Beet Box Ben Hamrah and Amanda Elliott

The chef-owners of Beet Box turned their boxed meal service into a 28-seat restaurant. 

Ben Hamrah and Amanda Elliott of Peachtree Catering (who's also a Feast columnist) love a fresh beat – and fresh beets. They’ve combined their fondness for hip-hop tracks and seasonal produce to create Beet Box. Formerly their boxed meal service, it’s now a fast-casual eatery that’s focused on Middle Eastern-inspired fare. The 28-seat restaurant, decorated with local artwork and an abundance of greenery, offers a small menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner – but the real stars are the specials.

What inspired the Beet Box concept and menu? Beet Box came about because we’re in catering, and we do a lot of boxed meals. We were looking at them and noticed that they were all the same – we wanted to do something different. We’ve really gotten into sourcing food from local vendors and that method of procuring ingredients; it’s something that we’re really passionate about. Therefore, our menu is seasonally driven and very limited – we let the ingredients structure what we do. –Ben Hamrah

Why did you choose to focus on Middle Eastern food at Beet Box? My family’s Persian, so I grew up with that style of food, and it’s something I’ve always loved. I think the presentation of it is so cool, but also accessible. It’s not something you need to acquire a taste for, which is something that drew us together from the beginning. –B.H.

It was during a trip to Lebanon in 2010 when I realized how applicable the cuisine is to farm-focused food. –Amanda Elliott

Any fun collaborations planned with your new neighbor, Logboat Brewing Co.? One of the things we thought about from the beginning, since we don’t have a lot of seating, is how to get people in and out and share the love with Logboat. That’s what inspired the picnic idea: Customers can come in and pay a deposit for a blanket and some tiffin boxes. We’ll load them up [with food] and send them over to Logboat, where they can kind of camp in the yard and have a good time. –B.H.

Beet Box, 602 Fay St., 573.999.9886, Columbia, Missouri,