Guerrilla Street Food offers a new chapter to the storied food culture of the Philippines. With unassuming food truck beginnings, Guerrilla Street Food now operates two restaurants in St. Louis, serving inventive Filipino and Filipino-inspired food.
The casual and affordable concept begins with founders Brian Hardesty and Joel Crespo. While working at former fine dining restaurant, Terrene, the chef (Brian) and his always intrigued patron (Joel) shared an appetite for culinary exploration. Discussions evolved from workshopping new dishes to opening their own restaurant that served the food that they both liked to eat. “Guerrilla Street Food is the extension of a conversation that we’ve been having for years,” explains Joel.
In 2011, they decided to take the leap and bring two new things to St. Louis: a food truck and Filipino food. The name Guerrilla Street Food is a tribute to guerrilla fighters, the underdogs with a zealous persistence and passion for their cause. “We took a big chance. We were one of the first food trucks in St. Louis, and no one was serving Filipino food at the time,” states Joel.
With Joel’s Filipino heritage combined with Brian’s culinary pedigree, Guerrilla Street Food ignited a newfound excitement for the Southeast Asian cuisine in St. Louis. “Joel defines our food’s root in the culture. I ensure that the flavors work together and everything tastes delicious. The menu honors tradition, but also allows us to define our own interpretation of Filipino food,” says Brian.
When the duo bought an old laundry van, that would eventually become GSF’s food truck, back in 2011, they started their ride to success. From Ian Froeb’s 100 Best Restaurants in St. Louis for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch to Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, people took notice of the new kind of progressive, yet approachable Filipino food hitting the streets of St. Louis. The team went on to open their first brick-and-mortar restaurant off Grand Avenue in the epicenter of St. Louis’s ethnic restaurant scene.
Filipino cuisine varies from one island or region to the next since the food adapts to what’s available around them. Guerrilla Street Food showcases the Midwest cooking mentality with everything from made-from-scratch sauces to local ingredients. The concept also embraces Midwest hospitality – a comforting and friendly atmosphere where you want to stay a while.
As the pages continue to be written, Guerrilla Street Food’s story will always be that of two friends with a passion for food and hospitality. The creative dishes are reflections of their own excitement for the Filipino culture and cuisine. “We push to learn something new every day. As we continue to explore, we hope that you’ll join us for the ride.”