St. Louis has something you probably don’t: a badass food truck serving Filipino-inspired cuisine with the motto: "Fresh. Local. Filipino." The founder and chef Joel Crespo and Brian Hardesty have been open for about a year and already they’ve taken over the Gateway to the West, their Guerrilla Street Food truck being named the 2012 "Best Food Truck in St. Louis" by the Riverfront Times.
The rotating menu of dishes might require a little explanation to those who are less than familiar with Filipino cuisine, but you don’t need a passport to order Guerrilla’s signature dish, the "Flying Pig." Slow-roasted pork set on jasmine rice, topped with egg and accented by calamansi tartness and Sriracha heat. "You're content to wait for trucks bearing tacos, pizza, or whatever to park near you," the Riverfront Times noted. "Guerrilla Street Food you hunt down." So it shouldn't be much of a surprise that Guerrilla Street Food was named to The Daily Meal's 2012 list of the 101 Best Food Trucks in America.
Read More: 101 Best Food Trucks in America 2012
In this brief interview with Brian Hardesty, find out the most challenging things facing Guerrilla Street Food, the origin of the truck, and a new winter dish called dinuguan that's known as "Chocolate Meat."
When did you launch your truck?
What was the inspiration for going into this business?
An affordable way to be my own boss.
What's the story behind the origin of your truck's name?
A small, mobile force competing against a larger, more unwieldy one. The guerrilla focuses on organizing in small units, depending on the support of the local population, as well as taking advantage of terrain more accommodating of small units.
How did you come up with your truck's design? Is there a designer you'd like to give a shout-out to?
Greg Hardesty, my brother, did all of the branding and design work.
Does your truck have a vanity license plate?
What model truck do you have?
A Chevy P30.
What's your signature dish? Is it also your most popular dish?
The Flying Pig. And it's our most popular dish as well!
What's the inspiration for your cuisine and recipes?
Filipino and comfort food.
What's the most challenging thing about running your food truck?
Accommodating all of our parking requests.
If you haven't already, would you ever go brick-and-mortar? And if you have, is there anything you feel gets lost in the transition?
Yes. Currently in development. I don't feel anything is lost in translation.
What one piece of advice would you give someone looking to get into the food truck business?
Be ready to put in long hours and work very hard.
Any new upcoming dishes planned that you can tell us about?
Dinuguan. It's a dish known as "Chocolate Meat," and we will be selling it in the colder months. The dish uses pork blood, liver, belly, and is soooooo tasty.
Any new plans on the horizon you can share?
A countrywide tour!
Lots of things happen when running a restaurant, and that probably goes double on the road. As such, be it weird, funny, good, or bad, what's one superlative or particularly outstanding moment or story that's ever occurred with your truck be it with customers, in the kitchen, or just in general?
Getting mobbed while passing out free loot from The Avengers movie.
Arthur Bovino is The Daily Meal's executive editor. Follow Arthur on Twitter.