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Jun 26, 2016
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Posts Tagged ‘Jason Tilford’

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.

 

021216_mission

 

{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

 

 

The Scoop: Mission Taco Joint adds a food truck to its ranks

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

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Adam Tilford knows how to take a hint. Enough people asked the co-owner of Mission Taco Joint how to rent the restaurant’s food truck – and were surprised when he told them there wasn’t one – that he figured it was time to hit the road. The new Mission Taco Joint food truck debuted yesterday, July 28, at the restaurant’s Soulard location.

The Tilford Restaurant Group opened Cater Al Fresco commissary kitchen last summer, and the availability of the new food-preparation space also prompted the food truck’s launch. Tilford said he anticipates that much of the truck’s business will come from complementing the company’s catering services at events, while street vending will be secondary.

There’s no set menu, Tilford said, but expect to see favorites from Mission Taco Joint, including three or four tacos, plus possibly a torta or burrito option and carne asada fries.

The truck may also serve as a test kitchen. “Jason and the team can try out new tacos and ideas,” Tilford said, referring to his brother and co-owner, Jason Tilford. “You’ll see some surprises we might run in a month (in the restaurant).”

Follow the truck’s whereabouts on Twitter at @mtj_mobile and on Facebook.

The Scoop: Tilfords sell Barrister’s in Clayton

Monday, July 6th, 2015

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Jason Tilford, co-owner and executive chef of Tilford Restaurant Group, and his wife, Colleen Tilford, have sold their interest in Barrister’s in Clayton. The new proprietors, Sam and Kristie Boctor, assumed ownership of the popular soccer pub, located at 7923 Forsyth Blvd., on July 1.

Tilford explained the sale means he can focus on growing the dining concepts that he owns with brother Adam Tilford. Those include Mission Taco Joint, Milagro Modern Mexican, Tortillaria Mexican Kitchen and Cater Al Fresco. Barrister’s was the only non-Mexican concept among the bunch, and Tilford felt the neighborhood bar “needs an owner-operator on-site,” which his busy schedule did not permit.

“It’s bittersweet,” he said. “It was my baby.” The Tilfords opened Barrister’s in 2004 at 15 N. Meramec Ave. They relocated it to its current location in 2013.

Soccer fans needn’t worry, though. The bar will still continue to show their favorite matches on TV. “There’s no need to change. We kept the staff. It’s just new management,” said Kristie Boctor, who was looking to purchase a turnkey bar operation with her husband. “After meeting Colleen and Jason, we knew we had similar styles. We loved what they’d done with the place. That’s the kind of place we wanted. Jason and Colleen had an image of a gastropub, and we really want to see that through.”

The Boctors both have experience in the hospitality industry. Sam Boctor’s 20-year career, primarily at the front of the house, includes stints at Algonquin Golf Club, Cardwell’s, Busch’s Grove, Monarch and Mosaic in Des Peres. Kristie Boctor has worked for several years as a meeting planner for an insurance company.

Barely a week into their new role as owners of Barrister’s, Boctor said they couldn’t be happier. Fans packed the house yesterday, July 5, to watch the U.S. Women’s National Team take home the World Cup. “There are passionate soccer people who know this bar. The intention is to keep it the same,” she said.

 

The Scoop: Mission Taco Joint to expand in The Loop and Soulard

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

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While Adam and Jason Tilford are currently in San Francisco gathering inspiration for their newest restaurant venture, this afternoon they took a moment to catch up with The Scoop.

The brothers announced that this coming January, the space next to Mission Taco Joint will open as an overflow bar, designed for people who are waiting for a table or waiting to pick up food.

Why more space?

When Mission first opened less than a year ago, the brothers weren’t quite expecting the level of success the restaurant has been experiencing. “We didn’t think we would have much use for this little space,” Adam said. “Our plan was to have a little bodega, a Mexican market with milk, tortillas and staples, but two things changed that.” He explained that with the new Washington University housing development going up across the street from Mission and a giant Global Foods going under it, there really wasn’t a need for the bodega concept.

So they came up with a better idea. “We go on a wait every night, but there’s nowhere to wait, so we had the idea to change the bodega to a waiting bar,” Adam said. At the waiting bar, there will be 10 to 12 beers available by the can and bottle and a handful of cocktails. The bar, with the look of a beach taco stand with its corrugated tin roof, will also be a drink lab, of sorts – a place for the bartenders to experiment with new ideas. “Jimmy and Kyle [Mission’s bar manager and assistant bar manager] are really excited about it,” Adam said.

In addition to expanding next door, Mission Taco will also be expanding across town with another location at 908 Lafayette Ave., in Soulard.

