As reported by Feast in October, Tazé Mediterranean Street Food will open its first location in downtown St. Louis’ Mercantile Exchange Building soon. The fast-casual concept, which gets its name from the Turkish word for "fresh," features build-your-own-style meals featuring traditional Mediterranean cooking techniques and recipes — some plucked straight from the streets in the Middle East.

To ensure the most authentic dining experience possible, co-owner Justin Roth and chef Matt Borchardt — who previously served as the culinary director at L’Ecole Culinaire — traveled through eight countries in thirteen days including Morocco and Turkey to learn the tricks of the trade. Roth spearheads Tazé with his twin brother, Casey.

Behind the line, patrons can watch the majority of their meals get assembled in real time. The open kitchen contains two vertical broilers spinning cones of tender, marinated meats as well as a stone hearth pita oven and a tandoor oven. Its cylindrical, clay construction gets its radiant heat from a smoldering flame — the inspiration for the concept’s logo as well as the dining room’s color scheme.

SPACE Architecture + Design creates a cozy but contemporary look for the 3,400-square-foot room, combining natural wood and saffron-inspired colors with the stainless steel of the open kitchen. In the dining room, visitors can catch the game on two projector TVs as well as partake in a local art competition that pits two pieces against each other each month or so in the name of charity. 

A personalized Tazé meal ($8.95) begins with an option of housemade pita or a bowl filled with saffron rice, romaine lettuce or mixed greens. Top it with chicken or beef and lamb gyro; chicken, beef or pork kebab; or veggie options: portabella and falafel. Sauces include green chutney, mango and harissa and dressings include olives, pepperoncini and feta. To complete the platter, choose from a dozen sides and several hummus options.

French fries, chick pea salad, baba ganoush round out the available side dishes, plus a couple of family recipes from Justin Roth’s Turkish grandmother-in-law: cous cous salad and stuffed grape leaves. Flavored hummus options include caramelized onion and balsamic, jalapeno cilantro and rotating selections such as roasted red pepper.

There are still more menu items to choose from like salads, a la carte hummus and falafel, desserts (think Greek yogurt popsicles) and a small plate happy hour menu featuring fried stuffed olives, flatbreads and more. From the drink menu, Tazé will offer six local craft beers on tap and some additional options in bottles. The wine program will include six red, six white and two sparkling varieties to choose from.

Tazé Mediterranean Street Food is slated to open this month, offering lunch and dinner seven days a week as well as happy hour from 4pm until close. Additional locations with the same concept are projected to open within the next six months to a year.

Tazé Mediterranean Street Food, 626 Washington Ave. #103, Downtown, St. Louis, Missouri, 314.753.4604, tazestreetfood.com.


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