Born in Houston and raised in Florida, Damion Loera moved back to the Bayou City in high school and got his start in the food truck industry at age 15.
About six years later, he owns and operates True Dog Houston, a gourmet hotdog food truck that primarily stays parked at The Ice Barn near the corner of West Bellfort Boulevard and Old Richmond Road in Sugar Land.
“I feel like a lot of people are very eager to hop into a food truck,” Loera said. “They think it’s easy, which it is—working for yourself and being your own boss is always amazing. But it’s not that easy.”
Formerly known as Yoyo’s Hot Dog, the food truck opened in May 2018 and underwent a name change in January.
Loera chose to anchor True Dog to The Ice Barn because the area stays busy in the summer, he said. He also said business is good in Sugar Land because True Dog serves 100% beef hot dogs, catering to the South Asian population that observes a halal diet, in which pork cannot be consumed.
“I know how to cook a variety of food, but I do the hot dogs primarily because it sells,” he said. “Nobody has the combinations of flavors that we do at True Dog. I really think it’s the onions and the sauces. It’s everything that you would put on a hot dog, just infused with our own twist on it.”
Loera said the most popular menu item is the True Dog, served on a toasted potato bun and topped with cream cheese, curry ketchup, caramelized onions, fried onions, Sriracha, honey mayo and pepper.
“All of our sauces are homemade, and then we also do a homemade sauce that we put on our onions to caramelize them to make them really good,” Loera said.
Other popular menu items are the Cheese Head hot dog topped with crushed Cheetos and homemade cheese sauce as well as the BB Fries topped with brisket and homemade sauces.
True Dog only moves from its Sugar Land spot for a catering job or special event, Loera said.
In addition to operating the food truck, Loera takes on about four catering gigs per week. He said he is planning to buy a second truck soon and does not think he would ever open a standalone brick-and-mortar restaurant.
“I’m probably going to stick to the food trucks,” Loera said. “In a brick and mortar, you can’t move if your business is doing bad.”
True Dog Houston
15910 Old Richmond Road, Sugar Land
Hours: Times may vary daily. Visit www.facebook.com/truedoghouston for the most up-to-date hours.
Mon.-Wed. 4-9 p.m., Thu. 4 p.m.-midnight, Fri. 6 p.m.-2 a.m., Sat.-Sun. 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 6 p.m.-2 a.m.