Speculations about Ricky Craig of Hubcap Grill's New Concept

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The tweet that started it all.
Unless you've been living under a rock, you've heard of the two-location, critically acclaimed Hubcap Grill burger joint and its bold, outspoken owner, Ricky Craig. It's commonly accepted, both in Houston and out, that Hubcap Grill serves up some of the best (if not the best) burgers in the city. It's also commonly noted, both in Houston and out, that Ricky Craig is unafraid to be unrestrained and uncensored when responding to criticism, snarky comments and the like via Twitter -- his primary outlet of communication with the public.

For this very reason, critics and media love to hate Ricky Craig. But, contrary to popular opinion, Craig is a friendly, welcoming restaurant owner. He also uses his Twitter account for more than just firing back. Often, he uses it to share interesting and noteworthy news. Such was the case recently when Craig tweeted that he would begin "experimenting in the kitchen on [his] next adventure/concept."

We can't stop wondering what his new "adventure/concept" might entail. So many possibilities come to mind. Here's a lighthearted look at three possible concepts that Ricky Craig could have up his sleeve.

Craig & Co. Steakhouse
One quick skim at his Twitter feed, and it's obvious that Ricky loves a good steak. Because Ricky does what he loves and believes in -- Hubcap is a living testament to that -- it's not crazy to think that his next venture could be a steakhouse, where perfectly cooked steaks flow out of the kitchen as fast as his ragingly popular burgers fly off the grill. White linens and tealights might even make the scene at Craig & Co. Steakhouse. His juicy steaks would be accompanied by side dishes laced with the popular pimento cheese he makes or his home-made muffuletta, maybe even some of the secret sauces he uses in his burgers. Think about it. It would be some fine fine dining. This could be why Ricky switched his Twitter avatar from his Ed Hardy-clad self to a photo of him donning a dress shirt and jacket -- he wanted to ensure his image is up to par with the concept in the works.

Ricky's Veggie & Beer Garden
Perhaps Ricky's new adventure will throw Houstonians for an unexpected loop. Remember when Ricky stated that he would not serve vegan/vegetarian burgers, and all the greensters in Houston flipped out? Maybe the weight of offending all those anti-meat-eating citizens finally got Craig down. What if he is secretly planning to make amends with veggie lovers by providing them a haven of their own? Ricky could grow vegetables in his spacious Hubcap Burger & Beer Yard and then spotlight the produce in his new eco-friendly setting, which would focus on sustainability and farm-to-table veggie cuisine. The legume, root and tuberous verdure selection would change seasonally. Just to ensure that the apple didn't fall too far from the tree, Ricky would offer a huge craft beer selection, including a wide variety of beers flavored with fruits and vegetables. Who knows? Ricky's Veggie & Beer Garden could be Houston's breakthrough vegetarian paradise. Besides, the steakhouse idea sounded way too conventional.

Craiganale's
Did you know that Ricky's mother is Italian? And that his parents once owned a restaurant downtown called Craiganale's Italian Deli Cafe? Ricky was the head cook at said restaurant, whose name, Craiganale's, is a mash-up of his mother's maiden name and his father's last name. What if Ricky's planning to go back to his roots and give Houston a new Italian dining spot? He would naturally name the place Craiganale's. In a quaint locale reminiscent of an Italian home, he would revive Craiganale's pasta and dressing forever, not just as a one-night stint as guest cook on The Modular. His mother would helm the kitchen and, apart from the classic spaghetti and meatballs, would offer lasagna, gnocchi, risotto and ravioli. As another unexpected turn, Ricky would veer away from beer and offer fine Italian wines. As guests exited the homey spot, Ricky's friendly father, often seen manning the counter at Hubcap Grill, would say "Ciao" from the host stand as "That's amore" trailed off in the distance.

So, do you think any of these ideas are remotely close to what Ricky's planning? What would you like Houston's infamous burger man to do next? Let's speculate together. And then, when the time comes, Eating...Our Words will fill you in on all the details of what Ricky Craig's third venture will actually be.



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Location Info

The Modular

, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant


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14 comments
Migas22
Migas22

How about "Little Ricky's" a Cuban cafe with live music along the lines of Buena Vista Social Club. Cuban sandwiches and bistecca pallmillo! 

Ricardo Luna
Ricardo Luna

Dear Mr. Athonyac51 my name is ricardo luna co-owner of the Little Bitty Burger Barn that you chose to talkt about, well A: we dont talk about ricky craig, we actually get along very well, we see him or his dad numerous times at restaurant depot, so before you talk shit make sure you know what your talkin abot, ohh and havs the hub cap been on the food network? mmm

Hubcap Mayor
Hubcap Mayor

Ricky is a great guy. When you are number 1, people will find any reason to harp on the negativity. Whatever he decides to do next, I will be there to support 110% like I do Hubcap. Whenever friends or family are in town, I always take them to Hubcap and they rave about it. Hubcap Grill is Houston's go-to spot for great burgers! Keep up the GREAT WORK RICKY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Albert Nurick
Albert Nurick

If Ricky devotes his considerable attention to a new concept, I have little doubt the result will be superb.   I remember a conversation with him about the process of designing his original burger at Hubcap Grill, and I was frankly astonished by how much effort he put into getting things just right.  The man sweats the details. Ricky can come across as prickly sometimes, but after I got to know him, it's obvious that he has a deep passion for what he does, and a real appreciation for his customers.  He just has a rather direct way of dealing with those who don't like what he's doing.  I hope he never changes.

Lea McKinney
Lea McKinney

I like those ideas! It's making me hungry. British Pub, perhaps?

Wuwwu
Wuwwu

Ricky..I have a question please...last time I checked restuarants are in the business to "server the guest..." so why on earth have you challenged folks in the past?  I just can't support this type of behavior....it's not like you have been nominated for a james beard, you simply make a burger, decent at times, often not anywhere near pefection, but your proudness is just  a real turnoff....cocky restaurant folks typically don't last, I would think you know this...you need to take a chill and remember at last count how many freaking restaurants are in Houston, we as diners have an abundance of choices...I rest my case.  

Guest
Guest

Mr. Craig, I don't need any gift certificates, but the fact that you seem sincere in your promise to inform the staff of the issue is a good enough show of faith that I'll give your 19th Street location another try next time I'm in the area. Thanks for the response.   

Ricky Craig
Ricky Craig

Dear Guest, I normally don't read comments or respond but this caught my attention. I'd like to apologize. Sorry your burger wasn't cooked to temp the way you requested it. I'll bring this to my grill cooks attention at both places. I'd like to send you some gift certificates if your willing. I'd like to fix this problem if possible. Please email me your addy at Rickyhubcap@yahoo.com Ricky Craig Hubcap Grill

Guest
Guest

I've visited the downtown location twice and the 19th Street location once and all three times requested a medium cooked burger and all three times received it well done. Once I can forgive, even twice could conceivably be an anomaly, but after three separate visits during which I received mediocre food I think I've earned the right to voice a negative opinion, however unpopular it may be.   

bigjake
bigjake

@Hubcap Mayor just to let u know i worked for the man and all i can say is the public has no idea the insanity this man is capable of he is either getting robbed or somebody is out to get him lol he is such small time 


bigjake
bigjake

@Ricky Craig if you dont read comments then your saying your consumer does not matter


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