Brian Hardesty and Joel Crespo are quite the culinary odd couple. Hardesty is an acclaimed chef whose résumé includes stints at some of the town’s top restaurants; Crespo has no professional culinary background and came to the restaurant industry from the funeral business. Hardesty is the instigator, Crespo the cautious “are you sure we can serve blood stew?” type. However, their shared love of food and a willingness to take a chance on a long-shot idea has proven to be a winning formula. In the four years since it opened as a food truck, Guerrilla Street Food has garnered a reputation as one of the city’s most innovative food offerings. This July, Hardesty and Crespo opened a fast-casual, brick-and-mortar restaurant, expanding on the Filipino street food they’ve become known for. They’ve kept favorites, like the pork belly and fish-sauce extravaganza “Belly of the Beast,” but the permanent space gives them room to play around with new ideas and even tasting menus. Opposites? Maybe, but Hardesty and Crespo are in perfect accord when it comes to their fantastic food. 3559 Arsenal Street, St. Louis, 63110. 314-529-1328, www.guerrillastreetfood.com.
Credit: Riverfront Times