Thursday, May 9, 2013

First Look: Gringo Offers Taco Options Like Al Pastor, Octopus and Grasshopper in the Central West End [Photos]

Posted By on Thu, May 9, 2013 at 1:16 PM

El Jibarito, a fried plantain "sandwich" with pork belly, tomato-chipotle jam, avocado and pickled red onion. - MABEL SUEN
  • Mabel Suen
  • El Jibarito, a fried plantain "sandwich" with pork belly, tomato-chipotle jam, avocado and pickled red onion.

From the formidable forces behind the successful pizza empire that is St. Louis chain Pi Pizzeria comes a new concept called Gringo (398 North Euclid; 314-449-1212), which opened its doors in the Central West End last week with a full menu of tacos, margaritas and more.

See also: - Pi Pizzeria Team Opening Gringo - First Look: New Moon Room at the Moonrise Hotel - First Look: Central Table Food Hall

Co-owner Chris Sommers describes Gringo as, "a mid-century Baja beach party," and the brightly lit 3,300-square-foot dining room complete with a hanging swordfish matches his vision accordingly. Finished wood, a recurring bright blue and yellow logo, and black-and-white portraits of Gringos in Latin American garb accentuate the space.

There's room for 24 at the bar, 84 in the dining room and 68 on an outdoor patio that wraps around the building at the corner of Euclid and McPherson Avenues.

  • Mabel Suen

Pi executive chef Steve Caravelli heads up the menu with sous-vide cooked meats. Each meal begins with chile dusted tortilla chips and house roasted tomato-chipotle salsa -- the first one's on them and then it's about a buck for a refill.

Tacos come in options such as al pastor ($3.50), grilled octopus ($3.50) and Sommers' personal favorite, pescado ($3.50), with grilled or fried snapper, Napa cabbage slaw, chipotle crema and toasted pepitas. Brave and bold bug-loving folks can go for chapulines ($4.50) made with sauteed grasshoppers, guajillo pepper and avocado.

See a photo of the grasshopper taco on the next page!

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