Casa del Mar Grand Fiesta Weekend!

Casa del Mar at the St. Louis Galleria is having a Grand Fiesta this weekend. The event celebrates the restaurant’s new decor and a newly updated menu.

photo-423From Friday, August 28, through Sunday, August 30, guests can enjoy Casa del Mar’s “Limit 2” Margaritas for half price. (They’re called “Limit 2” because they are potent.)

Casa del Mar is also offering a free appetizer to diners who purchase two entrées during this weekend’s Grand Fiesta.

CDM enchinladasAmong the items I enjoyed at a tasting event this week were the Lobster and Shrimp Enchiladas, Steak Fajitas, Shrimp Quesadillas and Spinach and Mushroom Enchiladas. Casa del Mar describes their offerings as “traditional Mexican food as well as Tex-Mex fare with a twist.”

photo-424Street and Beach Taco choices include Fish, Chicken, Lobster, Beef, Shrimp and Carnitas.

CDM tacosGuacamole is prepared tableside at Casa del Mar by your server who includes a large number of ingredients. Let her/him know if you prefer your guac smooth or chunky.

CDM guacCasa del Mar is run by the same folks who’ve had a long-running success with the Canyon Cafe at Plaza Frontenac. Casa del Mar opened in November 2014 at the north end of the Galleria, next to Dillard’s. The restaurant has entrances from the mall and from the parking lot.

photo-425 photo-426Among the new visuals at Casa del Mar is the distinctive eye mural from local artist Peat Wolleager, seen above in the bar area.

To make reservations for the Grand Fiesta weekend at Casa del Mar, call 314-725-3700. Casa del Mar is open from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (Except Fridays and Saturdays when they remain open until 9:30 p.m.)

To visit Casa del Mar online, click HERE. To find them on Facebook, click HERE.


I WANT GUAC! (Super Bowl food)

It’s not quite the tradition that Susan Stamberg’s Cranberry Relish recipe was each Thanksgiving back in her heyday on NPR’s All Things Considered, but…

I have shared this bit of audio (from 2002 when I was on mornings at WIL) several times just ahead of Super Bowl games. It’s a guacamole recipe from a chef at the former Casa Gallardo Grill at the Galleria. (That spot is now occupied by Urban Outfitters.)

Guacamole 2015

My wife Jo-Ellen, who makes a killer guac, also chimes in with her best tip.

If you, like me, believe that guacamole is a must for the Super Bowl, whether you have dozens of guests or you’re watching the game by yourself, listen to this clip (runs 3:27) and take notes!

Go Seahawks!

Super Bowl—Guacamole Time!

In the 90’s and early ’00’s, my wife and I enjoyed many meals at the former Casa Grill in the St. Louis Galleria. (That mall space is now occupied by Urban Outfitters.)

One of the things we liked was the way they made their guacamole at your table. That way we knew it was fresh. They prepared it in a stone bowl, like the one in this pic. It was a bit of a chore for the server, so we always tipped generously.

Guac Pic

In 2002, a few days before the Spygate-tainted Super Bowl XXXVI, I visited Casa Grill and talked to chef Fernando about guacamole preparation.

The next day, my morning radio show partners and I (on WIL) shared his guacamole guidance with listeners. We then dialed up my wife to get her guacamole tips. We called her live, right in the middle of her morning trek on the treadmill.

Click on the arrow to listen to the segment. If you’re making guacamole Sunday, you’ll get some useful input! It runs 3:27.

On Super Bowl Sunday 2002, my wife’s guacamole was delicious! But the game (Patriots 20, Rams 17) left a horrible taste in my mouth.

My Wife’s Guacamole Recipe


8 ripe avocados

1 large red onion

2 garlic cloves

3 large tomatoes

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. black pepper

Juice of 2 lemons or ¼ cup of Real Lemon juice

Cilantro (one bunch)

1 tablespoon of chopped jalapeno peppers


Cut avocados in half, remove pit and scoop avocado out of shells and put into a bowl.

Chop red onions, garlic and jalapenos.

Cut an x across the bottom of the tomatoes and place into a pot of boiling water for 20 to 30 seconds. Remove from water, run cold water over tomatoes and place on chopping board.

Peel skin off tomatoes and then cut into quarters. Remove seeds, rinse, then chop into small pieces.

Using a whisk, mash avocados lightly, stir lemon juice into avocado mix. Add onions, garlic, jalapenos and tomatoes. Add salt and pepper (to taste) Fold everything together.

Chop cilantro and add to the mix or serve on the side.


Food Talk STL is coming—Saturday!

The first Food Talk STL show on 590-The Fan, KFNS is set for Saturday, February 4, 11:00 a.m. to noon. (Live online stream available at

I’ll chat with St. Louis chef/restaurant owner Jim Fiala. His restaurants are The Crossing, Liluma and Acero. And Liluma’s Side Door.

Making guacamole for your “Big Game” party? A couple of useful guac tips will be shared on show #1.

Which food shows on TV should you be watching? Of the many that are on TV, which are the best? We’ll discuss.

What’s on the restaurant horizon in STL? Despite the economy, new places are opening all the time. We’ll tip you to some you’ll want to watch for.

Do you drink local craft beers? New players are popping up in town all the time. We’ll talk with a guy who has just jumped into the STL beer scene.

Also, a quick word about a new family film opening this weekend, “Big Miracle.”

Please spread the word about our new Food Talk STL show. And follow the show on Twitter @FoodTalkSTL.

—–David Craig