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Dec 14, 2017
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Posts Tagged ‘Gringo’

Extra Sauce: In case you missed it…

Saturday, February 13th, 2016

From Shake Shack shake-ups to taco turnovers, it’s been a busy week in the St. Louis food scene. Here’s everything that went down, in case you missed it…

 

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1. Get ready, burger lovers. NYC restaurateur and St. Louis native Danny Meyer is bringing Shake Shack to The Lou. Meyer announced Friday, Feb. 12, that he will open a location at 32 N. Euclid Ave., in the Central West End in 2017.

2. Hard rock and hot dogs will come together when Steve’s Hot Dogs opens its third location in Suite 100 at The Pageant on March 4.

 

 

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3. Taco turnover is in the works in the Central West End. Owner Chris Sommers announced that he will close doors for good at Gringo, but the space won’t sit idle for long. Co-owners and brothers Adam and Jason Tilford plan to open their third St. Louis location of Mission Taco Joint therein just two short months.

4. Many know Cugino’s Italian Bar & Grill for its extensive draft list, but soon the restaurant will host a new option in local beer. Narrow Gauge Brewing is scheduled to begin production early this spring, operating out of a space inside the Florissant restaurant.

 

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5. Boundary at The Cheshire opened doors Feb. 8 at 6300 Clayton Road, in the space formerly known as The Restaurant.

6. Former J. Buck’s executive chef Patrick Viehmann took his experience at the now-shuttered Clayton restaurant to Dogtown in January when he joined Seamus McDaniel’s as general manager.

 

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7. Restaurateur and chef Ben Poremba’s latest eatery, Parigi, is firing up the burners in Clayton at 8025 Bonhomme Ave.

8. If you have onions, butter and pasta, you’ve got dinner. Try our Braised Onion Pasta dish for an easy vegetarian meal.

 

 

The Scoop: Gringo to close, Mission Taco Joint to open in same space

Friday, February 12th, 2016

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{Chris Sommers}

Taco turnover is in the works in the Central West End. Owner Chris Sommers announced today, Feb. 12, that he will close doors for good at Gringo, his Mexican eatery in the Central West End, as reported by St. Louis Magazine. Gringo will serve its last taco this Sunday, Feb. 14.

“We’ve had a good run,” said Sommers, who also owns Pi Pizzeria. “We could keep it going indefinitely, but frankly when you have nine restaurants, and one is not a pizzeria, it requires a disproportionate amount of focus.”

The Central West End won’t lack tacos for long, though. Co-owners and brothers Adam and Jason Tilford plan to open their third St. Louis location of Mission Taco Joint in the Gringo space in just two short months. “It’s a great opportunity for the Tilfords, and they’re going to get into a much less expensive (space) than building from the ground up,” Sommers said.

 

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{Taco from Mission Taco}

Jason Tilford said the location was the ideal spot for a third Mission Taco. “We love the location between The Loop and Soulard,” he said. “It gives us a little hub situation. We love the Central West End. We’ve been (there) in Tortillaria for 12 years.”

The Tilfords, who also own Milagro Modern Mexican in Webster Groves, won’t have to do much to the space aside from a few cosmetic touches and changes in the kitchen. Tilford said the menu and bar program will be the same as the University City and Soulard locations, and he’s exploring the idea of brunch. “I’m excited as the chef because I think Mexican breakfast food is great,” he said.

As for Sommers, he’s keeping his focus on Pi and opening its newest location it Bethesda, Maryland. He praised the team at Gringo for turning the restaurant around after a rough start when it opened in 2013. He said many of those employees will come on board at various Pi locations or join the Mission Taco team.

Sommers also said he’s working on a new concept to be announced later this year.

 

-Chris Sommers photo by Jonathan Gayman; taco photo by Carmen Troesser

 

 

Eat This: The Pancakes at Gringo

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015

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If a tres leches cake attended weekend brunch, it would come dressed as the Pancakes at Gringo. These hotcakes are golden and crispy with notes of citrus and cinnamon for added complexity. The icing on the cake: a dulce de leche syrup of reduced sweetened condensed milk thinned with Mexican cola. It’s a delicious way to give a beloved brunch dish a south-of-the-border spin.

