Chef Luis Liceaga opens his Puerto Rican street food stall at Philly’s original food hall, Reading Terminal Market, on Thursday, July 12. Liceaga, who grew up in San Juan, is already well versed in cooking for crowds since he owns a local catering company with the same name: Loco Lucho’s Latino Kitchen.
Cooking runs in the family. Liceaga’s great aunt, Carmen Aboy Valldejuli, wrote one of the first published Puerto Rican cookbooks, Cocina Criolla. Working alongside Liceaga is Rafi Nieto, also from Puerto Rico — his mom is Puerto Rican and his dad is Cuban.
The two chefs specialize in snacks and street food like marinated skirt steak skewers with chimichurri sauce and empanadas — including both cheesesteak and chicken cheesesteak versions — served with mayoketchup.
The Reading Terminal Market shop will also sell fried chicken, crab croquettes, seafood paella, chicken and sausage paella, and a Cuban sandwich made with sweet ham, Swiss cheese, mustard, and pickles.
Other sandwiches on offer include the Philly Special, with pork, chicken, steak, Loco sauce, and potato sticks (not on the side; on the sandwich), and a veggie option with Portobello mushroom, onion, and sweet peppers.
Loco Lucho will be serving from a spot between Avenues C and 5 formerly occupied by La Divisa Meats, which moved within the market (51 N. 12th Street). Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.