As much as I have harped on the negatives, there were some successes during my visits to Gringo. The obligatory chips and salsa, so often a throwaway at Mexican restaurants, were actually quite tasty. The chips were fresh and kicked up with a light chile dusting, and the salsa had a warm, smoky spice. The street corn "off the cob" was a clear hit, tasting like a roasty, Mexican-spiced version of creamed corn, and the dessert of churros (Mexican-style doughnuts) was excellent, elevated by the cinnamon-almond sweetness of the horchata dipping sauce. And of course, a visit to Gringo would not have been complete without sampling its eponymous margarita — the housemade sour and generous pour of Exotico Blanco tequila made it the highlight of my visits.

Bartender Allison Messerla crafts a "Rosa Mexicana." Slideshow: Inside Gringo in the Central West End
Jennifer Silverberg
Bartender Allison Messerla crafts a "Rosa Mexicana." Slideshow: Inside Gringo in the Central West End
Harry Weber's sculpture of Tennessee Williams outside Gringo, located at the corner of Euclid and McPherson avenues. Slideshow: Inside Gringo in the Central West End
Jennifer Silverberg
Harry Weber's sculpture of Tennessee Williams outside Gringo, located at the corner of Euclid and McPherson avenues. Slideshow: Inside Gringo in the Central West End

Location Info

Map

Gringo

398 N. Euclid Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63108

Category: Restaurant > Brunch

Region: St. Louis - Central West End

Details

Gringo
Tableside guacamole...$8.95
Taco al pastor...$3.50
Hanger steak al carbon...$15.95

398 Euclid Avenue; 314-449-1212.
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-midnight; Sun. 11 a.m.- 11 p.m.

While my experiences at Gringo were not offensive (well, some parts of them were), overall, I was completely underwhelmed. Are tasty chips and salsa and fresh, potent margaritas enough to make a visit worthwhile? Perhaps. A great patio and strong cocktails can go far. However, I expect much bigger things from the people who produce pizza that has earned accolades from none other than President Obama. The skeleton is there — a prime location, a talented staff and a creative menu. Should Gringo get its execution right, it has the potential to be more than just a pretty face. The proprietors have proven they can do it with Pi — here's to hoping that they can do it again.

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