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Mission Taco (6235 Delmar Boulevard; 314-932-5430)
Don't let the name confuse you. Mission is far more than just a "taco joint." Focusing on all facets of Mexican street fare, the tacos are served taqueria-style on corn tortillas with the traditional garnishes of chopped onion and cilantro as well as lime to squeeze to taste on the side. One of the more intriguing tacos might be the one made with nopal: strips of roasted cactus flesh with poblano chile, caramelized onions, goat cheese and a roasted-jalapeo salsa. And then of course you also have tortas, burritos and freshly fried tortilla chips with salsa or guacamole or queso spiked with chorizo, cerveza and serrano chiles. The standout meat at Mission is the brisket, available in a taco or the "Cowboy" burrito. The meat is luscious, beefy and, thanks to an arbol-chile salsa, smoky and spicy. To top it all off, Mission serves one dessert: freshly fried churros with chocolate sauce for dipping -- it's the only dessert you'll ever want.
Within the last few years, St. Louis has been lucky enough to experience an explosion of Mexican cuisine, with new restaurants popping up offering both authentic and modern options. Cherokee Street in particular has gained a well-deserved reputation for serving as the epicenter, but our collective craving for chips and salsa, taqueria fare and top-shelf margaritas has spread out across the city -- by the time you read this, a new taco shop will have probably opened up. In fact there are so many worthy contenders for Best Mexican, we had tough time selecting our ten favorites. Nevertheless, here's a helpful list of places to start. -- Zach Garrison
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Published on August 22, 2013