April 19, 2021

Big Lou’s Food Truck to help dispensaries celebrate 420 in Pueblo

Tracy Harmon, The Pueblo Chieftain, Colo.Fri, April 16, 2021, 7:15 PMยท3 min read

Apr. 16โ€”When the cannabis lover's 420 holiday rolls around Tuesday, two Pueblo dispensaries are celebrating with free food from Big Lou's Amazing Sandwiches and Tacos food truck.

Big Lou's, affectionately dubbed BLAST, launched in summer 2019 when Louis Torres decided he wanted to do something he is good at and be his own boss. The last year has been particularly tough for Torres, "not just because of the COVID pandemic, but I also had a couple of deaths in the family," he said.

He wasn't able to roll out the food truck as much as he wanted. The pandemic also put a halt to 420 celebrations last year, so Colorado-based marijuana cultivators Veritas Fine Cannabis wanted to do something special this year.

Veritas staff opted to organize a celebration that would be a win-win, giving Puebloans a safe way to observe the cannabis holiday and help a local food truck at the same time, knowing food truck owners also have experienced declines in revenue due to the pandemic.

Torres is grateful for the opportunity to serve up his signature homemade tacos and sandwiches.

"I am ready to go again," he said.

His BLAST food truck will be at Canna Cabinet, 2630 W. Pueblo Blvd., from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 20 and Colorado Best Budz, 23344 Highway 50 East, Unit B, from 4 to 7 p.m.

"How it works is any customer who purchases a Veritas, Olio or Cookies product at any of the partner dispensaries during the listed serving times will receive a voucher for a free meal," Billisitz said. "Veritas is covering the cost of all the free food from the trucks, with the goal of helping these trucks make additional sales from the increased attention around 420."

Torres will serve up his Cousin Adam's Classic, named for Adam Bastardo, who ran the Chronic Steaks food truck at Fourth and Grand in Pueblo years ago, "before food trucks were a craze," Torres said.

Adam's recipe for Kalua is a Hawaiian-style smoked pork sandwich that includes coleslaw and a pineapple, orange, guava barbecue sauce on sweet Hawaiian bread.

Torres also offers his main sellers: beef, green chile chicken and Kalua pork tacos. The beef is a slow-roasted pot roast that also can be used on the beef and cheddar or French dip sandwiches.

Torres creates a green chile with chicken breast and Pueblo Chiles. He usually takes it up a notch by adding Fresno or jalapeno peppers for some extra heat.

He also "makes some really good beans" and rice to round out the meals, he said. BLAST is usually at the Cookies dispensary, 3003 W. Northern Ave., each Saturday. The 719BLAST Facebook page details other locations where he will be set up.

If he has a lull in customers, Torres will don his taco suit to draw attention to the food truck. It's a move that puts plenty of smiles on people's faces.

"People that normally won't stop see a guy in a taco suit and then say, 'Oh, I've got to stop now,'" he said with a laugh.

Torres said he developed a love of cooking during his East High School culinary arts class. He and his family moved to Pueblo after the California earthquakes of 1989 when Torres was about 5 years old.

The history of 420 is a little hazy, but according to history.com, in fall 1971, a group of high school friends got a map to a cannabis plant abandoned by a Coast Guard member who could no longer care for it. They would meet once a week to trek out to try to find it, and the meeting time was 4:20.

The article indicates while the friends never did find the plant, they coined the term 420, and it became a way for high-schoolers to discuss smoking pot without adults knowing what they were actually talking about.

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