As first reported by Ian Froeb of the Post-Dispatch, Adam signed the lease for the new space on Monday.

The Tilfords told The Scoop that the concept will pretty much be the same as the existing Mission. There will not be a take-out window though, and no patio seating. “It will have about 120 or 130 seats inside,” Adam said. “It also has a big garage door – a faux four seasons patio, and the door can go up.”

Along with the space and the location, the Tilfords are excited to be so close to iTap, where patrons will be able to order and carry-in Mission food. “We are right around the corner. Our back doors meet,” Jason said.

Look for the new Mission location to open in late spring.

— photo by Michelle Volansky

Hit List: Two new restaurants to try this month

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013



{John Perkins}

A Good Man is Hard to Find: 360 N. Boyle Ave., St. Louis, 314.632.6754, entrestl.com/presents

If you’ve ever had John Perkins’ food, you know that it is as creative as the ways he delivers it – from his Entre Underground dinners to his first chicken-themed pop-up, Le Coq, this past winter. So hurry up and snag a seat at his newest pop-up, a southern-comfort concept named after the classic Flannery O’Connor short story. Start with a basket of house-baked bread, then bask in the supporting characters – from the pickled beet terrine with goat cheese and blood orange to the jarred sides of house-brined pickles, spiced nuts, sunchoke relish and chow-chow (a low-country mustard-based staple). When you finish off your entree with a blueberry buckle, order it topped with a scoop of buttermilk ice cream, a slightly sour foil to the sweet, juicy berries. This short story ends on Derby Day, so better crack it open soon.



Mission Taco Joint: 
6235 Delmar Blvd., The Loop, 314.932.5430, missiontacostl.com

From Adam and Jason Tilford, the busy brothers behind Milagro Modern Mexican, Barrister’s and Tortillaria Mexican Kitchen, comes this über casual ode to the taquerias dotting San Francisco’s Mission district. Seat yourself, then go with the a la carte tacos, wrapped in house-made tortillas and served with a bowl of onions, cilantro and hunks of lime for the squeezing. Brave souls should try the extra-fiery Nopales Taco (That’s Spanish for cactus.), while carnivores who can’t pass on pork belly will enjoy the crispy bits crumbled atop the tender Roasted Duck Tacos. The bar is in the creative and capable hands of Sanctuaria alum Joel Clark, who opted against an obvious tequila-heavy theme (There’s just one, solid margarita.) in favor of unique bottles like Blackwell Jamaican rum and Del Maguey Single Village mezcals. Sip apricot-heavy The Chaplinesque or place a pint glass under one of the 10 local taps.

– photos by Jonathan Gayman and Carmen Troesser

Keeping Up With Jason Tilford

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013



Part of Jason Tilford’s job is bouncing between the four restaurants he co-owns with his brother, Adam – Barrister’s, Tortillaria Mexican Kitchen, Milagro Modern Mexican and the newly opened Mission Taco Joint – and the nine others he consults on with buddy Chris LaRocca. With temptations of onion rings, burritos and margaritas galore, he’d have to be battery-operated not to get real fat, real fast. Yet he’s one of the slimmest chefs in the business. Sure, he has guilty pleasures – Barrister’s wings and Milagro’s chicken enchiladas to name a few – but Tilford has found a way to keep the extra pounds at bay, even while working the line. We begged him for his tricks for staying balanced in the most gluttonous profession around. He was happy to oblige.

Eat well, but eat often.
I hardly ever sit down with a plate of food. I eat a lot, but mainly small meals, all day. I try not to eat late at night. I try to skip the sweets and fried food. It’s funny; when you get into a routine, you crave eating healthy, almost. You get so used to it that eventually that Alfredo cream sauce doesn’t even look good.

Mix it up.
I play soccer, but it’s tailed down a lot since I turned 40. I also do some weight training and flexibility stuff. I’m trying to get into yoga, but it might be too boring for me. And I coach my son’s soccer team.

Hit the gym early.
I have to get my kids to school by 7:30 a.m., and the restaurant stuff doesn’t really wake up until 9. If I don’t go in the morning, usually, it’s not going to happen.

If work starts calling?
[Laughs] I can answer the first couple texts and emails of the day on the treadmill.

If you miss the morning window?
I go to Club Fitness and there’s one near my house, one between Milagro and Barrister’s, one near my sons’ school. They’re all in my rat race. There’s even one near Restaurant Depot [a purchasing center for restaurants].

 — photo by Ashley Gieseking, shot on location at Sweat.

