Last week my eating club ventured to Overland to eat at Las Palmas, one of three locations. This one is on Page between 270 and 170. I will preface this review by saying that I have a hard time believing that Hispanics make up the largest ethnic group in the US because we have very few decent places to get Hispanic-type food here in St. Louis. I am a fan of Pueblo Solis as a more expensive place, and a big cheerleader for La Tropicana in South City for good food but extremely casual atmosphere. I find places like Hacienda good but too Americanized; and I outright despise the chain places.
The atmosphere at Las Palmas is not promising from the outside, it being situated in a strip mall, but upon entering, you are swept off to Mexico by the crazy murals, pinatas and fake parrots. Seating is prompt and the waiters are extremely nice. We were immediately called "amigos" and they weren't afraid to tell us what was good. The chips were warmed, but I think made off-premises. Salsa is obviously fresh with hunks of cilantro floating amok. A nice beer and margarita selection is available, as well as a great variety of tequila. The house marg was fantastic - just the right amount of orangey flavor to make it jump.
One diner dared to try the special. It was a big cut snifter full of tangy tomato sauce, succulent small shrimp and juicy baby octopi. Carne Asada Fajitas were delicious - big hunks of braised pork that fell apart at the touch, served on steaming onions, red and green peppers and the normal sides of beans, sour cream and guacamole. I requested extra cheese, which proved that the restaurant uses real Mexican cheese. The tortillas were hot corn and also delicious. Beans were superlative, not completely mashed. Green rice was also served alongside and was worth every bite. The Chicken Fajitas were even better than the pork - the chicken strips were perfectly cooked. Pollo enchilada verde was also enjoyed greatly - a chicken enchilada with a soupy cheesy sauce atop. Queso Fundido was very authentic with poblano peppers in the cheese and sausage dish. The taco was not raved - apparently the eater who ordered it did not care for the shredded steak within. Pescado Veracuz fared much better - a red snapper of excellent quality and freshness. Sides of grilled vegetables were obviously well-executed and not a "side" thought.
Cleanliness was apparent at Las Palmas, and prices were superlative. That is, the platters are ENORMOUS and the prices are not correspondingly enormous. Children would certainly be welcome and would probably enjoy the restaurant's decorations. This is a very casual place but the freshness of the food, the seemingly authentic tastes and the kindness of the waiters make it a "must eat" in my book.