
Trina: Well, it’s actually been happening – actually, the first thing I tell you when we first opened that January, because we opened in January, we got top 10 in the city, like, how they do the countdown for the year, they stuck our fried pies in there. Karen, which was the food editor, a few years ago she retired, she been there for a long time and she came out here and she fell in love. So that first year we actually made the top 10 for the year, which started with the fried pies. Then we’ve been in there for best Mac and Cheese, best money for your buck – we have a chicken fried chicken. There’s an article right there on the wall about our Wednesdays and Saturdays special, so we’ve been in the paper quite a few times actually.
AP: That’s awesome.
Trina: But for KENS 5, Marvin called me out of the blue and he said he had received several emails from different customers saying you’ve got to try this place and he said that he went on Facebook and started looking at photos and he couldn’t believe it so he just showed up. I couldn’t believe it either. I mean, we were pretty nervous when he got here, too.
AP: I know you were…You had asked if you were gonna have to be on camera.
Trina: Yeah. I have to go get makeup done, and I can’t be on TV looking all crazy. I couldn’t prepare enough for him and makeup and all that.
AP: Well it was a great piece. It turned out nice.
Trina: I really enjoyed it. He was really nice, very down to earth so he made it very. I was very nervous and he was just so funny that I just kind of flowed.
AP: So are you more at home in the back doing the cooking?
Trina: In the back, yes. Baking and staying in the back of the kitchen yes. Even though I’m the owner I do like to just kind of stay in the back. Even the customers are like, “We rarely ever see her.” I just pretty much like to stay in the back.
AP: Well, I know I was reading — so these are family recipes that has been passed down four generations?
AP: What’s the story behind the recipes?
Trina: Well, actually my mom passed away about 10 years ago, so I have a sister…So my mother of course got the recipes from her mom and her mom received them from her mother so like the secret mac and cheese is like the secret family recipe. I have friends that always ask for the recipe or when they have a party, “Can you make it for me?” And so, my great-grandmother is the one who came up with the recipe for the mac and cheese, so yeah…
AP: So it’s only you and Telly allowed to cook?
Trina: Yup, nobody else, and we do have a couple of other servers that work at the front end but no one’s allowed to cook.
AP: That’s awesome.
Trina: And it’s funny because even with our servers they’ll tell you, I mean, Telly and I will get here at like seven in the morning – because everything’s made fresh and made to order; we don’t have any frozen foods or anything along those lines so every morning we come in about & 7 o’clock to make the specials for the day like the mac and cheese or we have chicken pot pies and so when they get to work everything’s already cooked. So they still don’t see me.
AP: I could tell. My mom use to call it “loving from the oven.”
Trina: Yeah, it is. And you can tell it’s made from scratch and made by hand. We even make, like, today we have fish and we even make our tartar sauce from scratch.
AP: I saw that was your special. I love fried fish.
Trina: Oh. man, I have to give you a piece before you leave.
AP: So what made you and Telly want to get into the restaurant business?
Trina: Well I actually relocated from Dallas. I was in the accounting field. I was an accountant and my mom passed away and my dad has a truck in business so he never really handled the financial end of the business or the home so he asked me to move here. So my husband and I relocated from Dallas and we came from Dallas which you know is the mecca of food and everything great as far as burgers, blue cheese, grilled onions and all this stuff. So when we got here, there was nothing, there was Texas Pride and in fact, when we moved here Bill Miller’s wasn’t even out here yet so really Texas Pride and a Mexican restaurant and that was it. So we would always have to drive into town to get food, and so we were just kind of sitting down one day and we were like, “You know what, we should just open restaurant.” We’re cookers by inheritance; so to speak, we’ve never owned a restaurant before. We’re like, “Well…” you know everyone’s favorite question “how hard can it be to cook?” So we just decided we were going to open up a restaurant out of the blue and we just opened it and ever since we’ve been going strong, I haven’t closed one time since we’ve opened eight years ago.
