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Orange you hungry?
by Paul Gonzales
May 04, 2013 | 2048 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Orange you hungry?
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BEEVILLE – While driving down Washington Street one day last week, a bright orange bus pulled out at a stoplight.

But it wasn’t the vivid paint job that caused one to follow it through the winding streets; it was the curious fact that in the rear of the bus sat an enormous barbecue pit, and a grease fan bulged out from one side.

Turns out the owner of said bus is Danny Lopez, the ‘D’ in A&D Wheel Aligning Services.

“Well, I wanted to have a pit on wheels and at the same time have my kitchen so I can just get up and go,” Lopez said.

So with that idea in mind, Lopez searched for a vehicle that could accommodate such a rare feat of a rolling pit and kitchen in one.

So he began searching for an old school bus; he found one in Junction and began turning the normal looking yellow bus into a massive cooking machine on wheels.

“I’ve been working on it for a couple of years in my spare time.”

Owning his own shop with tons of tools surely helped him out during the process.

“It hadn’t been out on the road or anything, and the day you saw me I had just got the inspection sticker on it, so now it’s all legal and ready to go.”

Luckily, the bus Lopez found wasn’t in too bad of shape, with all the seats already removed. And it was at least running.

“Basically, what I did was I cut sections out of the back part, and I made me a step and an opening big enough for a pit to go in there which I also made.

“I enclosed the front part of the bus to where I can have air conditioning and all the kitchen and utensils in there.”

It’s an ingenious design concept. There is a flattop stove, a couple of burners, a sink, a small counter with some drawers, two prep tables and a refrigerator.

But what about the color? The bright orange bus will definitely stand out wherever he goes, but he had a different agenda for the color.

“They say the color orange makes people hungry,” Lopez laughed.

“It was a yellow school bus, but I sanded it all down and painted it myself.”

And now, after years of work, he’s ready to hit the road and fire up the grill.

“I just want to go out and enter competitions and have fun. Just get out of the house and have a good time.”

And his first stop is the third annual George West Cinco de Mayo festival this weekend, where he’s entered four categories, including brisket, beans, ribs and chicken.

So what does Mrs. Lopez think about his little hobby?

“She and her friends are going to come along and keep us company while we cook,” Lopez smiled.

“I’m sure some of my friends will be coming by to sample the stuff, too.”

But the Cinco de Mayo cook-off is just the first stop of what looks to be many.

“I’m going to look online and see when the next festivals and cook-offs are,” Lopez said.

“There’s a lot of them, and it just so happens that this one is here.

“And I’m ready for it.”

Paul Gonzales is the entertainment writer at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 116, or at thescene@mySouTex.com.
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