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2 Puerto Rican trucks start serving Buffalo

The city’s first Puerto Rican food truck started dishing up pastelillos and papas fritas on Niagara Street last week.

Ricos Pinchos Place, pictured above, is run by a husband and wife team who started their career started selling coconut candy in Puerto Rico in 1996. In this country, Sarahi Alicea and her husband Hector Carrasquillo have been serving festival-goers since 2013, Alicea said.

Their food truck has been in operation since June 8, often setting up on Niagara Street near Tops, between Maryland and Hudson streets, around noon, Tuesday through Saturday.

There’s rice with pork chops, chicken or beef, and non-alcoholic pina colada drinks. There’s also a selection of fried snacks, including pastelillos, or fried turnovers, papas fritas, baseball-sized mashed potato spheres stuffed with spiced meat and fried. Less often seen in Buffalo are alcapurrias, fritters made from green banana, and piononos, which are plantain pinwheels with beef or chicken.

Then a second: A second Puerto Rican food truck, Taste of Puerto Rico, has also hit the streets.

The truck, which was originally to be named Niagara Café Express, started selling on June 13. Its menu includes yellow rice with pigeon peas, and pastelillos, or fried turnovers, in flavors including beef and cheese, chicken and cheese, pizza, and a dessert version with strawberries and cream cheese. Tostones, or plantain chips, are also available, along with limbers, which are frozen ice pops.

“We plan on being out several days during the week, including Thursdays in the Square,” said Anita Rodriguez, who owns the truck, along with her stepson Romelo Matos. As with any food truck, fans can check Facebook to find Taste of Puerto Rico’s location.

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