Join Riverfront Times Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

La Catrina Brings Mexican Cuisine and a Festive Vibe to Southampton

Posted By on Tue, Sep 3, 2019 at 6:00 AM

click to enlarge The fajitas are one of La Catrina's most popular Tex-Mex specialties. - CHERYL BAEHR
  • CHERYL BAEHR
  • The fajitas are one of La Catrina's most popular Tex-Mex specialties.

Jerry Reyes and Enrique Robles were serious about wanting to open their own restaurant. Having worked together in Mexican spots around town for more than a decade, the friends felt that they were more than ready to strike out on their own.

However, when they mentioned their plan to their friend Steve Resnic, they framed it as a joke — and when he joked back that they should start looking into it, and he wanted to help, the wheels were set in motion.



Eight months later, their back-of-the-envelope musings have resulted in the lively restaurant and cantina La Catrina (5220 Hampton Avenue, 314-833-3357), which opened on July 25 in the Southampton neighborhood. As Reyes explains, the concept may be serving the familiar favorites people expect from a Tex-Mex-inspired eatery, but there are a few key factors that differentiate La Catrina from the rest.

click to enlarge Owners Jerry Reyes, Enrique Robles and Steve Resnic are happy to bring La Catrina to the Southampton neighborhood. - CHERYL BAEHR
  • CHERYL BAEHR
  • Owners Jerry Reyes, Enrique Robles and Steve Resnic are happy to bring La Catrina to the Southampton neighborhood.

"Everyone can serve the same sort of things — for example, everyone has fajitas," Reyes explains. "However, we are doing them the best they can be done and make everything here from scratch. Plus, we want to create a good atmosphere."

Resnic, Reyes and Robles are confident that they've found the winning formula for what people want, and if their popularity is any indication, they are certainly on to something. Already, La Catrina has become a neighborhood favorite, its dining room and patio packed with regulars almost every night. Fortunately, the restaurant is able to accommodate such a crowd; between its large main dining room, its more secluded back room and the spacious patio, the restaurant can easily seat 150 guests.

Those seating areas are as vibrant as they are large. Inside, the restaurant is outfitted in bright shades of teal and coral and decorated in a Dia de los Muertos theme. There are booths and tables. The bar, which sits at the back of the room, can also seat approximately ten guests.

For as lovely as the dining room is, La Catrina's patio is the place to be when weather permits. The outdoor space has three large, covered booths that can seat up to ten people each, as well as high-top tables adorned with colorful umbrellas. The patio has its own bar and a beautiful, turquoise and white mosaic tiled fireplace that creates a striking ambiance as soon as the sun goes down.

click to enlarge La Catrina's dining room is a colorful place to enjoy a meal. - CHERYL BAEHR
  • CHERYL BAEHR
  • La Catrina's dining room is a colorful place to enjoy a meal.

On a lovely night, that fireplace makes a striking backdrop for enjoying one of La Catrina's signature margaritas. Made from fresh lime juice, the refreshing cocktail is garnished with a float of Grand Marnier that is served in a hollowed-out lime — and if you are with a group, the restaurant is happy to serve the cocktail as a pitcher.

Food is equally impressive. The restaurant serves expected dishes like tacos, queso, enchiladas, burritos and combination platters. Reyes' favorite dish, the parrillada, is a massive platter of shrimp, chicken, chorizo, carne asada and outstanding carnitas, served sizzling hot with guacamole, beans and rice.

Reyes is pleased with the response the restaurant is getting and is excited to be a part of the Southampton community. A father and husband, he knows that people, like him, are looking for a place to kick back and enjoy a good meal — an experience he is thankful to have the opportunity to provide.

"I don't think restaurants are about what you eat, but how you live," Reyes explains. "These days, people work a lot and are so busy. Everybody deserves a little enjoyment in life. We're here to provide that."

La Catrina is open Sunday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. until 9:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. until 10:30 p.m.

Scroll down for more photos of La Catrina.

click to enlarge The restaurant is decorated in a Dia de los Muertos theme. - CHERYL BAEHR
  • CHERYL BAEHR
  • The restaurant is decorated in a Dia de los Muertos theme.

click to enlarge The restaurant logo adorns the booths and tables. - CHERYL BAEHR
  • CHERYL BAEHR
  • The restaurant logo adorns the booths and tables.

click to enlarge Fresh guacamole is one of the restaurant's specialties. - CHERYL BAEHR
  • CHERYL BAEHR
  • Fresh guacamole is one of the restaurant's specialties.


click to enlarge A signature margarita comes complete with a Grand Marnier float. - CHERYL BAEHR
  • CHERYL BAEHR
  • A signature margarita comes complete with a Grand Marnier float.


click to enlarge The patio at La Catrina offers a lovely atmosphere. - CHERYL BAEHR
  • CHERYL BAEHR
  • The patio at La Catrina offers a lovely atmosphere.

click to enlarge The restaurant's Tex-Mex specialties are all house-made. - CHERYL BAEHR
  • CHERYL BAEHR
  • The restaurant's Tex-Mex specialties are all house-made.

click to enlarge La Catrina is now open in Southampton. - CHERYL BAEHR
  • CHERYL BAEHR
  • La Catrina is now open in Southampton.

We are always hungry for tips and feedback. Email the author at cheryl.baehr@riverfronttimes.com.


  • Sign up for our weekly newsletters to get the latest on the news, things to do and places to eat delivered right to your inbox.
  • Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Tags: , , , , ,

Riverfront Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of St. Louis and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep St. Louis' true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

July 1, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2020 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation