Archive for the ‘Food’ Category


La Vallesana

January 19, 2010

Today, for the third time in a week or two, I decided to run down to Cherokee Street for a Torta and a Mexican Coke at La Vallesana.

Half of a Torta de Pollo

The radishes, carrots and jalapeños provide for a spicy accompaniment to a very spicy meal (even without the red or green sauce which spice it up exponentially).  I have been coming here regularly since I read several glowing reviews of this “Taco Stand” in the summer of 2008 (starting with this Sauce Magazine article).  I was initially drawn in by descriptions of “Tacos al Pastor” which combine pork and pineapple to create utter deliciousness, but recently it is the Tortas which have kept me coming back.

La Vallesana - Cherokee and California


Grand Center Restaurants

December 22, 2009

Today I noticed on Sauce Magazine’s blog that a new Restaurant is to take over for Reggie’s Backstage at 522 North Grand in Grand Center.  This would be the third restaurant to move into this location since I was really introduced to Grand Center about 3 or 4 years ago.  I remember when the Tuxedo room opened (Late 2006) it seemed to be such a great thing for the neighborhood.

The Tuxedo Room

It was one less vacant storefront on a stretch of Grand that should be full of life.  Unfortunately, The Tuxedo Room did not last long.  I ate there once and was very unimpressed with the food (apparently I wasn’t the only one), so when it closed I hoped that was the reason.  Then Reggie’s Backstage moved in and seemed to be doing alright.  Their operating schedule was still based almost solely off that of the Fox Theatre, but the Fox really does bring most of the traffic into the area.  When I saw a sign on the door this summer saying that it was “temporarily closed” I wanted to stay optimistic but couldn’t help but worry.  Did Reggie not learn from the mistakes of Mr. Tuxedo?  Today I did some Google searches and found that Reggie’s had planned to close for 3 months and then reopen as an R&B venue but sadly something must have prevented this from happening. I hope the St. Louis Rhythm & Blues Preservation Society can still accomplish their goals and would love to see them reappear in Grand Center.

Grand Center Spring 2008

Luckily there are more optimistic St. Louisans willing to give this excellent location another chance and I wish Kota Wood Fire Grill success.  I hope they keep the Reggie’s Backstage sign up (unless they get a new one of their own!), but it is sad to see that the sign was only relevant for a short amount of time.  I think this will be a great opportunity for Grand Center to really take off.  The renovation of the Woolworth’s building appears to be a huge success and the murals on the Metropolitan Building really make the block seem more friendly.

Murals on the Metropolitan Building

In addition to Kota opening up, we also have The City Diner at the Fox which should be open by the end of the year in the Humboldt Building.  These new restaurants on Grand, along with delicious anchor of the block that is The Best Steakhouse, will provide for a diverse and delicious variety of dining options.  Now all we need is something to replace W. M. Shakespeare’s Gastropub in the location formerly occupied by Gary’s Restaurant.  Maybe another Art Gallery?

Update:  Grand Center now has a website for its restaurants!  But where is it listing the Best Steak House?