-photo by Carmen Troesser

A Pancake Walk Through the CWE

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Three brunch spots near the intersection of Euclid and McPherson avenues in the Central West End are turning out unusual, stellar pancakes. While they’re all steps away from each other, they are miles apart in flavor. Here, the quickest route to first-rate flapjacks in the Central West End.

 

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Start at Cucina Pazzo and order the Lemon Ricotta Blueberry Pancakes. Easily the best brunch dish on their menu, these pancakes are also the restaurant staff’s favorite. It’s not an unheard of flavor combination, but here, it rises to new heights with an Italian twist. A dollop of fluffy citrus zabaglione begins to melt once it hits the ricotta- and blueberry-studded hot cakes. Fresh blueberries and a modest drizzle of maple syrup finish the dish, but don’t be shy about adding the sea salt caramel butter served on the side. (If you somehow have extra, we recommend taking it to go.) If you order only one thing at brunch, it should be this.

 

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Then, step next door for Cary McDowell’s dream-like pancakes at Gringo. They’re dense, moist and flecked with orange zest for a fresh, citrusy zing. McDowell serves them with a shower of powdered sugar and a little cup filled with cola syrup. This is a sensational short stack, and hands-down the most unique on our list.

 

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Ready for dessert? Of course you are. Cross McPherson Avenue and walk down to Dressel’s Public House for Guinness & Chocolate Chip Pancakes. Spiked with the Irish brew for a sophisticated sweetness and speckled with a bittersweet chocolate, there’s no need for syrup to sweeten them further. (Although if you ask they do have fine, local syrup available.) A cloud of freshly whipped cream and a side of bacon crown this dessert posing as breakfast.

-Cucina Pazzo photo by Carmen Troesser

Meatless Monday: Gringo’s Vegetarian Tacos

Monday, April 21st, 2014

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Vegetarian options abound at Gringo, which makes it the perfect destination for a Meatless Monday meal. Bonus: Its two vegetarian tacos are also vegan.

The tofu taco uses local MOFU tofu marinaded with poblano peppers and is seared to a charred, crisp exterior. The taco is topped with a spicy sauce made with toasted nuts, chiles and garlic, and finished with a sweet, crunchy mango-jicama salsa. It’s a delicious balance of savory-sweet heat. The calabaza con hongos taco is a mellower a mix of yellow squash, zucchini and Ozark Forest mushrooms.

 

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If you’re dining at Gringo, don’t miss the table-side guacamole, which has a spicy kick from jalapenos and poblano peppers. It goes well on everything at Gringo, from tortilla chips to tacos to chilaquiles (pictured), which are great to share with vegetarian friends.

 

Beer Et Al.: 8 more reasons we love beer

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

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The Scoop: Wilfrin Fernandez-Cruz moving to Winslow’s Home

Friday, September 27th, 2013

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As of next month, Wilfrin Fernandez-Cruz will be the new executive chef at Winslow’s Home located at 7213 Delmar Blvd. In a press release, Winslow’s Home owner Ann Sheehan Lipton wrote, “His leadership couldn’t come at a better time, as our new kitchen and private dining expansion are close to completion.”

After moving to St. Louis from New York City, Fernandez-Cruz was working as executive chef at The Restaurant at The Cheshire, and he currently oversees operations at Washington University’s fine-dining restaurant, Ibby’s. In regards to his new position, Fernandez-Cruz said, “The place has such a history in St. Louis. The chef before was doing such great things. I want to make sure we are going in the same direction. The new restaurant in the basement will be a huge step for Winslow’s Home. I’m very very excited.”

Fernandez-Cruz will take the place of Cary McDowell, who is now working as executive chef for Gringo.

 

The Scoop: Chef shake-up at Euclid Hospitality Group, The Tavern

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

081513_stevenc{Steven Caravelli}

 

Steven Caravelli is no longer the corporate executive chef for Euclid Hospitality Group. Instead, you can find him in Valley Park at The Tavern Kitchen & Bar, holding the chef de cuisine post. Taking Caravelli’s place with Euclid Hospitality Group, owners of Pi Pizzeria locations in St. Louis and Washington D.C., as well as Gringo, will be Winslow’s Home exec chef Cary McDowell, as reported by St. Louis Magazine’s George Mahe. Euclid Hospitality Group owners Chris Sommers and Frank Ubile did not return The Scoop’s immediate requests for comment.