AP: Very cool. So did you all start in the mobile home here?
Trina: Yeah, that was it at first. When we initially opened for probably the first, I’m going to say, seven to eight month it was just that. So we literally just had those four tables, that was it when we first opened, nothing else, just the four tables. And we had picnic tables outside but not very many because they were like $700 each. And the most expensive thing was the ventilation system which you see is the smoke system for us and that was like about $7,000. But everything else that you see the store, the grill we just went and bought off of Craigslist and restaurants that were closing. So we really opened up I’d say honestly for less than about $20,000 as an investment and then as we grew after that first seven or eight months he added the patio and then we added this part at the end.
AP: And he, being your dad?
Trina: Yes, my dad and uncle they did all the work.
AP: That’s awesome.
Trina: Mm-hmm. So everything is built from family, everything is family pretty much. We did it. We have those little tables and when we first opened we didn’t know how it was going to be, but it took off.
AP: So how hard was it?
Trina: When we initially opened, honestly, it wasn’t that hard because there was nothing out here. So of course, the people who lived out here we’re happy because like I said, it was just Texas Pride and that’s just barbecue and if you wanted to go—heck, the closest McDonald’s is off of 410 and Rigsby. So seriously, there is nothing out here so it really helped us a lot that there was nothing in the area. So once the neighborhood started coming and the neighborhood tell their friends and family it just kind of took off like that. I mean, like literally, it’s always been word of mouth.
AP: Do you have a lot of regulars?
Trina: Oh, tons. I mean, people have their baby announcement here, engagement, we’ve had people that we’d seen graduated from high school and come back. In eight years you’ll see a lot. We’ve actually lost customers, regulars that we’ve had. We had one elderly couple been comming since we opened and in the past eight years we’ve lost both of them so it’s been kind of sad, but we have some great regulars. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the story a while — it’s probably about three years ago there was a police officer that got shot in front of her partner in the face and she’s one of our regular customers, we have fundraisers for her and her family they all come out once or twice a week, so we have very good customers.
AP: I noticed Telly knew that family there and the ones that were sitting there amd they knew each other too.
Trina: That’s how it is, that’s really how it is. I mean, everyone knows everyone pretty much. And our regulars are very loyal, like I said, we’ve had people who’ve been coming since we open or doors and they’ve grown with us. And in fact, when the story from KENS 5 came out — we’ve always had really, really busy lunch and very busy dinners, you know, we kind of die down between lunch and dinner, but our regulars were actually getting frustrated because they were having to wait for tables for, like, 45 minutes or an hour or leave and come back and they were like, “Hey, what’s this thing going on right here? It’s supposed to be our place?” So I mean, they teased us about that, but that’s a type of service that we give our customers where it’s very customer-centric, one-on-one, first name basis. They can call me and say, “Trina, hey, I need cookies tomorrow for my kids party,” and I’ll whip them up so it’s pretty cool.
AP: That’s awesome. That’s why we like interviewing and having stories about businesses making an impact on their community and then obviously the mobile phone home aspect is our line of work but the lady we talked about on the last episode, did you get a chance to listen to that?
AP: Such a cool story.
Trina: Yeah, it’s a really, really was.
AP: You know, big companies have their part but they can’t make the impact in the communities like she did and it sounds like you guys are here.
Trina: Oh, definitely. All the volunteer firefighters, picnics and barbecues and horse trails. We have like the trailer riders that ride through. We donate a lot of gift cards for auctions and things along that line and we’ve done things for the kids as far as Easter egg hunts and all kinds of cool things.
AP: It’s a beautiful piece of property.
Trina: Thank you. Yeah, my dad lucked out.
AP: How long has your dad lived in Adkins?
