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Call it Arcelia’s version 3.0. The original Arcelia’s closed in 2010 after a twenty-year run, first in Soulard, later anchoring the northeast corner of Lafayette Park. The family of founder Arcelia Sanchez, who died in 2003, has reopened the restaurant, bringing back much of the original menu, in a new location in Soulard. The menu is brief and features crowd pleasers like enchiladas, chiles rellenos, pork in a chile-verde sauce and quesadillas. The tortilla chips, fried in-house and served piping hot, are a highlight, as is carne en su jugo: a soup of flank steak and pinto beans in a flavorful tomatillo-bacon broth.
A decade ago when Chip Schloss finished rehabbing the building at 4140 Manchester, Atomic Cowboy became a pioneer of the Grove's booming nightlife scene. Today, Atomic Cowboy is known for music performances every night of the week and a creative fresh mex menu. Food includes sweet potato empanadas with jalapeno cream, gaucho fries topped with chili con carne, Mexican spaghetti with chorizo meatballs, and all the burritos, enchiladas and quesadillas you can imagine. With a huge outdoor patio and firepit in addition to a full bar both inside and outside, Atomic Cowboy is a suitable place to let loose all year round. Food and drink specials are offered every Monday through Friday from 4-7 p.m. at happy hour. Other drink specials include $1 PBR nights and $0.50 Stag nights. Brunch is also served every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and features huevos benedict with smoked salmon, a Mexican slinger, tres leches french toast and hot Kaldi's coffee to wash it all down.
Cantina Laredo in Clayton is the first St. Louis location of the Dallas-based upscale Tex-Mex chain. The restaurant’s large, modern bar has quickly become a happy-hour hot spot, pouring stiff drinks for the area’s business clientele. On the food side, diners can expect modernized, fusion versions of Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes, anchored by a large selection of fajitas and enchiladas. The restaurant’s signature appetizer, the “Top Shelf Guacamole,” is prepared tableside, with accoutrements added to one’s preferences. The “Enchiladas Veracruz” features two tortillas stuffed with a Mexican version of chicken spinach dip, and the “Costillas Con Fajita” is a gigantic, searing hot platter of ribs, steak and chicken, large enough for three diners. A must-try is the “Torta de Carnitas,” smoked pork topped with goat cheese, apricot jam and an over-easy egg. Though it’s difficult to save room for dessert, one must find a way to manage: The Mexican apple pie, finished with brandy butter tableside on a searing-hot cast-iron skillet is a scrumptious end to the meal.
This Mexican restaurant rose from the ruins of perennial Soulard dive Mike & Min's, but it wasn't a bad trade-off at all. Chava's menu keeps things short and to the point: tacos, a fajita platter, a burrito, an enchilada, a tostada, etc. The fajita platter and its close appetizer cousins (fajita quesadilla and fajita nachos) are sizzling-steak standouts, as are tacos de Guadalajara, a pair of flash-fried flour tortillas clamped around seasoned ground beef, lettuce, tomato, onion and a clever blend of grated Monterey and Parmesan cheeses. Specify a fresh-fruit margarita and choose from ten different flavors.
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