Waterfront: Mobile, Risk-Taking Chef Offers Unusual Barbecue Style

The Guerrilla Ultima food truck mixes different cultures into a unique BBQ style. It’s located right outside of Yards Brewing Co. at 901 N. Delaware Ave., every Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.

The owner of the truck, chef Robert Legget (above, right), is a well-traveled chef who combines Asian, Mexican, Italian and Latino food into his cooking style. He owns the truck with his wife Mercedes Amarant (above, left), who assists Legget with cooking, cleaning, maintaining and driving the truck.

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“Eating here on Sundays is kind of my religion,” said Mike Wells (above). Wells, 23, said he wakes up around 11 a.m. on Sundays, showers, gets dressed and walks across the street to the Guerrilla food truck.

“I try to make friends while I’m here, maybe meet a pretty girl. I grew up always dressing up kind of nice on Sundays for church, so I still try to look semi-presentable. But I eat a lot of chili here, so my breath probably doesn’t help,” Wells said, laughing. He ordered the Guerrilla Burger, which comes with Swiss cheese and smoked flank ropa.

“I actually never knew what ‘ropa’ meant,” Wells said. “But I Googled it, and I think it means ‘clothes’ in Spanish—which I find ironic.”

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Natalie Smalls, a graduate student at Drexel University (above, left), comes to the food truck to grab a meal before she starts her homework.

“The food truck gets me out of the house,” Smalls said. “If I didn’t step outside to get food, I’d probably be cooped up in my apartment all day studying.”

Legget prides himself on the different cultures he combines into his cooking. He said he likes to mix different cultures together and be nontraditional. With a history of working in restaurants, Legget is happy to be able to create his own unique style – no rules involved – where he can mix and splice ethnic foods together.

Chris Folks (below, left), lives across the street from the brewer and said he always looks forward to eating the truck’s barbecue.

“I order food at the truck, and head inside [to Yards Brewing Company] to grab a beer and watch the game,” Folks said.

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The dynamic food duo, who work seven days a week, have scouted out their Sunday spot along the Waterfront because they have found many customers come back tired from a day out on the water and are looking for a unique dish to try.

On Sundays, the food is catered to the location. Legget cooks with beer from Yards to make dishes such as the El Turismo, which includes brisket cooked in a beer sauce. Legget said he is always looking to try new ways to experiment with food.

“I try to be as unconventional as possible,” Legget said.

As he started out working in the service industry, Legget said he became tired of traditional food made in restaurants and wanted to experiment by taking an untraditional route.

Ben Aloisi (below), 42, from Long Island, New York, was visiting his friends in Philadelphia.

“My buddies always talk about the good food at this truck, so I figured I’d try it out while I’m in the area,” Aloisi said.  “I got the Guerrilla fries, loaded with chili, and man, am I stuffed.”

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Legget is looking to provide meals for his customers that are not only unique, but also filling.

“We’ve seen a lot of returning customers,” Legget said. “We have a pretty big following on social media, and we have a website, so that’s a big way we get people … to know where we are and what we’re making.”

“I always get beer that matches,” said Brian Schmidt, 34, who lives in nearby in Northern Liberties. “It’s kind of like a game. I try to find the perfect beer to wash down my Guerrilla meal.”

Legget said the partnership he has developed with Yards has been incredible for his business. He said he hopes Yards continues to attract more people, as they share customers on Sunday.

“There’s always a brewery tour on Sundays, which brings a lot of hungry customers,” said Legget. “The brewery tours are free, so that makes a lot of people not feel bad to spend money at my food truck.”

Legget and his wife strive to make the Waterfront community better on Sundays, with their good food and company. They are also grateful to the Waterfront community for keeping them in business on Sundays.

“I’d like to think my smile generates a lot of tips,” Amarant said. “My husband gives good belly laughs, which brightens my day, and of course the customers.”

The truck’s location changes everyday, so its website is one of the best ways to keep up with where the food will be each day of the week, along with Facebook and Twitter.


– Text, video and images by Esther Katro and Mary Smith

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