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Restaurant Road Trip – Part 5: Texas & California

September 10, 2018
10 min. read

Mid-to-late summer is always a busy season for trade shows and events. This year was no different. Martin’s had the opportunity to exhibit at numerous food trade shows over the past few months, which provides great visibility for our food service product offerings, particularly in newer markets such as Texas and California. During these trips, we also make time to visit some of our current food service customers and show support by dining in their restaurants.

Here is a brief recap of our two main summer trade shows, each followed by details about some of the restaurants using Martin’s® Famous Potato Rolls & Bread in the surrounding areas:

San Antonio & Austin, TX:

Recap of Texas Restaurant Association Marketplace


The 2018 Texas Restaurant Association (TRA) Marketplace, held July 15-16 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, TX, was the Association’s 81st annual restaurant and foodservice show and is also the largest and most comprehensive in the entire southwest. More than 500 exhibitors and 6,000 attendees, including restaurant owners and chefs, gathered to network with one another and learn about the latest trends and product innovations in the industry.

During the two days of the event, Martin’s Sales and Marketing teams had the privilege to speak with many of these attendees and fellow food service professionals about our food service products. The Texas food service market is a fairly new one for Martin’s, and we hope these great new connections will support our continued growth in this region.

To learn more about Martin’s Food Service department, please visit

For more information about the event, visit


Featured Restaurants – San Antonio, TX

Stop #1: South BBQ & Kitchen

2011 Mission Rd | San Antonio, TX 78214


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This brand new restaurant concept from owner Andrew Samia of Dignowity Meats and Crazy Carl’s food truck (also mentioned below) recently opened on May 23, 2018. Read more about the opening at

The barbecue restaurant, self-characterized as “South Texas style BBQ and sides,” has a heavy focus on smoked meats, with offerings including beef brisket, pulled pork shoulder, St. Louis style spare ribs, and chicken legs. Additionally, they offer a variety of sides, including Spanish rice, creamed elote, loaded tater tot casserole, and German potato salad, as well as a pulled pork sandwich with vinegar slaw and a chopped beef sandwich with tangy pickles, both served on Martin’s 4-Inch Potato Rolls.

Connect with South BBQ Kitchen at:


Stop #2: Dignowity Meats

1701 E Houston St, San Antonio, TX, United States


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Located in the historical Eastside San Antonio neighborhood of Dignowity Hill (dig·no·witty), this restaurant is one of several concepts owned by chef Andrew Samia. Dignowity Meats specializes in southern-style comfort food like KC brisket burnt ends, buttermilk fried chicken, loaded baked potatoes, and smoked meat sandwiches such as their pulled pork sliders topped with chipotle citrus BBQ sauce and vinegar slaw and served on Martin’s Potato Rolls

Connect with Dignowity Meats at:


Stop #3: 2M Smokehouse

2731 S WW White Rd | San Antonio, TX 78222

2M Smokehouse | Image by @s.a.vortooth
(Image by @s.a.vortooth | Instagram)

This barbecue joint, run by pit master Esaul Ramos, has been serving up their famous smoked meats since 2016. It has been described as “Texas BBQ with a Mexican flare” because of unique offerings like their homemade poblano-and-Oaxaca-cheese sausages and serving options such as tortillas (for tacos) and pico de gallo. You can order the smoked meats by the pound with options including brisket, ribs, pulled pork, turkey breast, sausage, and barbacoa. They also offer several sandwich options like the “2M Sandwich” of chopped brisket, pulled pork, and sausage, topped with coleslaw, served on Martin’s Potato Rolls.

Connect with 2M Smokehouse at:


Stop #4: Shake Shack, Park North Location

7427 San Pedro Avenue, Suite 107 | San Antonio, TX 78216

This location marks the first Shake Shack in San Antonio and the ninth in Texas, joining existing ones in Austin, Houston, Dallas, and Plano. The restaurant, located in the Park North Shopping Center, opened August 23, 2017 and offers local-only offerings like specialty concretes (Shake Shack’s signature frozen custard) and the Lockhart Link Burger, a cheeseburger topped with a Kreuz Market jalapeno cheese sausage. Read more at

A second San Antonio location is expected in early 2019 at the corner of Broadway St. and Mulberry Ave.

Connect with Shake Shack at:


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Featured Restaurants – Austin, TX

Stop #1: LORO

2115 South Lamar Blvd. | Austin, Texas 78704

Loro Sandwich

This new concept by James Beard Award winners, Aaron Franklin of Franklin’s BBQ and Tyson Cole of Uchi, is an Asian Smokehouse and Bar. It is part of the Hai Hospitality Group of restaurants.

They use Martin’s Hoagie Rolls for their Thai Green Curry Sausage with papaya salad, thai chili sauce, and peanuts, which is out of this world!

Connect with Loro at:


Stop #2: Golden Tiger

90 Rainey St @ Container Bar | Austin, TX 78701

Golden Tiger Char Siu Pork Sandwich

Located at the Container Bar, Golden Tiger is a very hip food truck owned and operated by one of Austin’s up-and-coming stars, Stephen Kaste. (Side note: Stephen came from the East Side King group of food trucks, which also uses our potato rolls.) At this new endeavor, he has created delicious menu items such as a chicken thigh sandwich, the Char Siu Pork sandwich, the Golden Burger, a Tofu Sandwich, and an Asian-style hot dog. He says that he is a true fan of Martin’s and only uses Martin’s Potato Bread and Rolls.

