California-style street food abounds at Mission Taco Joint, which recently opened its seventh location in Kirkwood (joining other Joints in St. Louis’ Soulard, Central West End and West End neighborhoods, as well as in St. Charles, with two in Kansas City, Missouri).
The eatery, all of whose locations feature carryout and delivery with online ordering, comes from Tilford Restaurant Group, founded by brothers Jason and Adam Tilford; the Tilfords launched the original Delmar Loop Mission Taco Joint in March 2013.
Among menu mainstays, Baja fish tacos come as wood-fire-grilled or fried, topped with chipotle Baja sauce (a mix of sour cream, mayo, lime juice, cilantro, seafood seasoning and ancho chile), shredded cabbage, pico de gallo and queso fresco. Hot fried chicken tacos, another popular pick, feature crispy habanero-marinated chicken breast, cilantro-lime crema, shredded red cabbage and pickled tomatillo salsa.
Shareable appetizers include carne asada fries made of wood-fire-grilled flank steak, chile-crusted potato fries, Chihuahua cheese, guacamole, crema and pico de gallo. Another menu highlight, Mexican street corn fritters incorporate a topping of queso fresco and garlic-lime aioli.
Additional specialties include the Brah’rito with shredded beef birria (a spicy meat stew), pork belly carnitas, chile-crusted potato fries, smashed black beans and Chihuahua cheese, topped with guacamole and pico de gallo.
Taco kits from the eatery can feed a whole family. The build-your-own “taco party” comes with the diner’s choice of two proteins, 16 corn or flour tortillas and two sides. All orders come with pico de gallo, queso fresco, sour cream, salsa de árbol (a type of chile), shredded lettuce, pickled onions, and chips and salsa. Customers can choose from cochinita pibil (shredded pork), birria (shredded beef), grilled chicken, portobello, vegan taco “meat” and chorizo.
The Tilfords’ eatery otherwise offers its own bottled hot sauce to spice up any meal at home. Its habanero sauce, for instance, features layers of heat and sweet mango, while a serrano sauce infuses a fresh salsa verde with a hint of garlic and tangy heat.
Finally, house-made churros would nicely round out any Mission Taco Joint meal; crispy on the outside and soft in the center, the Mexican pastries come coated with cinnamon sugar and served with Mexican chocolate sauce. Also available are alcoholic drinks, among them margaritas, beer and shots to go.
Mission Taco Joint, multiple locations, missiontacojoint.com
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