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Aprieta Monster Food Truck
Aprieta Monster Food Truck

Biting cold, warm bites: Aprieta Monster Food Truck making mark in Lockport food scene

Fri, Dec 1st 2023 12:10 pm

As Lockport's winter sets in, Aprieta Monster Food Truck defies cold, delivering taste of Puerto Rican paradise through vibrant flavors & big plates

By Hannah Eisenhauer

Special to Niagara Frontier Publications

Despite many choosing to stay indoors during Lockport’s first big snow flurry of the year, Aprieta Monster Food Truck and its owners braved the cold as snow began to pile up all around them. In full view of passersby on Transit Road, the drab weather was no match for the vivid and colorful aesthetic of the food truck.

Since owners Gabriel Veidal and Yossany Perez opened their doors to the public six months ago. Since then, they have become a staple among both the Puerto Rican community of Lockport, as well as those who had previously never been exposed to Puerto Rican dishes.

Located in the Big Lots plaza parking lot, Aprieta Monster Food Truck and its mouthwatering aroma of authentic Puerto Rican cuisine is met with a flurry of customers every day. Though much more populated during the warmer months, dedicated patrons of the food truck still brave the cold by making the drive to purchase their favorite Puerto Rican comfort food.

“We’ll stay open as long as until the snow will let us!” Perez proclaimed.

Open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Saturday, customers have the option to stop by for a quick snack, a mid-day lunch, or even dinner. The business has even partnered with DoorDash to permit easier access to customers through delivery.

According to Veidal, the origin of the business’s name comes from the feeling one gets from eating delicious food. The word “apreita,” which translates to “squeeze” in English, is a word that describes “when you hold something strongly … like, ‘Mmm, that’s delicious!’ ” Veidal said. The other half of the food truck’s name, “monster,” was entirely self-explanatory, as Veidal exclaimed, “We do big plates – extremely big plates!”

The Aprieta Monster Food Truck is always open to suggestions from customers, and it has even made additions to its menu due to customer demand. Notably, its potato balls were given a permanent fixture on the menu after patrons contacted Veidal over Facebook with the request.

Over on Aprieta Monster Food Truck’s Facebook, the business owners post nearly every day, detailing the latest menu updates and alerting customers to any specials they are having.

The pair also often receive praise from followers on their page. One, Shareylis Pabon, noted “they cook with so much love and joy, you can taste it in the food!”

Veidal and Perez have big plans for the future, aspiring to one day turn their food truck into a full-fledged restaurant for the Lockport community.

“Maybe in two years, we’ll open a restaurant,” Veidal said. “Then everybody can get more food, because this is a little place but we’ve got a big menu.”

Yossany Perez and Gabriel Veidal


The pair, equipped with a loyal customer base and a knack for making fresh, authentic food, goes above and beyond for patrons. It is no surprise that Aprieta Monster Food Truck’s Google Reviews are filled with nothing but five-star ratings from customers.

In one review written by Jornellys Vidal, she raved about the business, stating, “Great customer service and very delicious food. The food reminds me of my childhood meals. The owners are very humble as well. Hoping to go back soon!”

On my visit to Aprieta Monster Food Truck, I decided to venture out into the 28-degree weather, walking against the wind current as giant clumps of snow flew by in a nearly horizontal direction. However, while exiting my car, the aroma of Puerto Rican food filled my lungs, and the constant hum of the truck’s generator provided me a subtle warmth. Upon making it to the window of the food truck, I was greeted by Perez as I scanned the menu.

After thinking it over, I decided on the “Regular Sandwich.” The dish is loaded with shredded chicken, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and potato sticks – and generously topped with sour cream and a mayo-ketchup mixture.

As the snow continued to flurry around the food truck, Veidal informed me that, rather than wait out in the cold, he would hand-deliver the sandwich to my car.

In no time at all, I had the sandwich in my hands – and I began to dig in. The variety of ingredients not only added depth to each bite, but also created a harmonious balance of flavors and textures.

The tanginess of the mayo-ketchup blend complemented the savory notes of the shredded chicken and bacon, while the sour cream added a cool, refreshing contrast. Despite the variety of ingredients, no single flavor overpowered the others. Each component played a crucial role in creating a cohesive and delicious outcome.

It was very clear that this sandwich was delicately crafted and lovingly made by a business that cares about its customer base.

The warmth of the sandwich, both in temperature and hospitality, made the chilly weather seem like a distant concern. It highlighted the genuine care Aprieta Monster Food Truck invests in each order, making the food not just a meal, but a memorable experience.

And don’t just take my word for it: Aprieta Monster Food Truck has a loyal customer base that can vouch for the quality of the food.

“I would definitely recommend the monster nachos and a pina colada!” said Diamond Lambert, an Aprieta Monster Food Truck regular. “The food is authentic Puerto Rican food and it's not Americanized.”

It's no wonder that Aprieta Monster Food Truck has garnered such enthusiastic support from its patrons. Such dedication to providing an exceptional dining experience, even in challenging conditions, sets it apart as a beloved fixture in the Lockport community.

“It’s a family-owned business; they started from the bottom and worked their way up to where they are now,” said Aurimar Molina, a passionate supporter of the food truck. “Their food is made with all types of love.”

In every aspect, from the carefully curated menu to the personalized service, this food truck embodies a commitment to excellence that leaves a lasting impression on its customers. Despite only being open for a short period of time, Aprieta Monster Food Truck has become a fixture in the Lockport community. There is no doubt that customers will wait in anticipation for the day Perez and Veidal accomplish their dream of opening a brick-and-mortar restaurant.

Find Aprieta Monster Food Truck on Facebook HERE.

Click HERE for more information.

Aprieta Monster Food Truck’s menu board.



This is a Niagara University student-created piece completed as part of the course CMS 226A. For more information, contact the Niagara Frontier Publications’ managing editor.

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