Trina: Since 2006. Yeah, him and my mother purchased to the property and he actually had origionally bought it because he owns a trucking business so he was actually renting property off of East Houston and like Foster, I don’t know if you’re familiar…
AP: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Trina: He was renting. There was a lot of open lots, he was renting space for his trucks. And we actually grew up off of 410 and Marbach. I went to Health Careers high school. I would’ve gone to Jay if I hadn’t gone to Health Careers. So we grew up on the North side of town and he was driving over here every day to come and pick up the truck and then finally he and my mom started looking around and they saw this property and they were like, “We’re gonna move,” so they bought it and he put all his trucks over there on the other side. On the other side of the house there is a shop with all his trucks and stuff over there. So that’s how we ended up out here.
AP: I love Adkins. Just right outside of San Antonio.
Trina: It’s just far enough to still have that old small-town feel.
AP: Yeah, as much as we love technology, we’re on Facebook a lot and phones, sometimes it’s just nice to disconnect. You know last night, or Wednesday rather, at our house we have no electronics.
Trina: Oh, nice.
AP: Our kids didn’t know what to do.
Trina: I’m sure.
AP: We had games and we actually talked face-to-face.
Trina: Yeah, I saw that neat little thing where they had, like, I guess at one restaurant where they had where you leave your phones at the basket at the door. I think it’s a pretty neat idea to kind of just be able to chit chat because you always see people eating and one person sitting on the phone or so yeah…
AP: So when y’all are trying to convert what’s used as a house into a business where there any zoning requirements or anything like that?
Trina: Of course, tons. We actually had to hire a sanitation engineer because it’s septic out here so we had to put in this huge – I wish I would have brought the picture – but it’s a huge cement septic tank. So we had to have an engineer come out and check the land to make sure it’s going to be – I think it’s like 30,000, it’s huge, like as big as a car. I’m not exaggerating how big this septic tank is. And we had to have the ground dug up to put it in. My dad does excavating so he was able to save money on that and because he could do the digging. We had to have electricians come out. We had to do plotting, what they call it, with the city where we had to go ahead and parcel off this part for my dad’s house because it was going to become a business. So we have a separate address from his mailing address so we have our own address, we have our own water. And Adkins uses East Central water so we had to have them come in and install meters and turn all that stuff in downtown to the city.
AP: How long did all that take?
Trina: Oh gosh, we started in October so we opened in January. We had to have a fire marshall come out, health inspector, all that stuff so it was about three-and-a-half, four month process.
AP: This is a really awesome spot.
Trina: Thank you.
AP: I work with my brother too. What’s it like working with siblings?
Trina: Oh you know how it goes. I’m the older sister. There are good days and there are bad days, you know how it is. We get into argument in the kitchen and our servers will be like, “Hey, there are peole out there.” So it’s not perfect, I’m not going to tell you that. And I am a boss so it’s a little difficult because I have to put on my boss hat and not a sister hat some days and say, “You’re not going to do that today” or “you’re going to have to remake that burger,” so it’s rough, you know how it is when you work with family, you have to be a little tough sometimes and it doesn’t always end well. But for the most part it’s okay.
AP: That’s awesome. My brother just had his birthday and us and our sales team went camping so I had to take the boss hat off, like, no business, we’re just going to have fun, we’re just going to be brothers, friends, forget about business. So do you all do just the family stuff outside of work too?
Trina: Of course, and let me tell you we’ve had plenty of parties here after hours. I mean, like birthdays, paties, all of our cousins – and we have another sister, she would come over with her kids and we’ll get like a little DJ and convert into a dance foor. So yeah, we spend a lot of time together. We’re a really close family.
AP: That’s awesome.
Trina: And then even with the servers, one of the servers is my niece and the other one is a 72 year old lady that lives around the corner who retired from HEB and she’s been here for like four and a half years and she loves it. She’s so excited to work everyday.
AP: I saw those flower pot rolls on KENS5…Who came up with that?
