El Jarocho Serves Up Street Tacos In St. Louis Valley Park

After nearly three decades of running El Nopal Mexican Restaurant, Miguel and Nikky Cortez opened a Mexican store, El Jarocho ( 25 Stonegate Center).

This low-key spot offers traditional street tacos using corn tortillas, and quality meats. Nikky says that while some might feel our prices are higher than other taquerias or restaurants, we spend a lot more to source high-quality meat and pay more than most taco spots. That’s what makes us different.”

The beef options are more impressive than the pork options like al pastor and carnitas. barbacoa is the flagship. Slow-cooked meat retains its barbacoa char but is tender. Miguel uses the shoulder, while many taquerias prefer brisket. Double-stacked corn tortillas are used to perfectly accompany the meat.

Are you feeling adventurous? Take a look at the cow tongue tacos. Lengua, one of the most delicious and unctuous parts of the cow is cut into perfectly marbled and dice-sized pieces. It illustrates the benefits of whole-animal cuisine.

There are three sauces available: red, avocado and Verde. Each leaf has a unique spice that will complement the fat and acid in your meal. You can pair it with a refreshing drink from the cooler, or freshly made fruit water (we recommend the watermelon).

The Carne Asada torta is one of the most popular in St. Louis. This one includes seasoned beef cuts, queso from Oaxaca, and soft telera rolls.

Breakfast burritos – as heavy as a small dumbbell but as delicious as any St. Louis quick breakfast – are available all day. The chorizo is served with a satisfying mix of rice, eggs, and black beans in soft flour tortillas. Salsa would be just gilding your lily.

El Jarocho, despite its relative youth, has evolved into exactly what its owners had envisioned. A casual market and restaurant, where Nikky said people can “come to relax with their family and friends and feel at home.”