Tony Luhrman of El Topo food truck is collaborating with Johnny's Gold Brick on a "Family Dinner" this Sunday at the Heights bar.

Image: Lauro Rojas

Justin Ware, general manager of Johnny's Gold Brick.

Johnny’s Gold Brick in the Heights is a favorite industry haunt—those in the know can't sing its praises enough. 

Although Johnny's doesn't have a set food menu, it has rotating pop-ups, ranging from tacos to burgers to barbecue. And on Sunday, September 23, in collaboration with El Topo food truck, Johnny’s will host its first in a “Family Meal” series, consisting of a four-course dinner with cocktail pairings featuring mezcal from Del Maguey. 

El Topo food truck was founded by Tony Luhrman and has been going strong for three years, specializing in modern Mexican fare that’s sourced from ethical purveyors and made from scratch.

A brief word on the family meal: This is, in the industry, a pre-shift, full-course meal prepared by the chef. Everyone sits and breaks bread. Exclusivity reigns, as only staff members are allowed to partake, for in this blissful moment the staff can enjoy and indulge with no need to rush to make cocktails or run food.

The folks at Johnny’s and El Topo are looking to bring that feeling to guests, as seating will be at a communal table and food will be shareable. The meal will be shared at three time slots: 5, 7, and 10 p.m. 

As for the food?

“I have the utmost respect for Thomas Keller, and as a tongue-in-cheek moment thought how cool it would be to have a Texas Thomas Keller Mexican dinner," says Luhrman. "That’s what this pop-up is going to be: a lot of heavy hitting dishes with some awesome flavor pairings.”

Johnny's General Manager Justin Ware says he's excited to pull this dinner off with Luhrman.

“Johnny’s has been built around an idea of quality, and when we had the opportunity to partner with Tony again and do this we jumped right into it," says Ware. "Not only that, but it helps him get some exposure, putting out some dishes, and it's great marketing for all of us.”

Luhrman is only telling us the first course: a bread course that consists of a jalapeño jam-stuffed brioche with cultured cream and a bit of cracked pepper. The rest of the menu is under wraps.

Meanwhile, Garrett Jones of Johnny's is working with Ware to develop a cocktail menu for food pairings. He is also keeping things hush-hush.

"We want to go kitschy and fun, but I don’t want to spoil it," he says, "because I want to see what people are going to do about the cocktail.”

Ware does say that his team is working with Del Maguey Iberico, a Pechuga and "a ceremonial-traditional style of mezcal incorporating seasonal fruits, nuts, herbs, rice, and typically it has some type of animal in it. It’s fruity, earthy, salty and everything you would want from a mezcal.”

Needless to say, expect the unexpected. Tickets are available here or at the truck itself.

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