The Crossroads' Mission Taco Joint is Something to Taco 'Bout
Here's everything you need to know about the Crossroads' Mission Taco Joint.
bbq duck taco (left) and dmango-hop-anero shrimp taco (right)
FROM ST. LOUIS WITH LOVE
In 2015, brothers Adam and Jason Tilford announced plans to bring their popular St. Louis taqueria, Mission Taco Joint, to Kansas City. Two years later, the location in the Crossroads Arts District finally opened in August. So far, so good: the Crossroads neighborhood was ready for some “Mexicali” cuisine — as the Tilfords refer to their mash-up menu — and the late-night happy hour, featuring $2 tacos starting at 10 p.m., is a welcome option.
If you’re expecting a scoop of school cafeteria ground beef inside one of those corn tortilla shells, Mission Taco Joint is not the place for you (and if one of those sad plates is really what you crave, maybe just keep that information to yourself). The nine options on the taco menu get a little more creative: You’ll love the slow-roasted BBQ duck, mixed with a little pork belly carnitas for extra flavor and drizzled with a heady ancho-agave glaze. And don’t miss the Mango-Hop-Anero tacos, featuring shrimp battered with 4 Hands Incarnation IPA and slathered with mango salsa. There are a couple inventive meatless options, too — the vegan Cho-Fu taco is made with soy chorizo, and it’s hard to imagine a better complement to wood-fired portobello mushrooms than tangy goat cheese and a jalapeño aioli. All these, plus more traditional birria and carne asada options, are served in Mission Taco Joint’s homemade corn tortillas.
NEW YEARS RESOLUTION BURRITO
TORTAS, BURRITOS AND CHURROS, OH MY!
Tacos are the obvious choice — it’s in the name, after all — but it would be a mistake to overlook the rest of Mission Taco Joint’s menu. Go big with the Brah’rito, featuring carne asada, chipotle bacon and chile-crusted potato fries, or be responsible and opt for the New Years Resolution burrito, a veggie-pleasing assembly of portobello mushrooms, black beans and quinoa on a whole-wheat tortilla. The tortas pay homage to traditional Mexican sandwiches, and the Milanesa is a recipe not often found this far north of the border: chicken breast is tenderized, breaded and lightly fried, then layered between soft white bread with avocado, black beans, Chihuahua cheese, lime aioli and a cilantro-pepita pesto. Want dessert? There’s only one option, and it’s the only one you’ll need: deep-fried churros, a cinnamon-sugar doughnut to end all donuts.
You’ll need something to wash down your meal, and bar director Jenn Tosatto has crafted a signature cocktail menu that is every bit as satisfactory as the food. You can’t go wrong with the classic Mission margarita, but why not give the mezcal margarita a whirl? Tequila’s smoky, grown-up cousin adds a surprising new dimension to an old recipe. Tosatto’s Peru Libre mashes cultures with pisco (a Peruvian rum), lime, vanilla syrup, cherry bark bitters and Mexican coke. There are several “beertails,” from the Michelada to the more unexpected Beer’s Knees (Kona Longboard Lager, gin, lemon and agave syrup). Really in the mood to celebrate? Choose from one of six classic Tiki cocktails like the Zombie, the Painkiller or the Mai Tai.
MAS CERVEZA, POR FAVOR
If the idea of tequila brings up some unpleasant college-era memories for you, fret not: There’s plenty of beer to choose from — and not just at Mission Taco Joint. One stop over, International Tap House is in the same building — indeed, it shares the same bathrooms. Another St. Louis import, this brew hall has more than 50 beers on tap from all around the world — but no food menu. Instead, guests are encouraged to order tacos to-go from Mission Taco Joint and bring them to the other side. What a partnership.
403 E. 18th St., Kansas City, Mo., (816) 844-3707, missiontacojoint.com