You might know the burrito business from its bright red food truck, which launched in 2012. This summer, owners Daniel Diaz and Louie Hankins opened a permanent location in Shaw. About a week ago they started serving breakfast, including a pretty wicked pupusa ($3) that successfully staved off my hunger pangs into the afternoon.
The whole Rito Loco concept sprung from a breakfast burrito the pair made the morning after a barbecue, but the parking situation for food trucks in Washington doesn't really lend itself to selling a morning meal, Diaz said. The brick-and-mortar shop, with its good foot traffic, does.
"We want to be open as much as possible," Diaz said. “We're really starting to broaden the menu."
Among the weekday breakfast offerings is a riff on Diaz and Hankins's original burrito, featuring scrambled eggs, cheesy pasta shells, pico de gallo and a choice of meat or vegetables. They also plan to roll out Greek yogurt bowls with fresh fruit and granola.
The pupusas -- thick, stuffed corn tortillas -- originated with some of Rito Loco's more recent employees, including one who makes them every week for her family. The current filling consists of pork, bell peppers, onions and cheese, slow cooked and turned into a gooey paste that pours out of the crispy on the outside, soft on the inside corn shell. A vegetarian filling is also in the works.
"The possibilities are essentially endless when it comes to pupusas," Diaz said.
Additionally, Diaz said Rito Loco will soon start serving a morning pupusa taco, with the corn tortilla topped with, among other things, scrambled eggs.
The new menu items are designed to entice customers to return for different meals without having to order the same food. Rito Loco is also edging closer to being open 24 hours on weekends.
"We want people to eat with us three times a day," Diaz said.
Rito Loco, 606 Florida Ave. NW. ritoloco.com. Breakfast served 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Monday through Friday. Store hours 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 4 a.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 a.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.