There’s a new name on San Antonio’s culinary scene, but the folks behind it aren’t exactly new faces. Borrowing its name from Fight Club protagonist/antagonist/narrator Tyler Durden, the Durden Food Group comprises Jerry Moreno, Gino Vidal, Daniel Orta and Sohayla Hendrix — four friends with more than 40 years of restaurant experience between them, including catering and various roles in both the front and back of the house.
To introduce their first concept under the Durden umbrella, the quartet is staging pop-ups as ¡Bucho! — a chef-inspired “Tejano street fare” concept that’s found what seems to be a fitting home in the wrestling-themed confines of El Luchador in Southtown. Also plucked from a movie (Joaquim de Almeida’s villainous character in Robert Rodriguez’s Desperado), the slangy Spanish term bucho can be translated in multiple ways (pig fat, jerk, dude and jackass are all possibilities). As Vidal explains it, bucho can also mean stubborn, a translation he says fits the group best. “We were tired of working for someone else, fed up, ready to do our own thing,” Vidal told the Current. “So we’ve been stubborn in that sense.”
Since its First Friday debut in December, ¡Bucho! has maintained a consistent presence at El Luchador, serving up piña pastor and mojo verde mushroom tortas, creatively tricked-out burgers and vegetarian “Lone Star” borracho beans ($3-$12 per item) into the wee hours — and smartly beckoning on Facebook to service industry folks still hangry from the late shift. When asked about the short-and-sweet menus they post on social media, Moreno explained that the group is “slowly unleashing items” as they develop a set menu for a more full-time scenario.
But for the week ahead at least, ¡Bucho! is already fairly full-time, with service from 8 p.m. until sellout or 2 a.m. Wednesday through Friday, then on Sunday for Seinfeld trivia night (food from 5:30 p.m., trivia at 7 p.m.) and a ticketed event on New Year’s Eve ($25 per person, $40 per couple).
In the new year, the group hopes to trade in their electric griddles and burners for a full-fledged kitchen at El Luchador. In order to make that happen, Vidal says they’ll likely host a fundraiser in February to get the Southtown community involved and offset the expense of kitchen essentials. In the meantime, keep up with Durden Food Group and ¡Bucho! on Facebook
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