St. Louis’ go-to spot for Austin-style Tex Mex recently got a whole lot bigger. Taco Circus, which originally debuted in 2015, has relocated to Lindenwood Park, opening its doors on Sept. 9. The concept shifts its focus from fast-casual taqueria to a full-service experience with an expanded comfort food menu and brand-new bar program. 

“The original Taco Circus was a counter-service taqueria strictly highlighting perfectly executed proteins. The new one [is] that but much more of a sit-down experience with Tex-Mex combo plates. We’ll still be focusing on executing those proteins perfectly and can also take care of vegetarians a lot more,” owner Christian Ethridge says. “We’re also making our own corn and flour tortillas, which is a huge deal because freshly made, pillowy flour tortillas are unsurpassed.”

As reported by Feast in April, Ethridge partners with Sean Baltzell and Casey Colgan (both of Parlor and the upcoming Takashima Records) on the new venture. The full-service restaurant fills the approximately 2,500-square-foot space previously occupied by Three Flags Tavern, featuring psychedelic environs filled with Ethridge’s colorful collectibles. In the kitchen, Ethridge works with a team including kitchen manager Cesar Correa, formerly of Nixta, to carry out an elaborate menu of offerings.

“We have more Mexican Americans along with myself from different areas, so now we are bringing regionalism into the fold, which is very much at the core of Tex-Mex – taking the best aspects of regional Mexican cuisine and folding it into comfort food,” Ethridge says.

Highlights from the menu include the Mexican Flag Burrito with an extra-large, 12-inch tortilla stuffed with your choice of chicken, pork steak, ground beef, Match Meat picadillo, skirt steak, al pastor or brisket. The burrito comes smothered in queso blanco, salsa verde and salsa roja and served with rice and pinto or refried beans on a bed of chips.

Another large-plate highlight is Taco Stadium – dubbed the “biggest plate of tacos you have ever seen.” The family-style platter comes with your choice of 20 or 30 tacos for four to six people with a plate of garnish: lettuce, tomato, cheese, sour cream, avocado, escabeche, chile toreados, queso, a flight of salsa, a bowl of rice and a bowl of beans.

Kingshighway Tacos, or extra-large tacos served a la carte on flour tortillas – or corn if requested – include options such as the signature Willie Nelson with marinated, char-grilled skirt steak and Monterey Jack cheese.

To drink, choose from options including housemade horchata; draft, canned and bottled beer; and cocktails such as the Purple Margarita with overproof tequila, Plantation OFTD, lemon, sugar and cassis.

“We’re looking forward to introducing Taco Circus to a wider audience now that we’re centralized and really become the go-to place for highly executed Tex-Mex comfort food in the city,” Ethridge says. “It’s a really great venue for people to build memories with their friends and family.”

Taco Circus is now open for dinner Tuesday through Thursday from 5 to 11pm, Friday through Saturday from 5pm to 1:30am and Sunday from 5 to 11pm.

Taco Circus, 4940 Southwest Ave., Southwest Garden, St. Louis, Missouri, 314.899.0061, tacocircus.com

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