Mexican in St. Louis

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    Garduno's Mexican Food
    Sure, you could order a taco at Garduño's. You could order a combination platter and enjoy tender, flavorful tamales and enchiladas that actually taste like chile peppers, not supermarket queso. But you could also order the mojarra dorada, a whole fish lightly breaded and deep-fried. The skin is perfectly crisp, the sweet flesh almost unfathomably moist. You're not actually sitting in a beachside cantina after the dayboat's come in -- but it's easy to pretend. Seriously: Order whatever you want. The menu promises "the very best of Mexican cuisine," and this tiny gem of a restaurant delivers.
    Created by the owners of the acclaimed Pi Pizzeria, Gringo brings a bit of the Baja to the Central West End. Its beach-shack vibe, airy interior and wrap-around patio on one of St. Louis’ primest people-watching corners make for a good way to waste an afternoon sipping margaritas. Gringo bills itself as modern Mexican food with a twist, with its name summing up its irreverent approach to traditional south-of-the-border cuisine. Guacamole prepared tableside is a spectator sport and allows diners to doctor the dip to their specifications. For those expecting traditional ceviche, the shrimp coctel ceviche is neither — think more shrimp cocktail than citrus-cured seafood. While the taco selection is eclectic, the results are underwhelming, particularly disappointing considering that the tacos are the anchor of the menu. For the especially adventurous, the taco chapulines give diners the opportunity to dine on grasshoppers. It’s high on novelty, but be prepared for a salt-bomb. The bottom line? Go for the atmosphere and drinks, but do not expect much in the food department.
    Guajillo Mexican Grill
    A West County big-burrito joint on Dorsett Road in Maryland Heights, Guajillo Mexican Grill brings a fresh and king-size menu to the familiar fast, made-to-order Mexican restaurant. Their large burritos come wrapped in your choice of a spinach, tomato or wheat tortilla, black or pinto beans, cilantro rice, cheese, lettuce, sour cream, salsa and filling options including carnitas, ground beef, grilled steak or veggies. Diners can also have their food assembled as tacos, taco salad, quesadillas and tostadas. The salsas at Guajillo range the heat and flavor scale from a mild pico de gallo to the medium salsa verde to the pair of salsas made from the restaurant's namesake chili pepper, one medium and one with a bit more of a kick. Guajillo also offers catering services where they bring their burrito-and-taco bar to you.

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