Photo by Cristina M. Fletes, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Southwest Diner

How popular is Southwest Diner? Jonathan Jones and Anna Sidel parked a bus outside their Ellendale restaurant and converted it into a waiting lounge for overflow crowds on the weekends. And unless St. Louis is home to many, many more homesick expats from the state of New Mexico than I’m aware of, those diners are drawn here, as I am, for Southwest Diner’s unique combination of classic diner charm and chile-spiked New Mexican cuisine. Lately I’ve strayed from my usual order of the enchiladas or a green-chile burger to become a breakfast — or breakfast-for-lunch — visitor, building tacos with the red-chile-spiced pork adovada with scrambled eggs, potatoes and tortillas. And I’d happily wait on that bus for nothing more than a bowl of the hearty, spicy, soul-nourishing posole.

Opened: 2012

Must order: Posole (cup $4, bowl $6)