Review Preview: Vida Mexican Kitchen y Cantina and Arcelia's

by

comment
Tacos at Vida Mexican Kitchen y Cantina - REASE KIRCHNER
  • Rease Kirchner
  • Tacos at Vida Mexican Kitchen y Cantina

After six years, this gig still manages to surprise me.

This week might seem like a no-brainer. On the one hand, you have the return of a beloved St. Louis restaurant: Arcelia's (1928 South 12th Street; 314-241-1378).

On the other hand, you have a chain Mexican restaurant in a shopping mall: Vida Mexican Kitchen y Cantina (at St. Louis Galleria, South Brentwood Boulevard & Clayton Road, Richmond Heights; 314-863-1150).

See Also: - "Arcelia's to Reopen in New Location in Soulard" - "First Look: Vida Mexican Kitchen y Cantina Opens in the St. Louis Galleria"

What's more, Vida has the same corporate parent as its next-door neighbor at St. Louis Galleria, Blackfinn American Grille, a restaurant I found, to be kind, aggressively underwhelming.

Funny thing, though. American's understanding of and appreciation for Mexican cuisine has evolved a great deal in recent years -- and it continues to evolve. And while Vida likely isn't a restaurant for those of you who already have a favorite taqueria and own the entire library of Rick Bayless and Diana Kennedy cookbooks, for a chain restaurant in a shopping mall, it's positively progressive.

As for Arcelia's, nostalgia has a powerful hold. But is that hold enough tosustain you through a meal? Visit Gut Check tomorrow to read my review.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.