Though the Midwest isn’t the most obvious locale for modern latin fusion cuisine, Flaco’s Cocina—from patio to downstairs lounge—proves that dishes can still taste authentic in the middle of the country. Everything about the restaurant exudes a latin ambiance, from the giant fish mosaics, painted beach scenes and live music of El Paraiso Lounge to the bright blue walls and red chairs that play calypso music each time a diner stands up. Amid the vibrant dining room, downstairs lounge, and airy patio, guests dig into fajitas, tacos, and quesadillas that teem with seafood, spices, and citrus touches. To complement the spicy eats, margaritas douse tongues with a choice of handpicked tequilas—such as Don Julio Silver, Patron Silver, and Cabo Wabo—which guests can also enjoy at the full bar in the newly opened downstairs El Paraiso Lounge. Sleek hardwood floors run throughout, supporting a stage that plays home to an eclectic lineup of live music. The downstairs area also hosts special events, private parties, holiday celebrations, and salsa lessons on its spacious dance floor. Live music and DJs are an extra fee.
Plates of queso fundido overflow with cheese and chorizo at tables around Chihuahua's Mexican Restaurant, where diners sip five types of refreshing margaritas. In the kitchen, cooks flip sizzling shrimp to include in savory quesadillas, or wrap jumbo shrimp in bacon to fill Juarez fajitas packed with bell peppers and onions.
This cheerful quick-service eatery was named for the guajillo chili—a flavorful red pepper that can be blended into salsas, stirred into stew, or transformed into a puppet using googly eyes and pipe cleaners. The cooks at Guajillo Mexican Grill whip up their own version of fiery guajillo salsa, along with a milder pico de gallo and a tangy tomatillo sauce. They spread the salsas onto an array of freshly made Mexican specialties, including tacos, tostadas, and quesadillas. To craft burritos, they roll tender meats and fresh vegetables into a customer's choice of traditional, spinach, wheat, or tomato tortillas.
Customers stroll down the front counter, requesting meat, bean, and salsa choices from the bustling staff. Trays in hand, customers head to the front patio to dig into hearty steak nachos and cheesy veggie quesadillas. Others opt for catering services—ideal for feeding guests at a party, coworkers at a company lunch, or angry crowds at a Black Friday sale.
When founders J. Kim Tucci, Joseph A. Fresta, and John P. Ferrara first opened The Pasta House Co. in 1974, they wanted to elevate pasta to an art form. “Some artists sculpt, some paint, and some sketch,” they write on the restaurant’s website. “But, at The Pasta House Co., we create authentic Italian culinary delights.” A few of the locations even have giant, exhibition kitchens so you can watch as pizzas, pastas, and entrees come to life.
Naturally, The Pasta House Co.’s menu revolves around the Italian staple from which it gets its name. There are more than 25 varieties of pasta to choose from, including linguine with chicken livers and the signature lasagna, plus weekday specials such as stuffed manicotti. Meanwhile, the mangia bene menu—which translates to “eat well” in Italian—showcases the more wholesome side of Italian eating, with dishes low in fat and calories that won’t peer pressure you to break curfew.
The salsa bowls are always brimming with tangy, red sauce at El Indio Authentic Mexican Restaurant. The staff stops to top off each bowl as they make their way through the sea-foam green dining room, bringing sizzling fajitas to one table and plates of giant carne asada burritos and white queso dip to others. Most tables opt to sample the house's beef taquitos, which recently made The Riverfront Times list of top 100 dishes in St. Louis. Signature margaritas and beers keep guests refreshed.
Hacienda was founded in 1968 as one of the first Mexican restaurants in all of St. Louis. We are proud to offer a unique menu combining authentic Mexican fare with familiar favorites along with the best in service and one of the area's most unique and inviting atmospheres.
Nine burritos headline the menu at El Porton Mexican Restaurant. Almost as many steaks and chimichangas appear on the food list. The kitchen team might wrap tortillas around slices of grilled steak before coating it with green sauce, cheese, or enchilada sauces to craft burritos or enchiladas. They can arrange mixed vegetables, shrimp, and steak in the fajita plates that sizzle like sparklers on July 8—after a Woodstock-sized sparkler clearance sale. These fajitas are served with flour or corn tortillas in portions big enough for one or two. Cooks can also prepare whole marinate tilapias in the mojarra tilapia dish or sauté a dozen shrimp with garlic for the camarones al mojo de ajo.