Trina: Well, actually, I did, I don’t know what made me think of it, but we were just trying to come up with kind of an ingenious way to do a traditional roll and not make it so boring. So I went to Habitat for Humanity and we saw those little flower pots were like $0.10 each and we literally but like 50 of them and then we were like we’re just going to try it. The first time we tried it we actually sealed the bottom off but once we start doing it on a regular basis we realized the yeast, it’ll just cover the bottom so once the dough rises it’s firm so it doesn’t seep through the bottom. And in fact if I would have thought about it – we baked some earlier today for tomorrow, but I put them up so they wouldn’t dry out. Yeah, we have a dough, we just drop them in there and we raise them above on the top shelf and we make them rise for about three hours and then we pop them in the oven.
AP: That’s really cool. What’s your favorite thing y’all make?
Trina: Oh wow, I’ll probably have to stay either the blue cheese burger or the South Western burger because it’s kind of like I love blue cheese, who goes wrong with blue cheese and bacon, but the southwestern I’d say yeah, avocado, we make it Chipotle mayo in jalepeno so I would say that was my favorite.
AP: Oh, my goodness. That if I wasn’t so full, I’d try some more.
Trina: And then of course the fried pies are always a favorite. That’s a lot of work too but those are my favorites as well.
AP: And that’s what kind of started the media attention?
Trina: Yeah, because it’s literally just rolling out dough – everything is by hand and we roll it out, we fill it, we seal it and we fry with different types of fruit.We do coconut cream, peach, apple, cherry, chocolate, anything you can think of we fry them in that pie crust but each individual one. I get orders for like 40, 50, 60…
Mousetrap: Man, those pastries sound delicious. I am a sweets guy myself. After every meal I have to have some chocolate.
AP: I know you are; always hiding chocolate over there, man.
Mousetrap: Apart from delicious food that sounds like she makes, it sounds like she’s a really big part of the community they’re in Adkins.
AP: Yeah, they’re whole family is. I was just sitting there watching while I was waiting on my food and you could just tell by their interaction that everybody there knew Telly, they’ve been regulars and Trina was telling me how they regularly volunteer and help around the community. But the more we got to talking, Mousetrap, the more it’s kind of clicked for us that home building and creating meals is just something that has to be done with love, care and attention to detail and, yeah, it’s really only something that a small business, a small family-owned business can deliver.
AP: I was telling Telly, it’ll be one year for us actually in January, this coming January will be our first year.
Trina: Cool. Well congratulations.
AP: My brother and I and a couple of our closest buddies we had done this for 7 years for other folks but just wanted to do it our way.
Trina: Of course, and on your own.
AP: Yeah. And then we had a vision of what we thought this industry could be and should be and we just were’nt seeing it, it’s almost like used cars but the biggest decisions of people’s lives. And just like y’alls loving from the oven we kind of felt like this home buying decision need some love too and corporations just aren’t set up to get there.
Trina: No, they’re not. It’s almost like an assembly line it’s just in, out, in, out…It’s kind of how I feel about fast food you just really don’t get the same attention to details that you get at places like this or with a smaller company.
AP: When food and home should have attention to detail and love.
Trina: Exactly, like you said, those are two major things. But you see it so often, like, even now I’m so jaded when I go out because I know what I expect and I’ll see stuff and it’s hard for me and I’ll see servers do stuff and I’m like, “Man, if she worked for me she would be out that door so fast.” It’s hard for me to go out anymore to eat because I expect…And they laugh at me because I’m so picky about every little thing that I send out because I don’t want to see a drop of brown lettuce. Everything has to be perfect and they’re like “If only they knew what happened to back here before this food…” because they call me inspector number 47 because if there is one little thing off it’s not going out, it’s not. So when I go out to eat I’m the same way because I expect quality and I always say to myself, “You’re paying for this, whether it’s $50 or two so I feel like you should be treated the same way across the board as far as the quality is concerned.” If I go to McDonald’s I want that to be the best McDonald’s burger because it’s McDonald’s or if I go to Cheesecake Factory the same thing. I just think sometimes big businesses get jaded and they assume that we’re just going to get them in and get them out and there is no attention to detail anymore, it’s just kind of haphazard and thrown together so it’s hard for me to eat out.
