By LOIS KINDLE
If you haven’t discovered the Faith Latin Cuisine food truck in Apollo Beach, customers say you’re missing out on some incredible food.
Alexis Kight of Riverview works nearby and comes every day to sit outdoors and enjoy her coffee.
“We order lunch all the time,” she said. “The Apollo Beach Chicken and Shrimp is my favorite. I love Latin cuisine, and I recommend the food to all my clients. Their menu has a lot of options.
Ruskin resident Elena Jones, a chef in her own right, agrees.
“Great food. Great service. Great prices,” she wrote on the food truck’s Facebook page. “I will be back again and again. (It’s) a must-stop if you’re in the area.”
Faith Latin Cuisine’s kitchen-on-wheels is parked at 200 Frandorson Circle in the overflow parking area behind Frandorson Plaza.
“Due to my husband’s training, our food is a mix of different cultures, and that’s hard to find anywhere else, said Margaret Aquino, referring to Chef Jose Ventura. The couple, and their business partner, Frances Espinal, own the eatery. All are from the Dominican Republic.
“We’ve brought in flavors from the Dominican Republic, Spain, Iran, Italy, America and Latin America,” she continued. “Everything is made-to-order daily, and our food is very delicious. Come for the first time, try it, and you’ll be back. We have lots of regular customers.”
Faith Latin Cuisine offers breakfast, lunch and dinner from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Its dishes are prepared using totally fresh and organic/natural ingredients.
It’s breakfast menu includes four different sandwiches made with fresh Cuban bread and the following dishes: the Faith Frittata or Omelet, Azteca Omelet, Extra Healthy Avocado Toast, the Florentine, Faith Oatmeal (served with fruit and cooked in coconut or almond milk) and the Lumberjack Platter. Each comes with a side. You can also get Strawberry Nutella French Toast, Tarter Tots, Homes Fries, Cuban Toast or Cuba Cheese Toast.
The lunch and dinner menu features a surprising variety of eight appetizers; fresh daily soup and two salads; seven sandwiches; nine entrees, which come with rice, beans and sweet plantain; five Mofongo dishes; six Mexican dishes; and five sides, plus smoothies and beverages. Think Argentine Steak, Shrimp Enchilado, Faith or Classic Cuban, Mofongo with Fried Pork, Cilantro Cream Tilapia and more. Everything sounds so good, you might want to try them all.
Ventura came to the United States in early 2001, when he got a job working in New Jersey for a few months in the restaurant business. Aquino followed shortly after, and they moved to Ocala that year. In 2006, the couple moved to Ruskin, initially bought a small food truck, sold it and started a small restaurant in Tampa.
But the chef preferred working out of a food truck, so the couple sold the restaurant and eventually opened a larger food truck with their partner in Apollo Beach, where it has been for about a year. Their 17-year-old daughter, Monserrath, helps out when she’s not in school.
“Faith Latin Cuisine is one of the businesses that opened just as COVID was forcing us to shelter at home,” said Apollo Beach resident Melanie Davis, executive director of the SouthShore Chamber of Commerce. “And they were determined to make their place absolutely wonderful from that moment. Their food is absolutely amazing, and it’s hard to believe the taste that comes from that little food truck. With every bite you take, you can tell the chef is passionate about cooking.”
Faith Latin Cuisine also offers deliveries through Grub Hub and catering. Payments are accepted via credit or debit cards or cash.