As I continue my Exploring St. Louis One Meal at a Time series, today I’m sharing my dinner experience at Mission Taco Joint in Soulard.
I’ve been wanting to try this popular Mexican restaurant ever since they opened in The Loop in early 2013, but somehow I never made it over there. As much as I love the Loop, I’m not a fan of the lack of easy parking there, so I tend limit my visits to The Loop for lunch and in the summer.
When my friend Mitch called and suggested we grab dinner at Mission Taco Joint’s new location in Soulard which opened in August, I quickly said yes.
While I’m sure the restaurant owners wish there was a line out the door, I was thrilled when we showed up at this new restaurant on a Friday night at 6 PM and were immediately seated. Granted, it was Halloween night. The restaurant is probably busier on a weekend when they don’t have to compete with Halloween parties and trick or treating activities.
We asked our very helpful waiter Drew, and he said that they are still building their clientele, and you can definitely get seated faster at the Soulard location than in The Loop.
The building itself adds to the dining experience.
During warm weather months, the garage door will be opened to offer diners the feel of sitting outside on a patio while they are actually inside the restaurant.
The restaurant is divided in half by a wall that is open on both ends. The bar is on one side and tables are on the other, with more tables at the back of the restaurant.
There’s also a fun mural on the back wall to capture the California Mission District atmosphere.
Described as MexiCali street food on Mission Taco’s Facebook page, the paper tri-fold menu is what I would expect in a place like this. Prices are reasonable and everything is served a la cart. I like that I get to pick the sides I want and could even order appetizers instead of side dishes if I wanted to.
I did a little research on Yelp before I got there and everyone said the burritos were huge. So, I decided to go with 3 tacos so I could try more menu items.
I couldn’t resist the special of the day taco (left) which was vegetarian with sweet potatoes, pepitas, pickled onions and avocado in a blue corn tortilla. I have to admit that while it was good, I probably wouldn’t order this one again. Everything in the taco was soft and spurted out the sides as held the taco in the middle. The tortilla also didn’t compare to their house made regular corn tortillas.
The other two tacos were highly recommended by Yelp reviewers, and I really liked them both. The middle taco is the Beef Brisket Birria taco and the one on the right is the Yucatecan Pork taco. I don’t like a lot of heat in my food so I had the brisket’s fiery arbol sauce on the side, and I’m glad I did. Way too hot for me…but perfect for someone who is a hot sauce fan.
The reviews were correct about the burritos being great but huge. Mitch ordered a South Beach grilled chicken burrito and he loved it, but was stuffed when he finished it.
Or course, we also ordered some appetizers and sides.
We started with guacamole and chips. I highly recommend starting your meal this way.
I ordered the cilantro rice for my side.
Eh. Probably my least favorite thing of the meal. I didn’t taste the cilantro at all. It wasn’t bad, but didn’t have any flavor punch that I expected.
Mitch ordered the Street Corn “off the cob” and let me share it with him. Now this was amazing!
This creamy corn has cheese on top, but what makes it really amazing is the grill flavor embedded into the corn.
Of course, we can’t forget the drinks.
Mission Taco Joint specializes in craft beer and unique cocktails.
I ordered a draft stout beer that our waiter recommended. I really wish I could remember what it was but I have such a terrible memory for beer names.
He brought me a small sample so I could check it out before I ordered it. It wasn’t all that long ago when I was drinking only Bud Light or pale ales. If I could develop a palate for more flavorful beers, you can to. Go ahead and be adventurous…try something new with a free sample before you order that beer you always get.
Have you eaten at Mission Taco Joint?
What are your favorites on their menu?