UKraft, a New St. Louis Food Truck
UKraft, owned by brothers Matt and Mike Ratz, stands out among the St. Louis food truck pack with its broad selection of wholesome choices. Its customers can craft their own wraps, sandwiches and salads from a variety of ingredients.
The trucks can also be found at 9 Mile Garden, which is open for business during the coronavirus lockdown. The daily lineup is posted on the park’s social media sites.
Whether it’s a shrimp BLT panini or the honey apple spinach salad featuring organic greens, apples, strawberries, grapes, blueberries, cucumbers and antibiotic-free chicken topped with almonds and granola (both served on wild rice and quinoa), UKraft offers tons of nourishing choices. For breakfast, choose from a variety of sandwiches and wraps or opt for the savory avocado toast customized with add-ons like protein-rich fried eggs or fresh tomato.
Matt Ratz and his brother Mike own and operate the healthy fast food truck UKraft. The pair launched the build-your-own lunch and dinner eatery in late 2018.
UKraft will open a permanent location this summer at City Foundry, where the brothers hope to target corporate office workers with a takeaway service. In addition, the restaurant will offer catering services. The location, which will be housed in the former Gourmet to Go space at 8182 Maryland in the Regions Centre office tower in Clayton, will feature an order counter and to-go component with tables.
UKraft co-owners Matt and Mike Ratz are on the lookout for a permanent spot to replace their food truck, but they’ll still keep it moving around town and be open for events. A location inside City Foundry is on the horizon, but for now, the company is settling down in the Regions Centre office building, a place that attracts a lot of lunching business professionals.
The eat-in or takeout spot serves wraps, bowls and sandwiches, plus a soup of the day. Unlike other fast-casual places, UKraft encourages customization by letting diners “kraft” their own meal from an array of proteins and cheeses. Options include a Cali breakfast sandwich of turkey sausage, egg, avocado and spinach or a Ragan Cajun with antibiotic free-chicken, chipotle aioli and pepper jack.
The restaurant also offers premade salads like the honey apple, a mix of organic spinach, apples, strawberries, blueberries and cucumbers topped with antibiotic-free chicken and granola with a light yogurt dressing that’s lighter and brighter than ranch.
A nasty drizzle fell over City Garden last Friday, but a handful of folks still showed up for UKraft, a new food truck owned by brothers Matt and Mike Ratz. The pair’s nutrition-focused restaurant is a big step up from the typical food truck pack, offering tons of nourishing choices for breakfast and lunch.
Customers can “kraft” their own meal by picking every ingredient — from the avocado to the sauce — on a Cali breakfast sandwich, for example, or a Ragan Cajun chicken wrap featuring antibiotic free-chicken, pepper jack and spinach topped with lettuce, tomatoes, sliced pickles and cucumbers served on a baked potato bun. Even the premade salads and sandwiches are healthy, with ingredients like organic spinach, romaine, fresh fruit, cucumbers, carrots, apples, cheese and granola.
The food truck can be rented for events, and Ratz says a downtown storefront is on the horizon. In the meantime, the Chesterfield location offers more space for seating and a full menu of smoothies, sandwiches, bowls and premade salads.
Matt and Mike Ratz had already homed in on the fast-casual, healthful lunch sector when they launched UKraft three and a half years ago. The brothers helped launch the healthful, made-to-order salad spot Wicked Greenz in Clayton and learned a lot about what worked—and didn’t—with their build-your-own approach to healthy meals, which they now offer as ready-made wraps, bowls and sandwiches.
They’re now rolling out a new brick-and-mortar, aptly named Ukraft Cafe & Catering, in the former Gourmet to Go at 8182 Maryland Ave. in the Regions Centre office building in Clayton, where it’ll whip up wraps, avocado toast, bowls and sandwiches.
The menu encourages customization and a variety of flavors, including a shrimp BLT panini and a Caprese salad with antibiotic-free chicken, free-range Missouri eggs, pepper jack cheese and basil drizzled with balsamic reduction. They’ll also serve breakfast bowls and a selection of smoothies as well as a few coffee drinks from Park Avenue Coffee.