Sunday, January 30, 2011

Flaco's Cocina

I had being hearing about some great fish tacos from my friends so I had to go and check it out for myself. Flaco’s Cocina (http://flacoscocina.com/) has a great location at 170 and Delmar and you can’t miss the rainbow-colored patio area, which is heated in the winter.

Anyway, I was dead set on having fish tacos but I immediately got tripped up over the appetizers. For a split second, I almost went with an appetizer meal…one of each please: crab cakes, seared tuna, baked goat cheese, hot crab dip, and mussels. But I was good and stayed on my true path. I am thinking that I need to round up some friends and make it a “tapas” night.

Flaco’s has a lengthy menu and I am a sucker for seafood. There are a couple of shrimp and lobster dishes, but I finally made it to the taco section of the menu, only to find out that there are quite a few to select from and was feeling a bit overwhelmed. There are five different kinds of fish tacos as well as a couple types of chicken, beef, tofu, and veggie tacos. Tacos I had never even heard of! But I was fortunate in that I was sitting at the bar and was able to get some personal advice from an off-duty server.

Her recommendation was the tempura baja and the seared tuna fish tacos. The baja came with chunks of mango on top but both tacos tasted light and sweet. Both tacos came piled high with pico de gallo and sauce, so I expected to be wearing most of the taco home with me. The soft taco shells held up well and I barely spilled at all.

I was also told that Flaco’s has “killer drinks” and I figured I would probably have to break down and have a margarita instead of sticking with my safe, favorite Mexican beers. I went with a Raspberry Margarita so I could still have something fruity although the Sangria drink looked really tasty as well. A bar neighbor was on her third or fourth so I know they went down easy.

This is definitely someplace I plan on going back to but be aware that it’s pretty small inside. There are maybe only eight tables so they rely on the outside seating on busy nights. The bar has quite a few seats too so it’s a good place to sit if it’s crowded. Luckily, Flaco’s takes reservations so you can ensure you get a spot.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

1111 Mississippi

I finally made it over to 1111 Mississippi which is a popular, trendy restaurant in St. Louis City. It had been on my list ever since I went to Vin de Set, which I believe is owned by the same management. I couldn’t help but take a sneak peak of their menu here (http://www.1111-m.com/menus.html) before I went.

I was tempted to start with a cheese course and since it is a Tuscan-themed restaurant they had Italian cheeses: fontina, gorgonzola, tallegio, and pecorino.

Instead I went with the sautéed crab cakes as a starter, which is one of my personal favorite foods, and it was mixed with a thyme remoulade and mango chutney. The fish and sweet flavor combination was excellent. Just wish they could have been a little bigger.

Then instead of salad, I tried the butternut squash soup, again one of my favorites. So smooth and creamy – great for wintertime. I was almost full by the time the main course arrived so I knew I would need to box up half for another time.

Since it was a special occasion, I went with the grilled beef tenderloin medallions with mashed potatoes, broccoli, and sangiovese demi glace. The glace tasted like a heavy plum sauce and overwhelmed the meat and broccoli. I probably would have been happy without it. I also got to taste the trout and I thought it was a little bland.

I think the next time I go, I’ll just order several appetizers a la tapas style since there were a few others I wanted to try. That would leave more room for dessert! The gooey butter cake was delicious!

And for tradition's sake, I went with a glass of their house Riesling…luckily a German Riesling.