Street tacos at Thurman's In Shaw | Sara Graham
Thurman’s in Shaw (4069 Shenandoah Avenue, 314-696-2784) opened in September 2016, a retooled version of the neighborhood eatery that under a previous owner was known as Thurman's Grill. At the time, it offered bar food favorites — burgers, fries and cold beer. But last month, owner Doug Fowler took the plunge on a new vision inspired by the easy-to-port food enjoyed by people on the go on the streets of Mexico.
Fowler explains, “You can get a good burger in a lot of places in St. Louis.” He'd been thinking about a pivot to Mexican street food for a while, saying he recognizes its popularity and also likes its fast-casual nature. “People eat, drink, order more to eat, drink and order more," he says.
Fowler's new menu features seven items that are already a hit with his longtime customers: chips and salsa, guacamole, street tacos, a giant burrito, tostadas, queso con chorizo and Mexican street corn.
Both the spicy red and green salsas are made in-house; the green is noticeably spicier. The guacamole is whipped smooth. Both are paired with freshly made yellow corn tortilla chips.
Chips and guacamole | Sara Graham
Tacos are available with three options: chicken marinated in a tomatillo “ancient voodoo sauce,” carne asada or tilapia served in soft, warm, white corn tortillas. A twelve-inch giant burrito is stuffed with the diner’s choice of any combination of lettuce, carne asada, beans, salsa, guacamole, grilled chicken, fish, corn or a vegetable mix.
Crispy tostadas are topped with beans, lettuce, guacamole, grilled onions and peppers and sour cream. Spicy queso con chorizo is made in-house and served with chips. The Mexican street corn is grilled with fresh lime and mayonnaise, cut off the cob and dressed with queso fresco in the bowl.
Also debuting in January was a craft cocktail list headlined by margaritas made with fresh lemon and lime juice and agave syrup — no mixes here. The lineup also includes a stout bloody mary, a Moscow mule
, a classic Manhattan and five cocktails featuring shrubs made by St. Louis-based Heirloom Bottling Company. The bar also offers a hefty whiskey selection.
The beer list includes local, small craft brews as well as Mexican beer and a unique collection of sour beers. Oh yeah, and Stag is on tap. On the first Friday of each month, local beer distributor Craft Republic takes over the taps, featuring a new beer each month.
Topo Chico sparkling water, which is enjoying a bit of a cult following at the moment, is also a new offering.
What hasn’t changed is the live jazz on Thursday, Friday and
Saturday nights featuring the Adam Maness Trio, the Kendrick Smith Trio’s Friday Night Jazz Lab and the David Stone Trio, respectively. The bar’s stage showcases a 1914 Steinway piano and, reputably
, the only other house drum kit outside of Jazz at the Bistro.
Thurman’s in Shaw is open Tuesday through Thursday from 4 p.m. until 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. until 1:30 a.m.
Scroll down for additional photos of the food and space.
Softly lit tables | Sara Graham
Street corn | Sara Graham
Follow Sara Graham on Instagram and Twitter at @engagetaste. E-mail the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1914 Steinway piano on stage ready for live jazz | Sara Graham