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Mar 23, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘tacos’

The Scoop: Mission Taco Joint to open at the Streets of St. Charles, Tortillaria to close in CWE

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016



The fiesta is headed across the river as the Tilford Restaurant Group prepares to open its fourth area Mission Taco Joint at The Streets of St. Charles. The Streets of St. Charles is a walkable mixed-used development currently home to a movie theater, apartments and retail stores, as well as local and national chain restaurants. Mission Taco will be the first Mexican bar and eatery in this development when it opens in April or May of 2017.

“It took a lot of thought and was a good opportunity for us,” said co-owner Adam Tilford. “We had this chance to build everything from the ground up, like Soulard, which we renovated from a shell.”

Even though the building is new, both the menu and the vibe will be familiar to diners who have visited the Soulard, Central West End and Delmar locations. The new space will feature a 40-seat patio and 135-seat dining room, making the St. Charles restaurant the largest Mission Taco yet. Like in Soulard, a large garage door is planned as part of the facade.

The same menu of unique street tacos, burritos, tortas, starters and sides will be available along with house cocktails and beer. Mission Taco will be open for lunch and dinner, and it will offer its late-night happy hour for local revelers or movie-goers.

“We hope to bring another different option for Mexican cuisine,” said Tilford. “We’re not like other Mexican restaurants – we feel more like a bar that serves tacos and burritos. We want this to be a place where people can go for lunch or come in the evening, hang out and make a night out of it.”

The Tilfords are also working on construction on the group’s first Mission Taco in Kansas City, which is also slated to open in the spring 2017.

The arrival of this latest project heralds the end of their first. After 12 years, the brothers are closing Tortillaria Mexican Kitchen at 8½ S. Euclid Ave., in the Central West End. Its last day will be Jan. 15, 2017.

Tilford said the lease was up at the space, and careful thought, it was time to move forward. “It is the hardest decision that we’ve made. Jason and I laid the tile on the floor at Tortillaria 12 years ago,” he said. “We likened it to having a grandparent passing away in their 90s. It’s sad at first, but 12-plus years for a restaurant is a great run.”

Tilford said their other concept, Milagro Modern Mexican in Webster Groves, won’t see any changes. The brothers are focused on bolstering the Mission Taco Joint brand. “The concept has proven to be very popular, (and) we’re humbled by that,” he said. “We’re trying to gear for more growth.”


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


Editor’s Note: This Scoop was updated Dec. 20 at 12:45 p.m. to include information about Tortillaria’s closing. 

Catherine Klene contributed to this report. 


Meatless Monday: Tofu Tacos

Monday, September 12th, 2016



Don’t wait for Taco Tuesday. Spice up Tofu Tacos with Spanish paprika, chipotle and cumin and saute with crunchy pumpkin seeds. Bring the best picks of the farmers market together in a pico de gallo with ripe tomatoes, colorful bell peppers and crisp onions, then blend cilantro, lime juice and more pumpkin seeds for a refreshing salsa verde. Pile it all atop grilled tortillas and start the week right. Click here for the recipe.


-photo by Carmen Troesser

The Scoop: Fort Taco to open another location in St. Charles

Monday, June 27th, 2016



St. Charles will have a new fast and easy taco joint this summer. Fort Taco, slated to open July 1 will be located at 3788 Elm St., in the old Daylight Donuts space.

Co-owner Elizabeth Sedlock said there was high demand for the Mexican-American eatery. “We got tons of requests to open a location in St. Charles,” she said.

The menu will feature the same three signature items as the flagship location in Brentwood: a Puffer Taco (a fried flour shell filled with ground beef or chicken), an Enchee (an enchilada-like pocket stuffed with potatoes, peas and cheese) and a tamales with house-made masa, chicken and ancho chile sauce.

The 1,000-square-foot space holds 20 seats inside, while there are 16 seats available outside and a drive-thru. Fort Taco will be open Monday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. The drive-thru will be open until 10 p.m. in the summer through September.


The Scoop: Kalbi Taco Shack to come to Cherokee Street

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016




Combining Asian culinary roots with love of the established Mexican food scene on Cherokee Street, Sue Wong-Shackelford and husband Mark Shackelford plan to open Kalbi Taco Shack in late spring or early summer at 2301 Cherokee St.

Inspired by a trip to Los Angeles some years ago and her own upbringing with parents who both worked in the restaurant industry, Wong-Shackelford is looking forward to bringing pan-Asian cuisine with a Mexican twist to South City.

“I want people to experience all of the flavors and fresh ingredients and homemade sauces,” said Wong-Shackelford, who has worked with daughter Olivia Shackelford to develop the menu.

The counter-service eatery will feature build-your-own options where customers can choose from tortillas and breads from Cherokee Street vendors and add proteins like boneless short ribs, sweet and spicy chicken, pork or tofu. Toppings will include a house-made slaw of Napa cabbage with a tangy vinaigrette and a house-made aioli.

The space formerly housed a variety of retail businesses, so Wong-Shackelford said they are transforming it into a restaurant, adding a kitchen and dining room that will seat approximately 30, as well as a patio in back.


The Scoop: Kirkwood to see new taco restaurant

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016



Club Taco, a new taco restaurant opening at 200 N. Kirkwood Road, is slated to open in late spring or early summer 2016. The restaurant will be located in a former Petra space in Kirkwood and will feature a 20-taco menu, including both out-of-the-box and traditional options.

