May 23, 2024

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Track Down the El Jefe’s Food Truck for Its Smothered Brats & Tots

1 min read


“My aunt owned a bakery and my grandmother owned a restaurant. So, growing up, I’d go and help them out,” says Ryan “El Jefe” Lopez, who owns El Jefe’s Smothered Brats & Tots with Renee “La Jefa” Ruybal. “I always loved cooking, and I was going to go to culinary school, but then I had kids early. So I ended up being a single dad for a while.”

Instead of cooking professionally, he worked in IT for several years in order to support his two young kids until around five years ago, when his company entered a period of mass layoffs. “They didn’t let me go, but they were doing layoffs. So I was like, it’s not safe here. Maybe I’ll open a food truck,” Lopez recalls.

As he considered the option, he confided in Ruybal. “We were living together and talking about it,” she says. “I worked, and…

Chris Byard

2023-05-19 06:30:00

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