As a baby, Marko Ramirez normally dreamed of possessing a food stuff truck in the vicinity of the ocean. Immediately after researching culinary arts in Costa Rica, he returned to Puerto Rico, wherever, with the assist of his father, he revamped an outdated FedEx truck and opened the very first iteration of El Chifrijo in 2015.
The Puerto Rican eatery embodies the energy and resilience of the LGBTQ+ group. Owned by Farmers Branch-primarily based partner-partner duo Marko and Allen Pursley-Ramirez, El Chifrijo delivers dishes motivated by Marko’s time in Costa Rica whilst using Puerto Rican flavors and components.
Whilst it proved to be a success in his homeland, it was regretably introduced to an abrupt halt in 2017, after Hurricane Maria devastated the island. Three months just after the hurricane, Marko still left the truck guiding and arrived to Dallas in lookup of function.
“I received the possibility to fly out simply because flights were being really costly and hardly anybody could get out of the island,” Marko tells Community Profile. “I got a job a week right after I obtained to Dallas, at the Farmers Sector, and my program was to just make income till anything was again in purchase to reside once again on the island. But when I came again to Puerto Rico, after a 12 months of becoming in this article in Dallas, I experimented with to reopen the foodstuff truck, and issues didn’t get the job done. The island was nonetheless genuinely in a lousy placement at that time.”
While operating as the govt chef at a booth in the Farmers Market place, Marko was residing in a a person-bed room apartment with four other people. He fulfilled his business enterprise companion, an accountant named Jonathan March, all through this time, who served Marko resurrect his desire and helped him reopen El Chifrijo in Dallas.
The truck was brought in excess of to Florida by using boat, and Marko drove it to Dallas.
El Chifrijo reopened as a meals truck in Dallas in early 2020, and while one particular would hope that the COVID-19 pandemic could have forced it to near once yet again, Marko and his business companion have been basically able to continue to be afloat many thanks to PPP loans. About this time, Marko fulfilled Allen, the gentleman who would grow to be his partner.
“I experienced hardly ever experienced Puerto Rican cuisine in my full daily life,” Allen states. “After we dated for a whilst, he started cooking for me, and I was hooked.”
Right now, the pair run El Chifrijo together, servicing Dallas-Fort Worth by way of a ghost kitchen, from in which diners can order from various sections of the town, as very well as their food items truck. The truck serves Dallas Farmers Market place, The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, and The Perot Museum several times a month. They will be serving at Kaboom Town in Addison on Sunday, July 3.
Some of El Chifrijo’s signature items contain their tostones, which are chips designed with slices of plantain that are fried, smashed, then fried once again and served with a side of papaya sauce ($5.75), as nicely as their empanadas that can be purchased with beef and sweet plantain with cheese or with roasted vegetables ($8).
But possibly their most popular product is their Chifrijo bowl, a spicy, flavorful dish comprise of Puerto Rican rice, purple beans, fried pork, lime pico de gallo and plantain chips ($16).
“There’s are so lots of flavors and colours in Puerto Rican cuisine,” Marko says. “And Dallas has a lot of Puerto Rican men and women below much too. It’s inspiring to provide this cuisine to Puerto Ricans, and give the possibility to other men and women to try Puerto Rican delicacies.”
In excess of the a long time, El Chifrijo has gone by way of quite a few reinventions. But despite hindrances like Hurricane Maria and the COVID-19 pandemic, El Chifrijo has constantly been ready to bounce back and emerge much better than just before.
Some of El Chifrijo’s most notable supporters arrive from the LGBTQ+ group. But as they’ve mobilized, the two stated they’ve constructed a assorted buyer foundation comprised of all varieties of people today: gay, straight, young, previous, Black, white and every person in in between.
Acquiring rebuilt from tragedy, Marko and Allen both of those believe that these lessons, alongside with assist from an eclectic bunch of consumers, have impressed them to persevere.
“We’ve discovered to go with the stream and to believe outside of the box,” Allen says. “And to be resourceful every time these issues occur up so that we can keep likely, and not just prevent when we come across a roadblock.”
To buy from El Chifrijo’s ghost kitchen or to see a schedule of their food stuff truck stops, stop by elchifrijo.com.