Mandy Estrella, better known as "Plantain Girl."
Chef Mandy Estrella, the "Plantain Girl
" who won raves
for her Latin cooking during a one-year run at Alphateria
, says she will open her first stand-alone concept in Lafayette Square — a restaurant called Mayo Ketchup.
The eatery will be located at 2001 Park Avenue, replacing Laredo on the Square. The Mexican restaurant opened in 2012
, taking the lovely 4,000-square-foot space at the corner of Park Avenue and Mississippi.
In a press release, Estrella said that Mayo Ketchup would open in the late summer and serve Puerto Rican, Dominican and Cuban food, which she has long specialized in. "Mayo Ketchup," she explained, is "Puerto Rico's most beloved condiment."
"The overwhelming response we received over the past four years from catering, pop up events and our year operating the Latin-forward kitchen Alphateria has encouraged me to pursue a permanent location,” Estrella said in the release. "Everyone has a deep connection to the food culture they were first exposed to with family and friends, imagine if you couldn’t find that in the city you lived in. I began this journey thinking there was a demand for this cuisine in the St. Louis area that wasn’t being fulfilled, without knowing how that belief would be come so apparent.
"The historic and beautiful Lafayette Square, centrally located from Illinois, St Louis County, and St. Charles, as well as our loyal city followers, was the right fit.”
Estrella said the concept had been in development for four years as she waited for the right space and timing.
Editor's note: A previous version of this story provided the wrong name for the restaurant Mayo Ketchup is replacing. It is Laredo on the Square, not Laredo on Lafayette. We regret the error.
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