Something Inside of Us Sleeps, The Sleeper Must Awaken

How One particular Food Truck Survived And Rebuilt In North Texas

As a kid, Marko Ramirez normally dreamed of possessing a foodstuff truck in the vicinity of the ocean. Immediately after researching culinary arts in Costa Rica, he returned to Puerto Rico, where by, with the enable of his father, he revamped an outdated FedEx truck and opened the to start with iteration of El Chifrijo in 2015.

The Puerto Rican eatery embodies the energy and resilience of the LGBTQ+ neighborhood. Owned by Farmers Department-primarily based husband-husband duo Marko and Allen Pursley-Ramirez, El Chifrijo delivers dishes motivated by Marko’s time in Costa Rica although making use of Puerto Rican flavors and ingredients. 

Whilst it proved to be a success in his homeland, it was regretably introduced to an abrupt halt in 2017, following Hurricane Maria devastated the island. Three months after the hurricane, Marko remaining the truck powering and arrived to Dallas in search of function.

Picture: Austen Simien Young

“I acquired the possibility to fly out due to the fact flights were genuinely high priced and rarely anyone could get out of the island,” Marko tells Local Profile. “I received a career a week right after I obtained to Dallas, at the Farmers Industry, and my prepare was to just make income right until everything was again in get to dwell once more on the island. But when I came back to Puerto Rico, following a year of getting below in Dallas, I tried to reopen the foodstuff truck, and points did not do the job. The island was still definitely in a undesirable position at that time.”

When operating as the govt chef at a booth in the Farmers Market place, Marko was residing in a just one-bedroom condominium with 4 other folks. He met his business enterprise lover, an accountant named Jonathan March, through this time, who aided Marko resurrect his desire and aided him reopen El Chifrijo in Dallas.

The truck was introduced over to Florida via boat, and Marko drove it to Dallas. 

El Chifrijo reopened as a foods truck in Dallas in early 2020, and even though 1 would count on that the COVID-19 pandemic may perhaps have forced it to close at the time once more, Marko and his small business husband or wife ended up actually able to keep afloat thanks to PPP loans. About this time, Marko met Allen, the man who would develop into his partner.

“I experienced never experienced Puerto Rican delicacies in my entire daily life,” Allen says. “After we dated for a even though, he started off cooking for me, and I was hooked.”

Nowadays, the pair run El Chifrijo collectively, servicing Dallas-Fort Value by way of a ghost kitchen, from the place diners can buy from many areas of the town, as properly as their food items truck. The truck serves Dallas Farmers Current market, The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Backyard garden, and The Perot Museum various periods a month. They will be serving at Kaboom City in Addison on Sunday, July 3.

Some of El Chifrijo’s signature objects incorporate their tostones, which are chips produced with slices of plantain that are fried, smashed, then fried yet again and served with a aspect of papaya sauce ($5.75), as effectively as their empanadas that can be purchased with beef and sweet plantain with cheese or with roasted veggies ($8). 

But probably their most preferred 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 shades in Puerto Rican cuisine,” Marko says. “And Dallas has a good deal of Puerto Rican individuals here also. It is inspiring to deliver this delicacies to Puerto Ricans, and give the possibility to other people to test Puerto Rican delicacies.”

In excess of the decades, El Chifrijo has gone via numerous reinventions. But in spite of hindrances like Hurricane Maria and the COVID-19 pandemic, El Chifrijo has often been in a position to bounce back and arise stronger than right before.

Graphic courtesy of El Chifrijo.

Some of El Chifrijo’s most well known supporters appear from the LGBTQ+ neighborhood. But as they’ve mobilized, the two claimed they’ve built a diverse client base comprised of all forms of people today: homosexual, straight, young, aged, Black, white and every person in amongst. 

Acquiring rebuilt from tragedy, Marko and Allen each think that these classes, along with assistance from an eclectic bunch of prospects, have influenced them to persevere.

“We’ve discovered to go with the move and to consider outside the house of the box,” Allen says. “And to be artistic any time these challenges appear up so that we can keep heading, and not just end when we come across a roadblock.”

To purchase from El Chifrijo’s ghost kitchen or to see a timetable of their food truck stops, go to