A community of St. Louis drinkers was surely surprised when news broke that plans might be in the works to demolish an after-bar staple, the midtown Del Taco (212 South Grand Boulevard; 314-534-1424). Gut Check reported yesterday that developer Rick Yackey has plans to tear down the spaceship-shaped taco joint to build a strip mall. For all the potentially bereft South Grand bar hoppers and SLU bros on the market for a new place to binge on greasy food after last call, here are Gut Check's suggestions.
5. White Castle The Del Taco on Grand closely resembles a flying saucer -- yes, even when you're sober. There might not be another fast-food restaurant that looks quite as out-of-this-world, but after a few beers, the next best thing is to travel back in time and visit a kingdom straight out of King Arthur's court. Get thyself to ye olde White Castle and pick up a Crave Case! Exercise caution: The 30-slider meal will seem like a good idea at the time, but it will be a royal pain in the morning.
4. A Gas Station Because the endangered spacecraft was originally a Phillips 66, it'd be only fitting to pay homage to Del Taco by picking up something to eat at a gas station. If you're a fan of the eatery's cuisine and you're in the neighborhood, there might even be some greasy taquitos with your name on 'em at the Shell station across the street.
3. Tiffany's Original Diner When nighttime imbibing carries into the wee hours of the morning, an early breakfast can be just the ticket to stave off a trip to Hangoverville. Doing the whole "Breakfast at Tiffany's" thing and going to town on an order of hotcakes at Tiffany's Original Diner (7402 Manchester Road, Maplewood; 314-644-0929) will keep you occupied until you're drunk no more. Really, anyplace that serves pancakes will do; those fluffy little guys are good at sopping up alcohol: Uncle Bill's, IHOP and Denny's are all fair game.
2. Other vaguely Hispanic fast food joints If Texican is your go-to after knocking back a few, at least you have options. Del Taco is midway between two Qdoba Mexican Grills (on Lindell and on South Grand), and although there aren't any Taco Bells in this neck of the woods, Jack in the Box offers possibly the world's greasiest taco -- perfect post-cocktail fare.
1. The Richmond Heights Del Taco When the others just won't cut it, there's always the other Del Taco (1033 McCausland Avenue, Richmond Heights; 314-644-2615) . It's not in a "historic" building right out of a 1960s acid flashback, but there'll probably be fewer drunken SLU kids between you and your fourth meal.