• Quench your summer thirst with horchata! The authentic Mexican cinnamon rice milk is served over ice in a huge plastic tumbler at the Tower Tacos Mexican restaurant at 3147 Cherokee St. FERNANDO DE LA TORRE and his fiancée Andrea opened the six-table joint at the beginning of June. The long menu has 16 combination plates for $6.75; specialty dishes such as fish fajitas and chicken with chorizo and pineapple top out at $15. On the weekend, they serve menudo (spicy soup) and posole (pork and hominy stew with red chiles)!

• The small ‘2 by 6 Bar’ sign hanging at 6th & Lucas Restaurant pays homage to the carpentry work of owner TERRY SCHOTTES, who built all the tables and chairs in the place with 2 by 6 lumber. The top of the 60-foot bar came from a bowling alley, and the cavernous space has a 250-person capacity; 100 years ago, it was a saddlery. Manager LEYNA DRAZEN says the bar and grill restaurant should be open by the end of the month, serving lunch and dinner six days a week and breakfast during the work week.

Fair St. Louis…LIVE OFF the Levee has teamed with Wachovia Securities and Sauce Magazine to offer St. Louisans the rare opportunity of fine prix fixe dining on the streets of downtown St. Louis. For five consecutive Saturday nights this summer, you can have an al fresco dinner enhanced with live music and fireworks at The Sauce Cafe. There will be two seatings each night at the cafe at Soldier’s Memorial at Olive and 15th, three courses for $30. First up on July 5 is the Skybox Sports Bar and Grill paired with the neo-soul sound of Anthony Hamilton. Go to www.celebratestlouis.org to learn the other dates, restaurants, and entertainment combos and to make your reservations.

• If you were a fan of the Grateful Inn in Maplewood, you may know GREG PEREZ. The chef/owner created a number of menu items that included hemp seed oil for novelty and nutritional reasons. It’s his hemp oil vinaigrette that has been Greg’s sole focus since closing the Inn. A bottle of Greg’s Hemp Oil Vinaigrette landed in the Spicy Bits mailbox at Ladue News, along with a brochure explaining the heath benefits of hemp oil (“a more balanced fatty acid ratio with a higher Omega-3 than other oils”). I was surprised and delighted by its nutty aroma, as well as its bright flavor when paired simply with farmer’s market tomatoes. You can purchase it at Whole Foods or learn more about hemp oil and order the vinaigrette online at www.gregshempoilvin.com.

Mazara Bistro owner MINDY SCIALES has her fingers crossed that her new restaurant will open before the end of the month. Located at 7923 Forsyth Blvd. in Clayton, Mazara’s Mediterranean menu will emphasize Southern Italian cuisine. Tony Hudson will be the general manager; he was misidentified in the June 13 Spicy Bits.

Got something for Spicy Bits? Write to Amy Peck Abraham at spicybits@laduenews.com.

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