Golden Tiger Asian-Style Hot Dog Golden Tiger Chicken Sandwich

Connect with Golden Tiger at:


Stop #3: Terry Black’s BBQ

1003 Barton Springs Rd | Austin, TX 78704

Terry Black's BBQ Terry Black's BBQ

Terry Black’s BBQ, owned by Mike and Mark Black, is listed among Texas Monthly Magazine’s Top 50 BBQ Joints for their authentic Texas-style barbecue. Their meat options include brisket, sausage, turkey, and chopped beef, all of which you can also get as a sandwich on Martin’s 4-Inch Potato Rolls.

Connect with Terry Black’s BBQ at:


Stop #4: Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ

11500 Manchaca Rd. | Austin, TX 78748

Owner Miguel Vidal has risen to the top ranks as a pitmaster, not just in Texas but also throughout the country. He is a top-rated chef (rumor has it that Aaron Franklin will only eat BBQ at Valentina’s.) Miguel shares his love of food through unique offerings like brisket, pulled pork, or pulled chicken sandwiches with mesquite smoked BBQ sauce (the “Tex”) and smoked brisket, cerveza beef fajita, carnitas, or pulled chicken tacos (the “Mex”).

Our Independent Distributor for Austin, TX recently visited Valentina’s for a breakfast sandwich special that included pulled pork, an over-easy fried egg, and spicy queso on a Martin’s Potato Roll and said it made his mouth water just to think about it!

Connect with Valentina’s at:


Notable Mentions:



Los Angeles, CA:

Recap of Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo

Western Food Expo - Martin's Team

The 2018 Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo, held August 19-21 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, included more than 9,000 industry professionals and 450 foodservice vendors. The tradeshow is hosted by the California Restaurant Association (

This was Martin’s third year exhibiting at the event and we made some great connections that we hope will encourage our continued growth in California and the west coast food service market. This year, our team heard from numerous attendees who said they had read or heard about Martin’s before; possibly due to widespread media articles such as Eater’s How Martin’s Potato Rolls Became the ‘It’ Burger Bun. Whatever the reason, we’re grateful to see our enthusiastic fan base spread to the “other” coast!

To learn more about Martin’s Food Service department, please visit

For more information about the event, visit


Featured Restaurants – California

Stop #1: Burgerim

Multiple Locations

This fast-growing burger chain has locations across the country (160+ currently), with over 30 in California alone, and plans for many more over the next few years. Their unique model allows customers to choose one, two, three (uno, duo, and trio, respectively) or a 16 party pack of their 3-ounce signature burgers. The burgers are fully customizable, allowing customers to choose from a variety of patties (such as beef, turkey, lamb, chicken, salmon, and veggie), toppings, sauces, and buns—including Martin’s Potato and Whole Wheat Potato Rolls. They also offer various fried sides, chicken wings, salads, and desserts.

The Martin’s team enjoyed their visit to the Los Angeles location, where they tried combinations like a California Burger with merguez beef, a Cowboy Lamb Burger, a California Lamb Burger, a Classic Wagyu Burger, a Classic Lamb Burger, and a Salmon Burger.

Martin's Team at BurgerIM

Connect with Burgerim at:


Stop #2: Hollywood Burger

6250 Hollywood Blvd | Los Angeles, CA 90028

Martin's Team at Hollywood Burger

Hollywood Burger, whose namesake location opened in 2016, is headquartered in NYC with ties to restaurant businesses in Argentina. They have plans to expand throughout the US and eventually internationally as well.

Their take on the classic American burger includes using fresh, locally sourced ingredients to create gourmet-style burgers. Menu options include breakfast sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs, and chicken sandwiches on Martin’s Potato Buns, as well as a variety of sides, salads, dipping sauces, and milkshakes.

The Martin’s team enjoyed meeting some of the restaurant staff during their visit, and getting the chance to try a variety of burgers like the Hollywood Classic Burger with sweet potato fries

Food at Hollywood Burger

Connect with Hollywood Burger at:


Stop #3: Shake Shack, Hollywood Location

6201 Hollywood Blvd | Los Angeles, CA 90028

This Shake Shack marks one of nine locations in California, with seven in and around Los Angeles and two in San Diego. Other locations include West Hollywood, Century City, Downtown LA, and LAX airport. In addition to the classic Shake Shack menu items, these locations also offer local specialties like their exclusive concrete and the Roadside Double, a double Swiss cheeseburger topped with Dijon mustard and bacon-and-beer-simmered onions.

As you can see below, the Martin’s team enjoyed the chicken sandwich options with the Chick’n Shack and the Griddled Chick’n Club sandwiches while on their tour in California. During a recent podcast interview on Beyond the Plate with Andrew Kaplan, Mark Rosati, the Culinary Director of Shake Shack said that it took more than two years to develop the recipe for the Chick’n Shack. Thank you, Mark—it is so delicious, it was worth every second!


Find other Shake Shack locations at:


Stop #4: Harbor Town Pub

1125 Rosecrans Street | San Diego, CA 92106

Harbor Town Pub Burger

This classic pub-style restaurant in San Diego was one of the first restaurants to use Martin’s Potato Buns in California (beginning in 2015). Their menu includes creative burgers like the Steakhouse Burger (shown above), which is topped with grilled onions, bacon, blue cheese, house sauce, and pickled jalapenos, served on a Martin’s 4-Inch Potato Roll. They also offer a variety of sandwiches, appetizers, tacos, salads, and weekend brunch items.

Connect with Harbor Town Pub at:


Notable Mentions:


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