Mexican Restaurant Padrinos Serves Tex-Mex, Street Tacos & More in Greater South St. Louis | Food

Story and photos by Mabel Suen

In September, Mexican restaurant Padrinos debuted in the northeast corner of St. Louis’ Tower Grove South neighborhood with Tex-Mex, street tacos, and California-inspired Mexican food.

The restaurant comes from the husband and wife duo Enrique and Christina Robles, with Ciro Trapala and Rafa Rosas. Christina Robles is originally from southern Illinois, while her husband – who previously co-owned La Catrina in the Southampton neighborhood of St. Louis – grew up in Veracruz, Mexico. Trapala and Rosas share duties as chefs in the kitchen of Padrinos, and although they are both from central Mexico, they resided in California until recently.

“I think it’s easy to say that this has been a dream for all of us at some point in our lives,” said Christina Robles. “Enrique, Ciro and Rafa each have over 10 years of experience in cooking and recipe development. Our food comes with a lot of love; we take a lot of pride and passion in what we do.

Padrinos – which means “godfathers and godmothers” in Spanish – occupies the approximately 2,500 square feet of space previously occupied by part of Mangia Italiano. During renovations, its walls received new coats of vibrant yellow and red paint and were embellished with Mexican artwork (as well as TVs). The restaurant’s menu includes everything from tacos and burritos to enchiladas and fajitas.


“We have a lot of Tex-Mex favorites that people enjoy,” Robles continues. “On top of that, we’ve introduced crispy California-style tacos to the area. Tortillas are filled with chicken or beef and are grilled on the comal, or a flat iron skillet, until crispy – like a taco salad shell. “

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