On my work trip to St. Louis some friends/co-workers had found a Mexican restaurant- Mission Taco Joint- that they really wanted to check out. I’m not sure if they Googled top restaurants in St. Louis or found it on Yelp, but for some reason they really wanted to go. At the top of Mission’s menu was carne asada fries, which is one of my favorite things in the world. It combines all of my favorite foods together- potatoes, steak, cheese, and sour cream. What’s not to like? I don’t see it very often outside of San Diego though, so this would be a major treat. Unfortunately we were car-less and the restaurant was a 25 minute drive away. Seemed a little too far to cab it there and back on our first night. However, it was just off the St. Louis Metrolink on the way back to the airport, so we decided to visit on our last day.
We woke up our last day and some of us were a little worse for the wear after the closing celebration of the conference the night before. We had a late breakfast and then made a plan for the day. Two of my friends were flying out the earliest at 3:30 PM. We made plans to leave the hotel at noon and get on the Metrolink. All went well, despite people struggling just a bit. However, along the way one of my friends realized her flight was actually at 2:45 PM…
Due to my grandfather, my family is always on time in general and we especially are very early to the airport. I personally always hate the lack of control one has on their time going through security. The few times I have shown up to the airport less than an hour and a half before my flight I swear check-in and/or security have gone ridiculously slow. I prefer to get there at least two hours in advance and be able to relax. So this change in our schedule made me a bit nervous for my friend. I asked her how early she liked to be at the airport and she wasn’t worried. So we continued with our plan…
We got off the Metrolink and made our way to the restaurant. It wasn’t that long of a walk (about 7-8 minutes), but we we did have luggage, so it wasn’t the most convenient. Despite me being a bit worried about time, it was cool to check out another St. Louis neighborhood. As I mentioned in an earlier post, St. Louis’ downtown seemed to be a little dead a lot of the time, even right around the Arch. I wasn’t in St. Louis for long, but I got the impression that it has a number of neighborhoods that are busier and have a lot of stuff going on. Mission Taco Joint was in the Delmar Loop, just north of Washington University. There were a lot of restaurants and shops along with a lot of buildings with character, as well as a new apartment building across the street from Mission (supposedly filled with a lot of students).
Despite being a little chilly, we sat outside so we didn’t have to worry about maneuvering the suitcases around inside. Given that we had a late breakfast and some people were still struggling, we all weren’t crazy hungry. We absolutely had to get the carne asada fries and then we also got an order of the chips and salsa. I also got two tacos- the beef brisket and the carne asada. A friend also got the fish tacos.
While we were waiting I noticed from the menu that they have another location in Soulard, which was only about a mile and a half for our hotel! We hadn’t found it when we Googled Mission Taco Joint at the beginning of our trip, because otherwise we would have probably gone our first night (although we were very happy with Pi Pizza). Since I was still nervous about the time, I definitely thought aw shucks in learning about another location.
The carne asada fries came out first. A difference from the carne asada fries I’ve had in SoCal was that these fries were chill crusted. It gave it a different flavor, but certainly a delicious one! Other than that it was everything I love- french fries, steak, gooey cheese, and sour cream. I wasn’t crazy hungry after breakfast, but I enjoyed these a lot (as did my friends who aren’t vegetarians). By the time the tacos came out I was pretty stuffed and a lot more nervous about the time, since it was getting close to 1:45 (an hour before my friend’s flight). I ate pretty quick and my friend got her tacos to go. The tortillas were house-made and delicious. Both the tortilla itself and the meat/fillings were fresh and high quality. I liked the sauces/salsas and flavor combinations in both tacos. I just wish I had a chance to enjoy them a little bit more and not be so distracted.
Since it didn’t seem smart time-wise to walk back to the Metrolink and get on the train (although it wasn’t that long of a ride), we went looking for a cab. We thought to open the Uber app and found one (Uber Black) just two or three minutes away. Unfortunately, the driver had some trouble finding us at first (maybe because we were just kind of standing on the sidewalk in the middle of the street). We got in and found ourselves taking a somewhat slow, kind of nerve-wracking trip to the airport. My friend also could not check-in online as it wouldn’t assign her a seat… We got there around 2:10 or 2:15. My friend rushed in and got checked in and they luckily let her try and run for it (hesitantly). At the St. Louis airport security is on the first floor and you can see a lot of it through windows from the check-in area a floor above. I saw from above that there was amazingly no line and she luckily got through quickly and made her flight. So it was a lot of stress (I think more on me than her) to try those carne asada fries! So all was well, except for the fact I was 4 hours early for my flight and the Alaska Airlines counter didn’t open for another hour…
Since it all worked out, I will say that the carne asada fries were worth the stop (and worth a stop anytime you’re not trying to make a flight in an hour and a half). The tacos were also delicious with the house made tortillas and quality fillings. I just wish I hadn’t eaten them so distractedly. If you’re in St. Louis and looking for Mexican I’d give Mission Taco two thumbs up!
Mission Taco- 6235 Delmar Blvd. St. Louis, MO (other location in Soulard)
The Delmar Loop neighborhood
The carne asada fries (look at that melted cheese, the fries, the sour cream! mmm)
The brisket and carne asada tacos