dishes at ukraft cafe and catering photo by lauren healey

First Look: Ukraft Café and Catering in Clayton

The owners of Ukraft food truck now have a brick-and-mortar location in Clayton, catering to the lunchtime crowd on the ground floor of the Regions Center at 8182 Maryland Ave., in the former home of Gourmet to Go. The opening day was July 9

Co-owners and brothers Matt and Mike Ratz launched the food truck less than a year ago with plans to open inside the upcoming City Foundry Food Hall in May 2020. When the Clayton space became available, however, they knew they had to jump at the opportunity.

“We didn’t want to pass this up; it was too good of an opportunity,” Matt Ratz said, adding they will still open the Foundry location.

The eatery encourages customization. Guests can go with the build-your-own portion of the menu for salads or breakfast and can choose the ingredients that go into their meals. The menu also includes an array of items from breakfast bowls to avocado toast and sandwiches and salads with flavor profiles selected by Mike Ratz, like the Rajun Cajun breakfast bowl or sandwich with antibiotic-free chicken, free-range Missouri eggs, chipotle aioli and pepper jack cheese, or the caprese avocado toast with tomato, buffalo mozzarella, basil, egg and balsamic reduction.

“Healthy is such a subjective term, and not everything on the menu is necessarily ‘healthy,’ but we do try to offer a lot of healthy options, which is a big hit with the lunch crowd, particularly here in Clayton,” Matt Ratz said. “We cater to a lot of different dietary needs, whether that be keto, low-calorie or whatever.”

Ukraft also offers a grab-and-go cooler stocked mainly with beverages like tea and kombucha but with a few snack items as well, like a yogurt parfait and hummus and crackers.

Although the Ratz brothers said ticket time is around three to five minutes, they are pushing online ordering for super speedy pickup, as lines can get long during the lunch rush. UKraft is open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Here’s a look at Clayton’s newest cafe.

Lauren Healey is associate editor at Sauce Magazine.