the cochinita pibil features achiote- and citrus-roasted pork, citrus-macerated onion and ground habanero. photo by adam rothbarth

First Look: Sureste at City Foundry in St. Louis

Regional Mexican cuisine has been seeing a renaissance lately in St. Louis, and chef Alex Henry’s new City Foundry STL (3730 Foundry Way) restaurant, Sureste, is an exciting addition. Henry previously served as head chef at Cleveland-Heath and Nixta and has cooked at restaurants like Vicia and Brasserie, but this is his first solo spot.  

Sureste is chef Alex Henry’s first restaurant as owner. // photo by Adam Rothbarth

“The concept is southeastern Mexican cuisine, like Yucatan, but using ingredients available in St. Louis, with a few exceptions,” Henry explained, adding that the menu would be seasonally based and would rotate frequently. Indeed, at Sureste local ingredients are key: Whole pigs come from Rensing Hog Farms, while tomatoes are sources from Tony’s Family Farms. Fresh corn is ground in-house for tortillas. 

One centerpiece of the menu is Henry’s cochinita pibil, a pulled pork dish traditionally cooked in the ground and served with tortillas. “But they wouldn’t let me dig a hole in City Foundry,” Henry said, laughing. Sureste will also offer chilmole, a dark mole dish that uses burnt peppers and spices; the chilmole will come with turkey, pork meatballs and a hard-boiled egg. The toksel features toasted lima beans cooked in a cast-iron skillet, though the dish usually has chefs cooking using hot rocks. “The health department wouldn’t let me cook with rocks,” Henry pointed out with another laugh.

The Colado-pork tamale features a soft masa, pork, tomato and tomato sauce cooked in a banana leaf and served with fresh, house-made tortillas. // photo by Adam Rothbarth

Dips include guacamole, frijol colado and sikil pak; Sureste will also offer tamales and ceviche options. A few traditional beverages will be available, including a coconut- and rice-based agua fresca called horchata de coco.  

The restaurant will be open for breakfast from 9 to 11 a.m. and for lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day but Tuesday.