At El Paisano, it’s not uncommon to spot a baby in a giant sombrero or a mariachi serenading a diner with a tiny trumpet. This lively Mexican eatery bustles with color and energy from morning until nightfall—particularly on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month, when it plays host to live mariachi performances. Attentive servers bustle about the bright dining room, toting complimentary chips and salsa and the giant frozen margaritas lauded by reporters from Metromix St. Louis. Colorful hanging lights illuminate the festive tablecloths and Mexican murals that stretch across the walls.
Meanwhile, in the kitchen, seasoned chefs fold meats and seafood into authentic Mexican specialties—from cheesy chicken chilaquiles to creamy lobster enchiladas. To craft their specialty parrillada dish, they sizzle Spanish-style sausage, grilled steak, chicken breast, and bacon-wrapped jumbo shrimp on a crackling skillet. For dessert, the chefs eschew lackluster meal enders such as cheesecake bought from the store or plastic crumpets borrowed from a child’s tea set in favor of flan, tres leches cake, and other authentically prepared regional specialties.