Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Canyon Cafe at the La-Di-Du Mall

Being a proper gourmand, I headed to Plaza Frontenac's Sur La Table to stock up on kitchen goodies (don't tell a foodie that an herb keeper is not a necessity!). Since I rarely venture out to West County, I thought I'd take advantage of the situation and try the fish tacos at the mall's Canyon Cafe. Serving up Southwestern cuisine, they had two fishy menu options to taste (good thing I brought along a friend!).

The blackened fish tacos come in two colorful crisp taco shells and are topped with chipotle mayonnaise; a crisp Margarita slaw, pico de gallo and fresh limes come on the side. The tacos are served with southwest rice and black beans and are priced at two for $10.95. The fish was excellently prepared and had a lot of flavor. The sauce was tangy and wonderful, but the tacos could have used more of it. I might be a purist, but I was not crazy about the hard taco shells; they did not leave a lot of room for the pico de gallo and slaw. The pico de gallo was tasty but light on the jalapeño. And although we appreciated that the slaw was vinegar-based, it could have used more of it. The beans were decent but unimpressive, and the rice was disappointingly crunchy and undercooked.

The Shrimp Margarita Soft Tacos come in colorful warm tortillas (one corn and one flour). As with the fish tacos, you get two for $10.95. The lightly battered shrimp is topped with a Baja sauce and a crisp Margarita slaw; southwest rice and black beans come on the side. The shrimp was perfectly cooked and seasoned. The tacos were garnished with a firm and crumbly cotija cheese. Here too, the sauce was great but short on quantity.

Overall, the presentation of both was really nice. The blue, yellow, and orange tortillas added a bit of festivity. The same colors and variety were also present in the complimentary basket of chips, which came with a mild salsa. The service was a little lacking, as we had to hunt someone down for a salsa refill. The atmosphere had a suburban feel to it, but it was comfy. At the end of your meal, they bring you homemade white chocolate wrapped in tamale, very refreshing. So the next time you're at the La-Di-Du mall, give these fishy delights a try!

Plaza Frontenac
1707 S. Lindbergh Blvd.
Saint Louis, MO 63131
(314) 872-3443


3.5 out of 5 fishies.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Fish Tacos at the Zoo

The Painted Giraffe cafeteria is located at the North Entrance of the Saint Louis Zoo. Aside from serving your standard cafeteria grub, they offer up a daily special, which just so happened to be fish tacos today. The fish was a battered haddock fried until golden brown, topped with lettuce and Pico de Gallo, all wrapped up in a flour tortilla. The tacos came with chipotle aioli, cole slaw and fries on the side. Most of us switched the latter for a side of mac n' cheese, not that it made any more culinary sense. The fish was quite tasty for cafeteria food, and had a nice crispness to it. The sauce was tangy and flavorful; a splash of Tabasco kicked up the hotness ratio. The Painted Giraffe used to serve these with a side of black bean salad, which added an interesting flavor when thrown in the fish tacos.... bringing that back would earn these another fishy for sure!

Saint Louis Zoo
One Government Drive
Saint Louis, MO 63110
(314) 781-0900

2.5 out of 5 fishies.