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Hensley’s Ca-fae goes mobile with new chuck wagon trailer
by Jason Collins
Jun 17, 2013 | 1931 views | 0 0 comments | 64 64 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tommy Hensley cooks up a redneck burger Tuesday as he gets used to the grill and layout of the cafe’s new food trailer. He and his wife say they plan to start in July using it not only for catering but also to serve those working in the oil field.
Tommy Hensley cooks up a redneck burger Tuesday as he gets used to the grill and layout of the cafe’s new food trailer. He and his wife say they plan to start in July using it not only for catering but also to serve those working in the oil field.
slideshow
This chuckwagon trailer, owned by Hensley’s Ca-fae was built not only for catering but to serve the hungry oil field workers stuck where restaurant options are limited.
This chuckwagon trailer, owned by Hensley’s Ca-fae was built not only for catering but to serve the hungry oil field workers stuck where restaurant options are limited.
slideshow
BEEVILLE – Tommy stood in front of the searing hot grill housed inside the new Hensley’s Ca-fae chuck wagon food trailer.

Steam rolled from the meat as the sugars caramelized forming a light brown crust on the outside of the hamburger patty.

This was a Tuesday and Tommy, who once ran the restaurant at the auction barn, was still getting accustomed to the grill.

This is the latest venture for him and his wife, Laura, who want to use it to feed the oil field workers who have inundated the area.

“We just used the deep fryers for the first time the other day,” Tommy said. “I told (Laura) we need to find out what we can do with this thing and what it is going to take.

“So we decided to do the special redneck burgers out here.”

Distinctive look

The trailer is unique and stands out in any parking lot.

It’s wrapped in colorful artwork done by a company in Corpus Christi.

Tommy’s favorite part is the generator housing that appears as though it is a strongbox like that once carried on stagecoaches.

His wife is equally thrilled highlighting the cowboy style red bandana pattern, old west wood style font and chuck wagon drawing that adorns the sides and back of the trailer.

The idea for this new venture was Tommy’s and Laura is quick to give him credit for it.

She is all smiles the next day as she sits after the lunch rush of the restaurant.

“We have had several people in the oil field come and want us to set up and sell daily,” Laura said.

Tommy adds that they also will use the trailer for catering.

Location, location, location

She and Tommy are still working on the logistics but, right now, it looks as though George West is the leading spot for the trailer. However, that could change.

“We haven’t made that decision yet,” Laura said.

But she does know the menu.

She plans to serve a variety of sandwiches — clubs, chicken salads, hamburgers — redneck and fatboys — and, of course, daily lunch specials.

“Nothing will be frozen,” Laura said. “Everything will be fresh.”

And, yes, they also will have their desserts like banana pudding, mud pie and peach cobbler.

“It is going to strictly be to-go,” she said. “We are going to serve it with silverware and that kind of thing so it will be easy to eat.”

For sale – someday

Those fans of the downtown restaurant and the amenities it offers like air conditioning and tables — should know the business likely isn’t going away any time soon.

They plan only to travel with the trailer three or four days a week for now with one of them staying behind to keep the restaurant dishing out lunches.

Both Laura and Tommy are confident that they will succeed in this latest venture and are excited at the prospect of a mobile kitchen.

“That way we can pick and choose where we want to go,” Laura said. “But I love my restaurant. I love Beeville and I love the people here.”

Back in the trailer

As Tommy cooked, the temperature inside the trailer climbed that Tuesday. Its two air conditioning units struggled to keep up.

“I can stand the heat,” he said, wiping the sweat from his brow. “It is the humidity that gets to me.”

Ultimately, the couple would like to sell their building and just travel with the trailer cooking where they wish.

“It is going to take the right person to buy it,” he said. “As you know the market is pretty good right now. But we may not ever get it sold.

“I don’t know. That is just my long-term plan.”

Jason Collins is the editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 121, or at editor@mySouTex.com.
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