Meet Carlos Ramirez – dad, small business entrepreneur, and food artist! Carlos’ distinctive Breaking Burrito truck stands out as a fun addition to Sioux Falls’ food truck scene. Breaking Burrito was a regular on the Levitt lawn in summer 2019, and Carlos has exciting new things planned for the upcoming 2020 season of FREE concerts.
Tell me a little about yourself.
My wife is from Sioux Falls, and I am from New York, which is where we met. We have 3 daughters—a 2, 4, and 5 year old. After we were married for a couple of years, we came here for vacation, and I fell in love with the city of Sioux Falls. I liked the quietness, and the people were so polite. It’s beautiful. You have no idea how much peace I found in Sioux Falls. So I told my wife, “You know what? I really want to move to Sioux Falls. I really want to live there. I really want to raise my kids there.” And then we came, we bought a house, and we own two businesses – the food truck and a nail salon. And since then everything has been really, really good. We are really happy here.
How did you get into the restaurant/food service industry?
My whole life I’ve been working in restaurants. Mexican, Italian, Greek…all kinds. For the last 25 years I’ve been working in the food industry. In New York, there are many, many restaurants. I’ve worked in the kitchen and in ordering, management, cooking, all of that. And it was crazy. And one day, I got tired of taking care of someone else’s business. So I decided to do something. But because we have 3 kids, I didn’t want the responsibility of running a restaurant 24/7. So to manage my schedule, we decided to open a food truck, and I can manage my time and my days for my family.
How did you come up with the Breaking Burrito name?
We watch Breaking Bad. In the beginning when we were thinking about the name for the truck, my wife came up with Tequila Cowboy. And I said “Yes, that’s fine, but it doesn’t feel right.” And then I was thinking and thinking and then it came to me – Breaking Burrito. Done. My niece is a graphic designer, and she came up with our logo.
Your burritos feature some interesting flavor combinations. How did you come up with the menu?
I like to envision new food. I like when food is juicy and messy. I love that type of food. The flavor ideas just come to my mind, sometimes when I’m eating or watching TV. I prepare a sample in the truck. I try it, and then I give it to my workers and ask them “what do you guys think?” If it’s good – done!
We have steak, carne asada, chicken, ground beef, and pork. I also have a vegetarian burrito. Last year we had sweet and salty flavors. I love spices and, basically, whatever comes to my mind, I put it on a tortilla.
What was your most popular burrito on the lawn?
The Hawaiian and the Buffalo Chicken burrito
Where can people go to experience Breaking Burrito?
We open end of April and close by the beginning of October. In the summer, I do up to 3 events per day. I stay really busy serving at companies and special events. No permanent spots, just private events, the Levitt, and festivals. I have a Facebook page and website www.breakingburrito.com where people can see my schedule.
Why did you decide to get involved at the Levitt?
I wanted to expand my brand of Breaking Burrito and this was a new park with new people. I loved the idea that the Levitt brings people together. Music, food, beer – it’s a good combination. Even people from out of Sioux Falls just come to see the concerts and have a good time. After you are busy and done serving food, you can enjoy the concert too. It’s nice, it brings people together. You can see everyone dancing and happy. If they have some problems at home or any issues, for that moment, they forget about it. They just enjoy music, food, and each other. I love it.
What did you like as a food truck vendor about the Levitt space?
Electricity, wattage, and your own personal spot. It’s a plus to get there, plug in, and go. It was really organized. No stress. You come, do the event, and can leave. After the music is done, everyone just gets up and goes. We had great audiences at every concert. It was a good number of people.
What should we expect from your truck in 2020 at the Levitt?
I’m going to have another truck – Knuckle Sandwich. I’m building it right now. It’s completely different from Breaking Burrito, which is gluten-free and healthier. This other truck is going to be fried food and sandwiches. But sandwiches on another level. The kind where you will bite it and you will want another bite right away.
Will we see the new truck at the Levitt as well as Breaking Burrito?
Yes! Definitely. Both will be there. I love it.