Sneak Peek: Mission Taco Joint

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

 

Mssion Taco Joint is expected to open to the public any day now. While brothers and co-owners Adam and Jason Tilford shared details about the menu a few weeks ago, we’ve been itching to see some of those words on paper become edible. Yesterday, the Tilford brothers (who also own Barrister’s, Tortillaria Mexican Kitchen and Milagro Modern Mexican) gave Sauce a taste of what customers will encounter when they order fare from St. Louis’ newest taco joint. The restaurant, located at 6235 Delmar Blvd., in The Loop, has not announced its opening date. Watch for that news to be posted in The Scoop in the next week or so. When doors do open, hours will be Tuesday through Sunday from 4 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. For a sneak peek of what you’ll find at Mission Taco Joint, head on over to our Facebook page.

— Photo by Michelle Volansky

The Scoop: It’s nearly mission accomplished for Mission Taco

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Last summer, restaurateurs Adam and Jason Tilford announced their plans to open Mission Taco Joint. Renovations are moving along inside the former home of Delmar Lounge at 6235 Delmar Blvd., and the Tilford brothers are aiming to unlock doors during the last week of February.

With opening day just weeks away, Jason gave The Scoop a peek at a draft version of the food menu he developed. The tightly focused menu begins with a handful of shared appetizers. Highlights include crab taquitos as well as roasted mushrooms with huitlachoche, goat cheese and arugula presented in a fried corn masa base called a huarache. A la carte tacos include popular choices such as baja fish and carne asada, but Mission gets creative with quite a few others, such as the chile-roasted duck with crisp pork belly and avocado serrano sauce. The menu also beckons for vegetarians with options like a roasted cactus taco or one featuring the local product Mofu tofu. The restaurant will feature giant Mission-style burritos wrapped in house-made tortillas, plus tortas served on telera rolls from Diana’s Bakery. Diners looking for a square meal can round things out with side dishes like fire-grilled vegetable quinoa and chayote calabacitas.

Joel Clark, who recently departed from Sanctuaria, will be helming the beverage program. Clark stated that the bar at Mission Taco Joint will be “a very culinary bar,” explaining that “as many fresh ingredients the kitchen is going to get, I’m going to get the same.” The focus on fresh will be seen in the likes of numerous flavors of agua fresca and horchata, available in virgin form or as alcoholic beverages. In addition, he plans on aligning beverages – not just cocktails, but also beer and wine – with the food. “I’m going to work really closely with the kitchen,” he commented. Clark, who’s been part of a local movement in progressive bartending, plans to continue in that direction, preparing house-made ingredients like syrups and shrubs (No flavored vodkas, sorry.) and noted that the Mission bartending crew will be quite capable of crafting classic cocktails. “I want [the bar] to be an extension of [the kitchen] as well as a bar on its own,” Clark said.

The Scoop: Tilford Bros. to open late-night taco joint in former Delmar Lounge space in The Loop

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Adam and Jason Tilford have a project in the works: a late-night taco joint located in The Loop at 6235 Delmar Blvd., in the space previously occupied by the recently shuttered Delmar Lounge. The Tilford brothers are the owners of Milagro Modern MexicanTortillaria and Barrister’s.

The restaurant, whose working name is Mission, will be “a twist on an urban taquería,” Adam explained. “It will be a cool bar where you go and hang out and, while you’re there, you can eat Mexican food.” The menu will consist of some eight to 10 tacos – ranging from the typical fish taco to atypical options like tofu or roasted mushroom tacos to suit vegetarians and vegans. There will also be Mission-style burritos, tortas and shared appetizers called botanas, plus sides like charro beans and off-the-cobb street corn. Managing the beverage program will be Lawrence Ballard, who recently came aboard as bar manager at Milagro and, coincidently, worked at Delmar Lounge for a few years.

The restaurant takes its inspiration from The Mission district in San Francisco (pictured), which Adam likened to “San Francisco’s Cherokee Street, if you will” – for its breadth of taquerías as well as “cool bars and hip, edgy feel.” He noted that giant Mission burritos hail from the district and added that diners will be able to watch as the kitchen staff makes fresh tortillas for those burritos on the tortilla press. “It’s one of the visual things people don’t usually see,” he noted. Since murals are prevalent throughout The Mission district, Adam is considering adding that touch of décor as well.

Upon taking possession of the space, which Adam expects to occur on October 1, the interior will undergo a renovation, including a complete overhaul of the kitchen. Working with Adam on the design is Space Architecture + Design, the architectural firm that also recently completed a renovation at Milagro. Adam hopes to open the eatery in early 2013, with plans to initially operate during dinner and late-night hours, extending to lunch hours soon afterward.

 

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