Chef-owner Gerard LaRuffa said once renovations are complete, the space will be able to accommodate around 45 guests inside and 55 to 60 on Club Taco’s 1,500-square-foot patio, which includes an enclosed four-seasons room. “Kirkwood is a very tightly knit community that supports itself,” he said. “Hopefully people will make us a part of their weekly routine.

LaRuffa said he plans to offer a variety of tacos representing different cuisines. Expect to see offerings like a Southern deep-fried chicken taco, roasted corn and a sweet pepper relish. Customers looking for more traditional south-of-the-border fare can pick from options like chicken tinga, pork carnitas or marinated steak.

Sides will include a street corn casserole, borracho black beans and a tater tot dish loaded with cheese, eggs and chiles. The eggs, turkey and chicken will all be sourced from Buttonwood Farms. Corn tortillas will be made in-house, while flour tortillas will be purchased.

LaRuffa is working with local breweries to determine the bottle-only selection at the bar. A cocktail menu and cold-pressed juices will also be available.


First Look: Yo! Salsa in Wentzville

Saturday, November 28th, 2015



Fans of Yo! Salsa food truck won’t have to stand shivering in a line at the curb this winter. The 3-year-old mobile eatery settled down and quietly opened a brick-and-mortar at 2 W. Pearce Blvd., in Wentzville at the end of October. Wanting to distinguish Yo! Salsa from traditional Mexican establishments, co-owner John Lutgen’s menu features 10 different tacos that come two per order. Four appetizers and five entrees round out the choices. The house margarita uses top-shelf ingredients including Sauza tequila and a Grand Marnier float, but the taquiera also offers bottled beer and two reds and two whites.

The newly renovated restaurant can accommodate 45 diners in the main dining room with room for another 24 on the soon-to-be-enclosed patio with heaters and will soon feature a bar. Taco Tuesdays and a happy hour are among the current special events at the brick-and-mortar.

The four-wheeled kitchen will still be out and about (mainly through pre-booked lunch appointments) in St. Louis and St. Charles counties. Yo! Salsa is open Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Here’s what to expect when you step inside:


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-photos by Michelle Volansky

Just Five: Slow-Roasted Pork Tacos

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015




We love visiting our friends in Iowa City, Iowa. After several hours in the car, they always have the Manhattans or martinis at the read, and they also manage to have amazing dinners waiting for us. Our most recent trip was no exception. We walked in to warm hugs, chilled martinis and a feast of pork tacos. If you want to gild the lily, quick pickle some red onions in white vinegar with bit of sugar and salt or add some sliced avocado. Note the lack of cheese: You won’t miss it.


Slow-Roasted Pork Tacos
4 to 6 servings

2 Tbsp. kosher salt
1 Tbsp. chipotle powder
1 3½-lb. pork shoulder roast
20 small corn tortillas
1 lime, cut into wedges
1 cup chopped cilantro

• Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Mix the salt and chipotle powder together in a small bowl, then rub it into the pork on all sides.
• Place the pork in a deep roasting pan with a lid, cover and bake 3½ to 4 hours, until it falls apart when you pierce it with a fork. Let rest 15 minutes.
• Meanwhile, warm the tortillas in a skillet over medium-high heat until soft. Place on a plate and cover with a towel to keep warm.
• Use 2 forks to shred the pork. Fill each tortilla with meat, garnish with cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice and serve immediately.

Prefer to set it and forget it? Make this in a slow cooker on low for 10 hours or high for 5 hours.

Meatless Monday: Fall Tacos

Monday, October 12th, 2015



If you started snatching up butternut squash the moment they hit produce stands, this vegan taco recipe is for you. Golden cubed butternut squash and leafy kale are sauteed with garlic and chili powder, then tucked into corn tortillas and topped with toasted pumpkin seeds. Top with vegan cheese or go the extra mile and DIY cashew crema by soaking raw nuts in water for an hour, then blitz with cumin and lime juice. Get the recipe here.


The Scoop: Seoul Taco to open first Illinois location in Champaign

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015



In three months, hungry Fighting Illini will have another way to get their Korean food fix. Owner David Choi announced that Seoul Taco will open its third brick-and-mortar location at 608 S. Sixth St., in Champaign, Illinois in January 2016.

Building on the success of its University City and Columbia, Missouri locations, Choi said he is ready to take on another college town. “It’s a vibrant campus town that already has Korean restaurants, so the flavors will be familiar,” he said.

The new space has downstairs and mezzanine levels that seat 100 people total. In the meantime, Choi said he will roll into Champaign with the Seoul Taco food truck prior to the January opening to introduce his Korean tacos, burritos and bowls.

-photo by Michelle Volansky 


Meatless Monday: Charred Zucchini Tacos

Monday, August 10th, 2015




In our unending quest to demolish the mountain of zucchini we’ve harvesting from our gardens, we’re dressing up Meatless Monday with Charred Zucchini Tacos. Corn, black beans and zucchini are charred in a skillet and tossed with onion, garlic and spicy jalapeno. Brighten things with a kick of lime juice, then spoon it into corn tortillas and top with avocado-lime salsa and crumbled feta cheese for a vegetarian taco night. Get the recipe here.

-photo by Carmen Troesser

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