Carlito’s Way food truck business paused while owner recovers

The owner of Carlito’s Way suffered second degree burns after an oil accident on Saturday
Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 7:49 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Carlos Tarrats is the owner and CEO of Carlito’s Way, a food truck that serves Puerto Rican Cuisine.

He has served the Lubbock community since 2020. He said his business really took off in April of 2021 when he had an event at the YMCA.

Following his debut at the YMCA, he joined the Wolfforth Farmers Market in July of 2021.

“That’s when it really took off because we came out here, my son and I, we had no idea what it was like out here,” Tarrats said, “So we brought our little trailer with us, and I said what’s going on?”

Tarrats said they started selling mofongos that day, which are made from plantains. He said after one hour and a half of serving, they were sold out.

“So after that, we just decided to keep on coming,” Tarrats said, “And we have made this Wolfforth Farmer Market our home ever since.”

Tarrats said the Wolfford Farmers Market lets him come out and serve the community whenever he wants, and that’s what he loves about it.

Tarrats said he works with many companies like Mano Negra and Two Docs. He usually vendors for them on the weekend. He goes to many cities and people from many cities come to him.

“They want us, some other cities. Big Springs comes to us, Odessa comes to us, Midland comes to us, Crane comes to us, they just come to us on Sundays, so then the demand is there.”

Sundays are usually big and busy days for Carlito’s Way, but this past Sunday, Carlos had to close.

Carlos was enjoying a normal busy day at the market on Saturday.

“It was nice last Saturday at the market. I emptied my hot oil out of the fryer from the trailer, and I was just sitting it there, so I said let me go inside and take it inside, just like usual. I’ve done it so many times,” Tarrats said.

“Going up the stairs at the front there was just one and I guess I lost my balance.”

He said he moved some kind of way and was trying to not have it spill on him.

“So I was trying to hold it, I was fighting with it, I said no it’s gonna spill on me it’s gonna be worst,” Tarrats said.

Unfortunately, it did spill on him, and Carlos suffered second-degree burns on his hands and legs. He was taken to the Burn Intensive Care Unit (BICU), and now he has to stop working and take care of his skin.

“My skin is just healing right now. You know, it could’ve been worse. Thank God it wasn’t, I’m blessed that it wasn’t,” Tarrats said.

Although he’s grateful his injuries weren’t worse, his business is suffering since he can’t open.

Tarrats said sales are already down 25% from last month.

“So the last month and a half has been rough for us, it’s been very, very rough on the business. It’s something that I do because I put everything into it. I just do this, this is my only job this is what I do. I don’t have any other income coming in. And this is what I love doing, so if I’m not doing this I can’t pay my bills,” Tarrats said.

He said no matter what happens, he hopes God will make a way for him.

“There’s always a way because God has always found a way for me, and I try to get it done no matter what,” Tarrats said. “I put my last earned dollar into my business to keep it going for my community and my people out here. I’m just going to keep on doing that.”

Tarrats hopes to have Carlito’s Way back up within the next two weeks. When that happens, he encourages everyone to come out and try his authentic Puerto Rican food.

“Come try us, we’re very, como se dice in Spanish, bien sabroso, no picoso, very good, not spicy. We’re very tasty, not spicy. I get it, a lot of people haven’t tasted our food or know about our culture. Learn about our food and our culture and come taste us,” Tarrats said.

If you would like to donate to Carlito’s Way, here is the GoFundMe link he shared with us.

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