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Charro Mexican Restaurant: Home to authentic Mexican cuisine like ‘mom used to make’

By: Kate Uptergrove

Ezequiel Camacho, owner of Charro Mexican Restaurant

Ezequiel Camacho, owner of Charro Mexican Restaurant, learned how to cook from his mother and sisters – fresh, authentic Mexican cuisine that is true to his heritage.

“I grew up on a small farm and I always say my mom, she was one of the best cooks in our town. Whatever she served, everyone always complimented her,” Camacho said.

When he relocated to middle America, he wanted authentic Mexican food with farm fresh taste. When he couldn’t find a restaurant serving what he wanted, he decided to open his own.

“I use a lot of recipes from my family, my mom,” explained Camacho, who opened his Chesterfield location in 2009. “And I use a special seasoning for all my meats and seafood.”

That seasoning is one of the standout features of Enchiladas Suizas, a house specialty that can be ordered traditionally, as in filled with chicken, or filled with slices of beef. Both meats are grilled and seasoned to perfection. While enchiladas often are made with shredded chicken, Camacho cuts his filling into bite-sized pieces that are coated on all sides with seasoning.

“That’s what makes us different!” Camacho exclaims. “Whatever you get from the menu, you come out with good surprises.”

Harkening back to his days on the family farm, Camacho treats his ingredients with respect. Topping the Enchiladas Suizas is a flavorful queso that is slightly zesty but not hot and a tomatillo sauce that allows the refreshing, brightness of the tomatillo to shine through – almost as if Camacho had picked it from the family farm.

“Yes! That’s the idea. The kind of food we serve tastes like it was cooked in my mom’s kitchen. Everything we serve, we prepare fresh daily,” Camacho said.

Mexican gyros

Included in that list is Charro’s family recipe salsa, which is full-bodied, mildly spicy and keeps you coming back for more. Scooping up all that salsa goodness are chips that Camacho said are fried fresh every morning.

Counted among Charro’s specialties of the house is Molcajete Ranchero, a combination of steak and marinated chicken, which is flavored with pasilla chiles and queso fresco. Mexican cuisine traditionalists definitely will want to try the Tacos al Pastor – corn tortillas stuffed with slow-roasted, ancho chile-marinated pork and topped with fresh cilantro, onions and grilled pineapple. It’s no surprise that customers claim Tacos al Pastor as among their favorite Charro dishes.

But the food only is part of the Charro equation, perhaps the most important part, but its atmosphere can’t be overlooked. Three distinct and separate dining options are available – from the cozy bar area with flat screen TVs that allow patrons to watch sports while they enjoy their dinners and drinks, to the large dining room that is ideal for families and has plenty of seating for large groups, to a large patio that Camacho said will be ready for Cinco de Mayo.

Speaking of Cinco de Mayo, Camacho said the restaurant will feature plenty of specials all day long.

“Mark your calendar,” Camacho advised. “It’s a day you don’t want to miss!”

Camacho operates two Charro locations, one in Illinois that he and his wife, San, manage most of the time, and the Chesterfield location that his nephew Cesar manages every day but Monday.

“I’m in Chesterfield on Monday,” Camacho explained. “But the food, service and atmosphere are great every day!”

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