Tres Equis in Tower Grove South launches new food program
Tres Equis at 3169 Morgan Ford Road launched a new food program four months after Locoz Tacoz left the bar kitchen. The Tower Grove South bar has now integrated kitchen management to unveil a new menu of kebabs, falafels, burgers and tacos.
Tres Equis is owned by the same team as neighboring football pub Amsterdam Tavern, and customers can order food from Tres Equis to take over from its sister pub. Co-owner Jeff Lyell said getting the kitchen back up and running was a key step forward for Tres Equis. “Tres has to open the kitchen to let people in,” Lyell said. “It is not yet established. Amsterdam could go on in perpetuity without anything else and that would be fine, but here we really had to have food.
Lyell and co-owner Matt Stelzer spent a month dining in town for inspiration. “I would get bread from different Bosnian bakeries, buy different gyros and buy different kebabs,” Lyell said. “Gravois up and down locations are basically where we did our homework for this part.”
They knew they weren’t trying to reinvent the wheel. They needed food that their customers – not just at Tres Equis, but also at sister pub Amsterdam Tavern – would appreciate. Another priority was to provide food that can be comfortably held and eaten while watching football and other sports in two bars known to get packed during big games.
“We thought, ‘Why don’t we just do the things we love here,’ like the gyros, the chicken skewers, the burgers, the fries, and the wings,” Lyell said. “And find someone who can do it really well for us. It just seemed easier to do it ourselves than to keep looking and waiting.
Lyell and his partners brought in chefs Emmy Anguyo and Jeff Robinson to run the kitchen at Tres Equis. Anguyo and Robinson previously cooked at Dam, which until May 2022 served Belgian-style burgers and fries from the space between Amsterdam Tavern and Tres Equis. Incidentally, this space is set to reopen shortly, with new tenant Sando Shack serving Japanese-inspired katsu sandwiches.
“We don’t do really hard things, just do them really well, take time and give it some attention,” Lyell said. “That’s all you need. We don’t want to have 50 items on the menu. We just want to have six or seven good ones.
Among the signature additions to the menu are the generously proportioned kebabs. Customers can build their own kebab, choosing from 8 ounces of roast chicken or beef and lamb and a selection of toppings: red onion, red cabbage, lettuce, tomatoes, pickled cucumber, feta, and yogurt sauce. garlic. Ingredients are piled on fresh, spongy pita bread from Cham Bakery.
The pita is flexible enough that you can wrap your kebab for convenient eating, and best of all, it’s structurally sound – this kebab won’t get soggy or disintegrate in your hands. If you like a falafel instead of kebab meat, the build-your-own falafel sandwiches offer the same menu of toppings, this time with three fried falafels.
The selection of burgers continues with the formula to create yourself. Choose from one, two, or three 3-ounce patties, then add your favorite burger toppings: five different types of cheese, plus lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and pickles. There are also three specialty burgers, a grilled cheese and a BLT, the latter two served on sourdough.
Rounding out the menu of dishes, you can have a pound of wings, tossed in with a dry BBQ rub if desired, tacos (beef or chicken), or a salad. Whatever else you order, make sure you get an order of fries.
The Tres Equis kitchen will open at 11 a.m. Wednesday through Monday. “Right now, closing time will be a little fluid, probably between 7 and 9 p.m.,” Lyell said. He added that he hopes the kitchen and bar can stay open later, but that will depend on staff and customer habits. “People’s habits have obviously changed,” Lyell said. “People just don’t stay out as late as they used to, but I think it will eventually come back. Maybe not completely, but where maybe people stay out until 1 p.m.
In time, Lyell said early risers who come to watch European football at the weekend can also expect Tres Equis’ kitchen to be open to them. And there’s the small matter of an approaching World Cup in November, which will see football fans from across the St. Louis area crowding into Amsterdam Tavern and Tres Equis to watch their favorite teams. “We have six weeks before the start of the World Cup,” Lyell said. “We have to get everything online and all our processes in order for a month in a row.”