AP: That’s probably why you’ve been her eight years is that attention to detail.
Trina: Exactly. They don’t like it but the customers do. And I know we joke about it but honestly, since we’ve been open, and this sounds like so I don’t want to say cheesy or corny, we’ve never had anything sent back, I mean, seriously, we’ve never had to remake anything. I can honestly tell you that we’ve had — of course our biggest complaint would be the time it takes to prepare the food. So we’re real honest, we’ll put it on the menu and we say upfront if you’re in a rush, you know, everything is made by hand. Even with the open flame grill, it doesn’t cook very quickly so even the burgers take longer. So I think if we had to say one of the cook time, the turn time as far as getting the food out I would think that that would probably be the biggest complaints. But as far as we’re making things, as you can see I keep my hair covered, there is no hair in the food .We’ve been very fortunate that we’ve never had that issue. We don’t have I guess this issue where we would have to remake things and start over like a lot of the company’s do, because I’m going to make sure it’s right the first time it goes out, you know, if that means that you’re going to wait a little bit longer but I know when it goes out that it’s not going to come back, I’m going to make sure of that.
AP: I feel I would wait longer to have better food.
Trina: And that’s what I think, I think one – and we joke about it in the back because we’re like “They’re hungry and they’re mad,” but once they get the food then they’re like “Oh, my God this is the best thing ever blah, blah, blah,” so their whole demeanor changes. But we’re joking in the back “Oh, they’re going to be mad.” But like I said, we’d rather be right and maybe take a little bit longer than just kind of slop it together and send it out. Then we would have a revolving door food coming back and being remade over. When you rush is when I think you make mistakes.
AP: And then people don’t come and people don’t have jobs. There’s a lot riding on those details.
Trina: Yeah, it really is. I think about that even if it weren’t my family I would still be the same way because I know what I expect when I go out and I fix everybody’s food with my level of satisfaction in mind. And I think if more people did that then it would be easy, but that’s certainly what I do each time I make something for someone. I think what I eat this? What I seriously really eat this? And if I think for myself even for a second no, I won’t send it out.
AP: That was an amazing burger for sure. If our listeners want to reach out or find out more about you guys how would they contact you?
Trina: We do have a Facebook page which has a pretty large following. It’s just Loop 107 burgers you can pull us up that way. We have a website www.loop107burgers.com. Instagram I’m really bad about because it’s really just me so it’s hard for me to post. We have an Instagram page but it’s not very – I don’t update very often, I’ll stick a picture up there every now and then. So mostly Facebook and the website I think are two best ways to reach us. We’re closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, other than that you’ll find my brother and I here Wednesday through Sunday.
AP: Awesome. Well thank you so much. It was awesome meeting you guys.
Trina: Thank you very much. Thank you for coming out.
AP: I told Telly I’m going to get some cookies for my kids on the way out.
Trina: Let me get you that fish really quick too. I’m going to get you a piece to take.
AP: Oh, thank you.
Mousetrap: Man, I bet Elsa really enjoyed that dinner.
AP: Yes, she said it was the best fish she’d ever had. And I actually caught her sticking her finger in the Jar of tartar sauce to get a little taste about an hour later. So she enjoyed it and my kids loved the cookies too. So definitely some awesome food, some awesome people, strongly, strongly recommend you stopping by at Loop 107 Burgers if you’re out there in the area right there in Adkins Texas. And big, big things to Trina and Telly for hosting me and for having us out and being on our podcast.
Mousetrap: Absolutely. Alrighty, that wraps it up for this episode. As always thanks for tuning in to the Doublewide Dudes podcast. We’ll talk to you in the next one.