I think it was Go Headquarters coach Amy Bailey who introduced me to Crave Food Truck St. Augustine via her web site thefunkyfork.com. She blogged about it and did a video interview with the owner, Andrés Guardiola.
It was probably late 2014 when I first set out to experience what I heard was a food truck that serves up healthy, locally grown meals well suited for active people. Recalling that it was on Riberia St, I headed there with some friends one late afternoon. We happened to be nearby and wanted to see it. We kept our eyes peeled as we ventured further and further south on Riberia...until we reached the Willie Gallimore Center.
We would later come to realize that the food truck's location was right under our noses, just south of the Ice Plant and Distillery. Crave is nicely situated on a marina with a calming view of the water and several parked boats.
My first visit to Crave Food Truck had me impressed initially by the variety of hearty ingredients. I probably loaded up on pumpkin seeds, sliced almonds and sun dried tomatoes when ordering my first chicken wrap.
Their menu has the best of both worlds - you can either grab a well thought out special and eliminate guess work, or "build your own" wraps and salads.
Everything is absolutely fresh and energizing. Several ingredients are locally sourced and obtained from farmers markets. It's ideal to make time to sit at a table under the adjacent canopy and enjoy the meal by the water. The breeze is always welcome during summer months.
I was blown away when on my second visit, Andrés greeted me by name! That seemingly simple gesture still impresses me to this day. Especially because at least a week had passed between my first and second visit. He and his staff are always smiling - clearly happy to be where they are, serving locals and out-of-towners. Remembering the names of clients goes a long way. We can't all say we have a knack for name memorization. I see it every time I visit - consistent name recognition. Andrés draws a vibrant, optimistic group of colleagues who team up to provide a special experience.
Aside from food quality, I love the presentation of each meal. The first thing I tend to do when I get my salad or wrap is photograph it...it's literally an unboxing experience. The enthusiasm and attention to detail that goes into each dish is easy to see. The variety of fruits and veggies make for a beautiful color palette.
Food quality...check. Presentation...check. Another special characteristic of Crave is the way you feel after each visit. I always come away refreshed and energized by the entire experience. It's fun to take friends along and watch them react for the first time to the sweet sense of community that exists there.
If you want a little something in addition to or aside from fresh salads and wraps, Crave also serves up signature smoothies, vegan cookies, guava bars and seasonal specials like watermelon fresca. Over the summer, I had a memorable Thai style "noodle" bowl special. The noodles were actually seasoned veggies in string form. It was fantastic.
Crave lives up to its name when it posts upcoming specials on its Instagram page (@cravefoodtruckstaug). I can never stay away for too long. Crave Food Truck is located at 134 Riberia Street in downtown St. Augustine. They're open from 11am-3:30pm Monday through Saturday and recently opened another location at 647 A1A Beach Blvd. More info at www.cravestaug.com
Go get your crave on!