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By Gia Miller

Photography by Justin Negard

Waiters/waitresses are the world’s oldest influencers – they tell us what to eat (and drink) whenever we dine out. And we often take their advice without watching hours of their videos to determine if they’re trustworthy. We sat down with some of our local influencers to get to know the folks who influence our choices.

Alex Duarte Server & Bartender, 8 Years
Truck, Bedford

What was your first job at Truck?
I was born in Guatemala, and I came to the U.S. in 2009 when I was 16 years old. I’ve been at Truck since 2015 – I started out in the kitchen and running food. And, after three years of hard work, I got promoted to be a bartender. It was a big step for me, though, because I was still scared to talk to people. But I was only a bartender for one day, and then I got promoted to be a server. Now, I bartend on Friday nights and serve tables the other nights.

What is it like being an influencer?
It makes me feel good when people take my recommendations – they trust me. And then, in the end, they’re very happy and they thank me.

What is your number one rule when making recommendations?
I ask people what they like, and we go based on that. Did they come in with something in mind? Or what do they want today? If they ask me for seafood, I’ll recommend some dishes with seafood. If they like beans, I’ll tell them about the beans special and explain the different types of beans because we have three different types of beans.

What’s your best recommendation?
I recommend the beef brisket burrito all the time. Not because it’s the most expensive dish, it’s just so good. And I also recommend the fried oyster taco. But if someone orders the oyster taco and other tacos, I always recommend they have the oyster taco first, when it’s still crispy. Every time I recommend those two dishes, people try them and fall in love with them.

What’s the coolest thing that’s happened at Truck recently?
Celebrities come in here all the time. Recently, a very big celebrity came in, and he was seated in my section. I didn’t know who he was at first – my boss told me. He was nice, but it was crazy here. Someone posted right away that he was here, and a ton of people came. The paparazzi were outside and then all these teenage girls came. They were trying to take pictures and trying to come in and take pictures of him. My manager had to keep them all away.

What’s your favorite dish?
The brisket burrito. The flavor of the brisket, combined with the sauces it comes with makes it delicious.

Editor-in-Chief at Connect to Northern Westchester | Website | + posts

Gia Miller is an award-winning journalist and the editor-in-chief/co-publisher of Connect to Northern Westchester. She has a magazine journalism degree (yes, that's a real thing) from the University of Georgia and has written for countless national publications, ranging from SELF to The Washington Post. Gia desperately wishes schools still taught grammar. Also, she wants everyone to know they can delete the word "that" from about 90% of their sentences, and there's no such thing as "first annual." When she's not running her media empire, Gia enjoys spending quality time with friends and family, laughing at her crazy dog and listening to a good podcast. She thanks multiple alarms, fermented grapes and her amazing husband for helping her get through each day. Her love languages are food and humor.