“Traveling to Central West End of St. Louis is no cake walk, especially since you will be more than likely exhausted, sweaty, lost, and famished. Finding a good, quality place to eat is a challenge in a city where there are possibilities galore; lines of rows of brick buildings, each claiming to offer the best food,best price, best service . . . you get the picture. I happen to have a tip on this restaurant that was described to me as “a brunch place in the morning, and a Mexican restaurant at night.” Airing on the side of random, but seemingly too good to pass up, my friend and I took the suggestion/challenge, and decided to dine at Medianoche for our early dinner.
There is parking in back, but we chose to park on the street. Approaching the restaurant, I was pleased to see a small gated patio. Even though it ended up they were not seating the patio that day it was still a possibility that got me excited for my next dining experience, provided the food was worth it.
Walking in, I was pleasantly surprised at the atmosphere. It was clean, well-lit, and simple without being sterile. We were greeted by the host, a young man in casual, sharp plaid shirt, who led us to our table. The room was quite small, so we could see into the bar area, the entirety of the dining room, and into the kitchen from the moment we walked in the door. The attitude of each staff member was friendly, from the official greeting, to the “How’s it goin’?” from the sommelier/barista, to the head nod and smile from the kitchen staff. Once we were seated, our drink orders were quickly taken, and menus, chips, and fresh salsa were swiftly brought to our table. The menu was simple, traditional Mexican food, and yet somehow everything sounded appetizing. After a brief period of browsing, my friend and I both decided on carne asada tacos, which is basically the simplest form of meat “street tacos.” While waiting, a few other customers trickled in, and were greeted with the same enthusiasm and genuine smile that we were greeted with. The employees were sincerely pleased to have people come into their restaurant; a family member welcoming a friend into their house to share a meal with them. Within approximately eight minutes, were were served our tacos. Three iPhone- sized tacos, the filling of meat, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, and spices that can only be described in the onimonipias of yummy noises, each held in two flour tortillas. My companion, having been to Mexico and familiar with traditional Mexican cuisine, was surprised and pleased. “Oh, it really IS authentic Mexican!” She showed me how to delicately dump half of the contents of one taco into the outer tortilla to, essentially, have two tacos. Because six tacos is way better than three! The waiters were attentive, but not so much that they were smothering and we felt like we were being watched. The longer I sat at that table, the more I felt at home.
When, alas, we had to depart for the rest of our evening, I was still surprised that I only spent $8 the quality of food we were given. As we left and bid farewell to the staff, they again were friendly, laid back, and genuine. When they said, “Come back and see us,” they meant it. Stepping out into the sunny evening, I breathed a sigh of satisfaction. Medianoche had not only met my expectations, but they exceeded it in service, quality of food, atmosphere, and overall experience.
Yes, Medianoche, I think I will come back and see you. ”
Though you might enjoy that. What else might you enjoy? This lil’ precious.
Anyway, my mom, sister, grandma, six other vendors, and I teamed up this past weekend and hosted a bazaar at my parents’ house. People came and went from 9a-4p, and most of the time we had a full house! I sold specialty desserts (obviously), and had so much fun doing it! It was a great feeling being able to see the joy and smiles that these things brought to people. Sigh. This sort of thing might have to become a ritual.
Until next time, folks . . .
Thanks for your time. I appreciate the heck outta you.