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Upscale Mexican cuisine in Mid-City

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  When chef Guillermo Peters started cooking at the Eco Cafe last summer, he predicted that some significant changes were in store for what at the time was a combination coffee shop/breakfast and lunch spot in Mid-City. The name was changed to Canal Street Bistro (3903 Canal St., 482-1225; www.canalstreetbistro.com) and the chef created an upscale Mexican menu for new dinner service on weekends.

  Dinner is now offered Wednesday through Saturday. Breakfast and lunch continues every day except Tuesday, and more twists to the restaurant's lineup could be on the way soon.

  Peters' changes have given the restaurant something of a dual personality. At breakfast and lunch, it's a mid-range neighborhood joint, with omelets, salads, panini and such, and most prices for main dishes are around $10. In the evening, it's home to what is easily the most ambitious Mexican cooking in town, with prices to match — most entrees are more than $25.

  Such a varied operation is familiar terrain for Peters. A native of Mexico City, he originally opened his restaurant Taqueros in a Kenner strip mall, and his menu combined tacos with much more elaborate regional Mexican cuisine. In 2004, he moved to a large St. Charles Avenue property (now home to Irish House) and opened Taqueros/Coyoacan, which offered a polished cantina atmosphere downstairs and a fine-dining Mexican restaurant upstairs. It reopened after Hurricane Katrina, but went out of business in 2007.

  At Canal Street Bistro, Peters says he may designate one weeknight as a sort of taco night, with various tacos from his old repertoire at Taqueros featured beside the upscale entrees.

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