San Luis may boast one of the largest indoor spider plants in the city. Its base rests in the window, and its arms reach up to the ceiling as they embrace the primary-colored dining room. But, that’s not all this little place has to offer—it also has a huge menu, pleasant service and cheap eats.
The decor of the restaurant, though, is something of a wonder. Red and yellow walls play brightly off of a blue floor—it feels a bit like a kindergarten playroom. On the walls hang traditional Mexican and Spanish paintings, as well as a poster of a '50s diner, a Saturday Evening Post cover and several incarnations of the Virgin Mary. Above the freestanding beer cooler (which also holds salsa and desserts) stands a large statue of a matador alongside a stuffed deer head.
While the sights of the place might be unconventional, rest assured that where it truly matters, the food, San Luis keeps it traditional. Everything on the menu—from tostadas for $2 to the fried red snapper for $12.95—could be found at any Mexican taqueria worth its margarita salt. The chilaquiles ($5.95) are a house specialty—you’ll have your choice of red or green. Though green tastes less spicy than the red, if you have tender taste buds, you'll still want to request an additional side of sour cream to tone down the kick or a margarita to wash it down.
The dining room seats just a handful of people—it seems a fair share of business is carryout. Stick around and you’ll have to listen to Mexican soap operas or other Spanish-language television. If you look closely, you'll find a fully stocked jukebox lost in the bric-a-brac and, tucked away in a nook, two arcade games: Fruit Bonus 96 and Cherry Master 96.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Christy Bonstell