When asking children what they want to be when they grow up, some of the top replies are a doctor, princess, pro athlete or movie star. But for Sara Carsia, who’s the chef and co-owner of Fresh Bite Farm to Beach, her answer was always the same: restaurant owner.
“I’ve always loved cooking and farm-fresh foods,” says Carsia. “I graduated from college with a degree in nutrition and then moved to Kauai with my now husband, Zak. We worked at some of the most delicious restaurants and would shop at our beautiful farmers markets. After having our first daughter, we made the leap to start Fresh Bite Farm to Beach with our family.”
Found in the quaint and magical town of Hanalei, the Kauai food truck serves up fresh, local and organic fare that’s packed with flavor and good-for-you contents. Menu items cater to plant-based eaters and include salads, wraps and bowls, though, Carsia says there’s surely something for everyone.
Take the 808 steak sandwich ($13), for example, which comprises local, grass-fed steak with Kailani Farms greens, green onion, tomato and a choice of a homemade sauce (buttermilk ranch, honey mustard, chipotle or chimichurri).
The Buddha wrap with organic chicken ($16), meanwhile, is a bestseller. It includes local organic salad greens, crispy and crunchy fresh cabbage, cucumber, carrots, green onion and macadamia nuts that comes together with a rich, creamy, vegan macadamia nut satay sauce in a locally made whole wheat tortilla.
When asked what her favorite thing on the menu is, Carsia says, “I love everything equally, like my keiki, ‘cause I made them all,” with a smile.
“But, today, I’d eat a Chop Lee quinoa bowl with local and grass-fed steak. It’s hearty with organic quinoa, salad greens, tomatoes, roasted corn, hard boiled egg, avocado, green onion, crispy chickpeas and drizzled with the most delicious ranch dressing made fresh every week by my mom, Lee.
Fresh Bite is your quintessential family-run biz, something Carsia says is wonderful but can be challenging at times. But there isn’t a day — or lunch rush— that goes by where she’d want to work with anyone else.
“When you come to Fresh Bite, you are supporting so many local Kauai families and their small business dreams,” she says. “We are connecting people; you can taste the freshness and aloha.”
Fresh Bite Farm to Beach
5-5100 Kuhio Hwy., Hanalei (Kauai)
How to pay: Cash, credit cards and Apple Pay
How to order: Phone or in person
Originally published in the Star-Advertiser’s Crave section.