Arzolas Fajitas + Margaritas Experience Summary
We had a good time at Arzolas on Saturday night before going to an escape room in Soulard.
It wasn't a standout in really any direction for me, except for price. It was the most expensive Mexican food we've had in St. Louis. Even more expensive than El Burro Loco, which I thought was kind of strange, considering we were in Benton Park, which didn't seem like a particularly fancy neighborhood.
One set of fajitas ran you over $28, compared to $23 at El Burro Loco or $13.99 at Tacqueria Durango.
Arzolas is not your typical kitschy, loud Mexican hole-in-the-wall. It's fine-dining Mexican for adults. Think of a true sit-down restaurant for a date night and the premium prices that go with it.
The Food At Arzolas Fajitas + Margaritas
I got too wrapped up in the conversation and forgot to take pictures post-guac - my bad.
Starting at the start, the chips were free and unlimited. They were very good, crisp, thin, and salty, with a hint of spice. I gave them a 7.6/10, second best so far in St. Louis.
There was no complimentary salsa. Salsa would have set the table back $5+ dollars, so we didn't get any.
As we'll start to see, Arzolas is a bit like ordering premium television back in the day; every add-on is extra.
Next up was the guac, which has a daily "market" rate. That would have made more sense to me two years ago when avocados went from $ 1 each at Costco to $ 4 each, but those Covid supply chain issues have been resolved. Not sure why today it costs $8 for a serving, but let me know how much it is when you go.
It had a kick like the chips but tasted fresh, smooth, and delicious. Definitely, on par with all the other guacamole I've had in the city the past couple of months. There were some grumblings about the spice level at the table, but it didn't phase me at all.
On to the main course, the namesake fajitas. They were scrumptious. The steak was juicy and plump, and so was the chicken. We accidentally got extra poblanos that were smokey and flavorful, but I would probably skip them next time.
I say accidental poblanos because when the server asked if we wanted poblanos, I assumed she was confirming for the sake of the order/spice level, not because they were extra. Turns out, that was another $2.75 I didn't notice until right now looking at the menu and receipt again.
My wife said these fajitas are better than the ones at Taqueria Durango but not as good as El Burro Loco's. I agreed with the El Burro Loco half because I haven't had Durango's.
These fajitas were still yummers.
We were able to order a half-and-half order of chicken and steak, which was nifty, but they charged us the full steak price.
Therefore, the fajitas were $31.50 all in for one large serving because we paid for HBO and Showtime and forgot to cancel after the first month.
Because it was so expensive, I split one with my wife, which I'm known to do. I could have put away one order by myself, but there was enough food between that and the order of guacamole and chips.
We went through six baskets of chips between the six of us over the almost two hours we were there.
Some people nurse margaritas, we nursed chips… and other drinks.
They offer big margarita pitchers for the table that we didn't get. Instead, everyone but me got cocktails for standard cocktail pricing of maybe $10 to $14 per drink. I had to stay sharp for the escape room, so no alcohol allowed.
The one complaint I heard throughout the meal, from the chips to the tacos, was that things were too spicy. I thought the guac had a little kick, but it was like a nice kick. Same thing with the fajitas; a little spice, but nothing that I would have thought to mention. However, my wife mentioned the spice, and everyone at the table beside me talked about the level of their spicy food.
Be aware that there's spice coming your way if you come here.
Overall, I thought the food was good to great. My wife said she would go back if she were in the area. I would probably not just because of the price.
You can get cheaper Mexican food across the whole city, so I imagine there's a cheaper place nearby with similar levels of quality.
I wouldn't personally pay a premium for Arzolas again.
Arzolas Fajitas + Margaritas Atmosphere And Miscellaneous
Arzolas had a very fun, very trendy atmosphere. Unlike your standard hole-in-the-wall Mexican place made for kids with Mexican artifacts and decorations, Arzolas is date night fancy.
This is very much an adult Mexican restaurant.
You're there for the food and drink more than the festive atmosphere or having an abuela cook the food for you in the back.
I would not bring kids, and I wouldn't go with a group of kids like you would intentionally do at almost every other Mexican restaurant I've ever been to.
The server was incredibly helpful and attentive. My friends were joking that they had to pee a lot because she kept filling up the water when it was half full. Combined with the slightly spicey everything, you had to drink a lot.
That's a happy "problem" to have, and the waitress communicated well with us the whole time because we were staying longer to hang out and talk. They never made us feel rushed, although we would have been happy to leave earlier if they had been busier that night.
We did not have a reservation for 6 p.m. on a Saturday, but the six of us just walked right in and sat down. I planned to use the online waitlist, but it never got going.
I got the impression from reviews and the website that they were constantly crowded. So, I was worried about making a reservation or getting on the waitlist via their website. It turned out that you'd need to put down a $10/person deposit for the reservation, so that wasn't going to happen with the flexibility of our group.
For a group of six or more, they have a set 20% gratuity for a party, but then after the check, they ask for more gratuity - like three, five, or seven percent more on top. I thought they had great service, but no way am I adding a bigger tip on top of a default tip. Lucky for them and me, my buddy gave them an extra 7%.
That means we averaged 3.5%, and he made us look good even though I was being cheap.
Parking At Arzolas Fajitas + Margaritas
We parked on the street in Benton Hill without issue. Again, it was 6 p.m. on a Saturday, and there were blocks and blocks of open street parking.
Arzolas Fajitas + Margaritas Receipt