Coming Soon: El Coqui Puerto Rican Food Truck
"Every Christmas dinner, this is on the table somewhere," explains Alex Alicea. He’s talking about a big ole bowl of rice mixed with pigeon peas, adobo spices, sofrito, olives, and other tasty accoutrements. Alicea and his brother Joel plan to serve the Puerto Rican staple out of their forthcoming food truck, El Coqui.
Other dishes you’ll find: roasted pork, alcapurrias (plantains stuffed with beef stew), fried plantain chips called tostones, and chicken prepared in a variety of ways. "We haven’t even touched on seafood yet," says Alex. Vegetarian and vegan options also are a work in progress.
He and Joel have time—they’re not planning to launch the truck until January. Between tweaking the menu (it’s built around their mother’s recipes and also plays with Caribbean flavors) and filing paperwork, the brothers have tested dishes during a "soft opening" at Alex’s house and a recent Hispanic fair at Seattle Center. That was a big hit, says Alex, a graduate of the culinary school at Seattle Central Community College and a seasoned dining world vet. "You feel better after you eat it," he endorses, "you’re not weighed down."
This is first food truck for the brothers, and the first of its kind here in Seattle—a welcome addition for a city that isn’t exactly overflowing with Puerto Rican cuisine. They hope to establish a presence downtown and in South Lake Union but have yet to finalize locations. Stay tuned.