This place transported me to the streets of Latin America.
Mayo Ketchup sits just across from one of the most picturesque parks in St. Louis, Lafayette Park. Emily and I dream of promenading through this park in our finest Victorian garb; it is so stunning. And yet, smack in this French oasis is Mayo Ketchup, a fast and casual Puerto Rican, Dominican and Cuban food café.
You order at the counter and are handed a number before you take your seat at the plethora of open tables. As i was leaving, I noticed they had a full back room downstairs, in addition to the seating at the front and the outdoor patio tables, making this a great location for larger groups.
Their menu and portions are just as extensive, offering everything from empanadas and apps, to massive sandwiches such as the Mojo Grilled Chicken I ordered, and bowls of Ropa Vieja or Pollo Guisado. The menu spans some of the best Latin American food you can imagine, making every choice difficult, but rewarding. After years abroad, I've come to learn that you cannot leave an establishment like this without two things: tostones and maduros. Tostones are fried green plantains that are somehow better than any French fry, whereas maduros are the fried sweet plantains, which remain unparalleled. Trust me, you need both and Mayo Ketchup will not let you down. They came out piping hot, fresh and are what dreams are made of. (You think I am exaggerating, but I am not.)
Staff brought the food right to my table and bussed it when I was finished. They offer both dine in or carry out options, so it could be a perfect spot to pick up on your way into the park.
The staff was helpful and friendly, making this entire experience a no brainer, Mayo Ketchup is a new favorite and I will be stopping in again soon.