Tuesday February 21st 2017

The Guys Behind The Guapo: Inside Detroit’s First Food Truck

Douglas Runyon and Anthony Curis (Photo:

Food trucks date back to the late 1800’s with chuck wagons in Texas. For us though, food trucks date back to when ran to the ice cream truck as kids. The mobile restaurants have since made a comeback, and this past summer, Detroit finally got hip to the game.

We literally watched in envy as Korean BBQ and schnitzel trucks took to the streets of New York and Los Angeles, but with diligence and determination, Anthony Curis and Douglas Runyon worked with Detroit to become the first licensed and accepted food truck in the city’s history with El Guapo Grill.

With their constantly changing menu (breakfast! fish tacos! and bacon tacos!) we were intrigued — so we sat down with co-owner Anthony Curis at his new art gallery on Library St. to get the inside scoop on “secret” tacos, dream tacos and what the team eats off the clock.

Q: We know you do tacos now and run Saltwater and Bourbon Steak in MGM Casino downtown, but how did you get into food?

A: I was born and raised in the Grosse Pointe area and worked in my family’s Big Boy franchise restaurants. There was a natural transition into real estate, and that is where I ended up.

Q: Where do you eat when you’re not working on the truck?

A: My wife and I love to eat, so we have tried a lot of the food in Detroit. Some of our favorites are Supino’s Pizza, Roast — the best happy hour, Le Petit Zinc, Wolfgang Puck Grille, and El Barzon.

Q: Does El Guapo have a ‘secret menu’?

A: Yes… one item people can ask for is called The Mess, a burrito essentially with everything and special sauces.

Q:  What was your worst recipe that you ever tried?

A: In an effort to test a recipe for the truck, I decided to grill salmon. It was not a good turnout – that’s all I will say!

Q: Food costs and permits aside, what’s your dream El Guapo menu?

A: Seasoned Kobe Beef burrito with avocado, sauteed onions, porcini mushrooms, queso fresco and guapo sauce on a flour tortilla

Lobster tacos with shredded cabbage, diced red onion, queso fresco and a creamy aioli aauce on a flour a tortilla.

Dreamy indeed! Tell us, are you down with food trucks? And if yes, what’s your favorite?

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