A few years ago, three friends from different backgrounds (Puerto Rican and Guyanese, Italian and Thai) started a dinner tradition in New Jersey that centered around one unifying dish: pork.
The response from friends and family who attended the supper club eventually led the three friends, Wesley, Ben and Dave, to start a food business with a menu that consists of pork-centric ethnic street foods from their respective cultures.
In 2010, Wesley Tashir-Rodriguez brought that business, Los Verracos, with him when he moved to DC for a job in health policy.
“It was a great opportunity to see if people in DC were interested in our food,” said Tashir-Rodriguez.
Since the move, Los Verracos has participated in three Grey Markets and has sold out at each event. The business has also participated in some private events throughout town.
“We did a Feastly event with our friends at Bakehouse DC who are opening a bakery on 14th Street,” said Tashir-Rodriguez. “We’ve also done the DC MEETmarket in Logan Circle, a few events at the Hillyer Art Space and other small venues and events in Dupont Circle.”
In addition to catering events in DC, Los Verracos has also conducted some events in New York and Hawaii, where Tashir-Rodriguez’s two other business partners now live. However, Tashir-Rodriguez says that Los Verracos is definitely DC-based.
Currently, Tashir-Rodriguez is in the process of securing a food and catering business license and looking for some commercial kitchen space out of which to work.
“We like to slow roast most of our dishes so we need a space that would be able to accommodate that,” said Tashir-Rodriguez.
Los Verracos’ menu may be pork-centric, but Tashir-Rodriguez tells us it has nothing to do with pork being en vogue.
“It just happens to be a very versatile meat that is a staple in the cuisines of our respective cultures,” said Tashir-Rodriguez.
“I remember growing up and dreading the holidays because while my American friends were having turkey for Thanksgiving and a ham for Christmas, we were having pernil, a slow roasted pork shoulder for Thanksgiving and pasteles, ground plantain and yucca turnovers filled with pork. I wanted nothing more than to have some of that dry white turkey meat or that bland ham because I wanted an American version of the holiday. Obviously, over the years I’ve come to appreciate our cuisine and it seems everyone is catching up.”
One thing Los Verracos specializes in is a pig roast (although the business has yet to due one in DC because of the urban setting). Tashir-Rodriguez said that his current customers enjoy pork dishes that are slow roasted for many hours so that the meat is super tender and the flavors are even more developed.
For more information on Los Verracos, follow them on Twitter on @losverracos or visit the Facebook page.