According to Caravelli, last weekend marked his final days at his former position, although he gave notice a month ago. Caravelli stated that his departure was amicable and driven by his desire to “get back to a single restaurant … I’ve been with [Euclid Hospitality Group] for two years, and it was a great experience. We opened three restaurants in two years. I’m exhausted.” He said that with two small children, working at just one restaurant would be “good for family time” and “finding balance.”

Regarding the The Tavern, Caravelli said he’s currently “digging in and training.” He expects to assume a larger role as The Tavern executive chef Justin Haifley (who placed third in this year’s Sauce Reader’s Choice poll category, “This chef really killed it this year.”) spends more time readying a sister restaurant, Cucina Pazzo, for a November opening.

-Photo by Carmen Troesser

 

 

That’s the Spirit: Barrels find a life outside the bar

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

 

Three years ago, Ted Kilgore let a cocktail age in a whiskey cask and served the city’s first barrel-aged cocktail at Taste six weeks later. Now that barrel-aged cocktails are on menus all over town, the aging craze has migrated out from behind the bar. Folks are dumping everything from maple syrup to milk into the cask and letting wood and time work their magic. The result: The same deep flavors, round notes, heady aroma and stunning color we expect in the glass are landing on our plates. Click here for the full story.

- Photo by Greg Rannells

 

Drink This Weekend Edition: Gringo drinking

Friday, May 17th, 2013

“We are red-blooded Americans serving authentic modern Mexican food with a twist. We are a handmade taco, small-batch craft beer and tequila restaurant in an environment best described as a re-imagined mid-century Baja surf lodge.”

This is the concept for Gringo, newly opened in the Central West End, as described on its website. So how does a place called Gringo approach Mexican drinks?

“I wanted to be true to origin and true to flavor. Those were my biggest drivers,” said Coby Arzola, Gringo senior general manager, who developed the drink menu.

It’s not a Mexican joint without a margarita – Gringo has this queen of Mexican cocktails available on tap but more interesting are the freshly made shaken ones. For a burst of bright color, get the Rosa Mexicana (pictured, above), which holds hibiscus-infused blanco tequila. The vibrant pink drink is accentuated by a gorgeous rim of dried hibiscus flower and sugar. When it comes to pure flavor, we’re all over the Tamarindo. Get past the murky, yellowish-brown hue, and enjoy what tamarind purée can do to a margarita: It lends a unique sweet-sour element and a thickened texture you don’t encounter often in a marg. Tajín, a seasoning made of ground chile peppers, salt and dehydrated lime juice that Mexican street vendors shake atop fruit cocktails, adds a nice touch to the salt rim.

Gringo keeps the cerveza culture alive with eight (mainly local) craft beers on tap and another half dozen south of the border brews in cans and bottles. If you want to go native, make it a michelada (pictured, above), a Mexican-style beer cocktail (and purported hangover cure). You’ll get a can of Tecate, a shot of house-made tomato sangrita (think V8 juice with a touch of fruit and chile heat) and a lime wedge. Pour the beer into a frosty mug, top it with the sangrita and then squeeze in the lime. Need more alcohol in that beer bloody mary? For an up-charge, you can float a shot of tequila or smoky mezcal on top.

Teetotalers and tots aren’t omitted from beverage fun. Gringo offers agua fresca, a traditional Mexican thirst quencher made with water and sugar and brightened with the flavor of fruits and flowers. The hibiscus-flavored Jamaica (pictured, below right) was reminiscent of lemon and berry iced tea, while the Pineapple-Chile agua fresca (pictured, below left), a seasonal offering, is a delicious balance of not-too-sweet and mild heat.

“People come to Mexican restaurants to celebrate. We wanted the drinks to be the same,” said Arzola, who also stocked the bar with a formidable line-up of tequilas and bottled Mexican sodas. Pair any sip with a basket of house-made tortillas and a bowl of fresh salsa, and the gringo fiesta has begun.

 

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