Two St. Louis natives are returning home after 22 years traveling for the military, and they're bringing a food truck with them. Graze food truck began in Memphis after Amelia Timms was looking for a restaurant job. She and her husband moved from California, where she attended culinary school. They both grew up in St. Louis and are finally coming home.
"After 22 years of being gone, honestly there's no place like home," Timms tells Gut Check. "We'll hopefully anchor down and enjoy Missouri again. Once you go away, you kind of forget how beautiful it is."
Graze officially has its permits to operate in Franklin County and is in the process for St. Louis County. But why Franklin? Timms' parents opened Hoffman's Drive In in 1963 -- it had curbside service on roller skates and everything. After a few decades, they decided to retire and rent out the building. When Timms' older brother (she's the youngest of five) heard she was moving back to St. Louis, he thought it was perfect timing. Timms will use Hoffman's Drive In, which opened in Pacific two months ago, and help her brother develop a menu.
Graze has a set menu and then a daily special that usually emphasizes Timms' travels: California, Portugal, Germany, England, Memphis and even southern Spain, where they were stationed. She sourced as locally as possible in Memphis, and will continue to do so. "Local, fresh ingredients taste the best. That's how I was taught," she says.
Look out for items like strawberry-balsamic baby kale salad, home-fried chips with a Greek dressing with feta, red onion and cucumbers and grilled paninis including turkey artichoke, caprese and chicken salad.
"I know that sounds kind of funny -- it's a very eclectic menu, because I've pulled things from all the different places we've lived," Timms says. "One day I might do pork carnitas tacos from our days in California, and the next day a Spanish dish from our days in Spain. I didn't know if that would work, but I have my regular items and then I throw in a special, a sampling of a place we've lived, and people love it."
Follow Graze on Facebook to see when it will start cruising around St. Louis.
Gut Check is always hungry for tips and feedback. E-mail the author at Nancy.Stiles@RiverfrontTimes.com.
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