By Tom Hanchett
Pinchos? You might know them as “kabobs.” Meat skewered on a stick, then grilled, goes by the name pinchos throughout Latin America.
When Jose Luis Aviles Medina was growing up in Puerto Rico, street vendors sold pinchos. “My family did that,” he says. “ It’s a family thing.” In 1998 he came to Charlotte following a cousin. Almost immediately he began grilling pinchos outside the city’s first Latino nightclubs.
It’s simple food. Chicken, or sometimes pork, is skewered in wooden sticks, then slathered with barbecue sauce or hot sauce. Medina cooks on a grill covered with foil, then finishes each pincho (the word means “skewer”) with flame. Rounds of chewy bread, an approximation of the pressed Cuban loaves popular with street vendors in Puerto Rico, fill out the paper plate.
Medina’s black trailer is his calling card. A friend painted the wild murals — a Puerto Rican flag over a stylized Charlotte skyline with “Pinchos el Bori” in blue gothic letters. “Bori” is a proud nickname for Puerto Ricans, much like Tar Heel for North Carolinians.
Saturday evenings when the trailer pulls up outside Karen Estetica, a Latino hair salon on Sharon Amity, a line forms almost instantly. Carpenters coming off work, a dad and kids enjoying a family outing, young guys in hot cars, beauty salon workers in uniform – nearly all are Latino.
Later in the evening in uptown, the Pinchos El Bori trailer is a fixture on the busy bar scene, drawing both Latinos and non-Latinos. “From everywhere,” Medina says happily, “Spanish and American, black and white, from all countries.” It’s a true cultural crossover in this newest New South.
Pinchos El Bori
Mobile food trailer is often parked at
7th and Brevard streets, uptown, Friday and Saturday nights 9:30 p.m. – 3 a.m.
3731 Sharon Amity, just off Central Avenue, Saturday and Sunday evenings 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Call (704) 449 – 6902 or check “Pinchos El Bori” on Facebook
Center City & nearby
Carolina apple cider
Indian street food
Greens from South Carolina
Upstate NY Italian sausage
Blackberry memories of Brooklyn
Puerto Rican kabobs
South Boulevard, South Tryon & southward
Mexico + Greece = holiday treats
Cuban box pig
Snack foods from India
SC meets Vietnam
Little corner of El Salvador
Arepas from Venezuela
Indian sweets for Diwali
Korean at China Wing
Indian food in south Charlotte
Fort Mill — real Chinese
Independence Boulevard, Monroe Road & environs
Nigeria in east Charlotte
Secret Greek grocery
Colombian BBQ & snacks
Detroit hot dogs
New York bagels
Iran Kabobs in Matthews
Ramen in Matthews
Central Av, Albemarle Road & vicinity
Dominican street food
Jamaican black cake
Somali stew and sides
Schawarma from Jerusalem
‘Tis the Season for Champurrado
Latino bakery feeds a region
Taste Monterrey, Mexico
Tamales in Plaza Midwood
One restaurant, three Latino traditions
Guatamala in east Charlotte
North Tryon, UNCC area & northward
Asian Moon Cakes
Beef on Weck from Buffalo
Dominican fruit shakes, pressed subs
Mexican ice cream
Louisiana Viet crawfish
Salvadoran comfort food
NYC pastries – Lake Norman
Vegetarian eats from south India
The Patio at Our Lady of Guadalupe
NC fish camps
Grits & cornmeal
Laos in Kings Mountain