Cherokee Street is great, but if you really want an authentic Mexican dining experience, visit DeSoto Park on a Sunday afternoon. From April to September, the tiny patch of grass in North St. Louis' Carr Square neighborhood hosts La Liga Latino Americana de Futból, the most diverse (and competitive) amateur soccer league in the city. Somebody has to feed 26 teams of hungry Hispanic fútbolistas, and that someone is a slight, mustachioed Mexican named Juan. Using a propane barbecue and a griddle, he and his family cook up the tastiest carne asada tacos in town. Marinated flank steaks are grilled, finely chopped on a grease-stained wooden block, piled onto a pair of fresh tortillas and sprinkled with onions and cilantro. Tacos (also available in cabeza and chicharrón varieties) sell for $2.50 each and are best accompanied by a cup of homemade horchata ($1) and a few dabs of fiery red salsa. For dessert, flag down the guy with the cart selling chunks of fresh mango drizzled with lime. (For soccer schedule and information, visit www.futbolstl.com.)
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