Hope, love, and chilaquiles. That’s the promise of The Homeboy Truck, the latest venture from Homeboy Industries. With a growing list of Homeboy brand restaurants and products—from salsa to granola—locally-produced food has been one of the most popular entrepreneurial niches for the organization, which has been working to break the cycle of gang violence in L.A. for over 25 years. The new truck, with its menu of gourmet Mexican food, is another way Homeboy is aiming to spread their message across the city.
The focus of the truck is chilaquiles. “We didn’t want to be just another taco truck, so, we thought, since our chilaquiles are what Homegirl Cafe is well known for, we’d do a twist on it,” says Truck Manager and Head Chef Stephen Barkulis.
The “twist” is that, along with the original morita and tomatillos salsa version available at Homegirl Café, the truck offers six new chilaquiles varieties, including Tingaquiles with shredded skirt steak slow cooked in chipotle chile, Molequiles with red mole chicken and habeñero pickled onions, and for the vegetarians, the no-meat Veggiequiles.
Other popular dishes from Homegirl Café, like pork carnitas tacos with apple tomatillo slaw, also made it onto the lunch menu, which is rounded out with the lemon bars, vegan whoopie pies, and cookies—all popular desserts at the organization’s Chinatown restaurant. Burritos, sandwiches, fresh pastries, and, of course, more chilaquiles—this time with scrambled eggs—are available for breakfast.
Barkulis and his three-woman crew, who are all graduates of Homegirl Café’s 18-month training program, have already hit the road, popping up everywhere from the Downtown L.A. Art Walk to Pico Rivera.
“We really want to get out there and further our cause,” says Barkulis. “Because at the heart of all that we’re doing is that we want to change lives.”