Puerto Rican restaurant at Reading Terminal opens, plans to help Hurricane Maria victims

Hadas Kuznits
July 12, 2018 - 6:38 pm
Loco Lucho's Latino Kitchen

Hadas Kuznits | KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A new Puerto Rican restaurant has opened at Reading Terminal Market.

Luis Liciaga, co-owner of Loco Lucho's Latino Kitchen, said Puerto Rican food is big on spices.

"Not spicy hot, but it's very well-seasoned," he added. "All our meats are marinated. If we use a breadcrumb, we season the breadcrumbs."

The eatery offers traditional Puerto Rican fare like fried plantains, fried chicken and skirt steak skewers with chimichurri sauce.

But with the opening of his new restaurant, his thoughts are with his fellow Puerto Ricans still devastated by Hurricane Maria.

"Part of what we need to do here is make sure that people get to know our island, get to know our culture through our food," he said. "We are starting a foundation called Philly Love Puerto Rico, and the restaurants are gonna get involved to give a percentage of their sales to help Puerto Rico."

When Liciaga and his partners heard that Aricelis Rodriguez fled from Puerto Rico to Philadelphia with her family after the hurricane, they hired her.

"There were no trees, all the trees were down," Rodriguez said with Liciaga as her translator. "There was no power. There was no water."

"We gotta help," Liciaga said. "We gotta help each other out. The world would be a better place if we help each other out."