Best Mexican Restaurants in Salt Lake City

You know the feeling, the one of craving the Carne Asada Burrito, Smothered Chile Verde, Homemade Chips with Guacamole & Salsa, or all 3? The problem is that these cravings usually come on at 3:00am and you can do nothing but lay back down and cry.

Finally, morning arrives and you pretend to be interested in meetings and e-mails until the moment when you break free and get to the restaurant. The anticipation alone almost brings on cardiac arrest but you even can push that off to indulge your cravings.

If those cravings are Mexican Food, let me help you with some of the best Mexican restaurants in Salt Lake City & surrounding area:

Pork Carnitas Burrito at Las Glorias

Pork Carnitas Burrito at Las Glorias

El Mana

Lorena’s

Guadalahonky’s

La Fountain

Las Glorias

All of these places serve delicious, authentic food. They are all unique and could be that Dive you find on your road trip; the one you claim is the best food you ever tasted. Thanks for enjoying the best Mexican restaurants in Salt Lake City with me.

Las Glorias Chips

 

Happy Eating

Do you tip on carryout?

Stack of Cash

As my Food wanderings have become more prevalent, I have ordered more and more takeout: Dragon Diner, La Cai Noodle House, Gandolfo’s, Greek Souvlaki and the list goes on. Often it’s nice to enjoy delectable food while watching a baseball game on TV or having a picnic with the family in the backyard.

My question is: do you tip when you drive to a restaurant to pick up food for carryout? Usually tipping is for great service while eating at the restaurant right? What about Karma or simply being grateful for them preparing this delicious meal?

If you do tip when you order carryout, how much?

Would love to hear your thoughts.

Happy Eating

Ali Baba Kabob & Curry

Ali Baba Sign

Reticular Activator: part of the brain which stays on alert. It’s job is to make you notice some things and ignore others. My reticular activator works for restaurants, especially while I am driving. Hopefully I am not ignoring anything important.

I travel on 700 East in Salt Lake many times each week. It’s a major thoroughfare and usually I am completely focused on getting to my destination. Thankfully my reticular activator was on that day and I noticed “Ali Baba.” My first thought was “Is that an Aladdin gift shop?”

Returning soon, I found that it was not a Disney gift shop but an Indian & Pakistani restaurant. Like many great Indian restaurants, they have a lunch buffet. My mouth began to wander as I thought of the delicious buffets at Tandoor and The Kathmandu.

The buffet included: Chicken Tikka Masala, Channa Masala, Chicken Jalfrezi, Lamb Rice, Kabobs, Daal, Mix Vegetable Curry, Pakora and Naan. It really was a beautiful sight, but how would it taste?

Tikka Masala, Chana Masala and Lamb Rice

Tikka Masala, Channa Masala and Lamb Rice

Wow is defined by Michael Hyatt as the difference between someone’s expectations and their experience. They do a good job with the Chicken Tikka Masala, Channa Masala (Chickpeas cooked with onions, tomatoes, coriander, garlic, chilies and ginger), and Daal (Lentil dish). The other items were alright but those three shined through.

Overall the Wow factor was in the positive. Not bad for a place where the buffet is only $8.99. Give this place a taste.

Happy Eating

Ali Baba on Urbanspoon

 

Curry Fried Chicken: Is that an Oxymoron?

Curry Fried Chicken Plate

Curry Fried Chicken Plate

A friend introduced me to the wonderful food at Curry Fried Chicken. As you walk in from the parking lot, the aroma alone leaves you in a meditative state. It is beautiful and I was happy to write an article about it:

Curry Fried Chicken: Indian Spices Meet American Comfort

Oxymoron? You tell me!

I appreciate your reviews and ratings on the City Weekly site.

Happy Eating

The 10 Best Restaurants in Salt Lake City

 

Best Restaurants in Salt Lake City - Pig in a Jelly Jar

Kitchen Sink Frittata at Pig in a Jelly Jar

Or at least the 10 of the Best Restaurants in Salt Lake City that I have been to. There is no real categorization to the list, just delicious food. Some would be considered dives, others very nice; one simply a food truck while another serves just breakfast and lunch. At one you can enjoy a lunch buffet and another watch a movie while you eat. They are all fabulous and just may be the best part of your day.

Penny Ann’s Cafe: This quaint Cafe is open for breakfast & lunch. Might I recommend the Pot of Gold and whatever you get, be sure to include the Heavenly Hot Cakes. Any meal here will leave you full for 24 hours; just in time to return.

The Better Burger Truck: During the winter, this culinary vehicle goes into hiding. Taste buds far & wide are alerted when Spring has arrived along with the aromas from the Better Burger Truck. All the beef is grass-fed and delicious. Chase your burger with sweet potato fries and a shake made with Farr’s ice cream.

The Kathmandu: There is not a bad dish in the lunch buffet at this Indian & Nepali Restaurant. All you want for under $11 but beware, it’s known to be habit forming.

Pawit’s Royale Thai: I found this Thai restaurant on my journey for Tom Yum perfection. I found it here and truly have woken up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat craving food from Pawit’s Royale.

Pig in a Jelly Jar: My first foray into Chicken and Waffles. What a wonderful adventure that was. You could drink the maple syrup; and I did just that. Their Three-Egg Frittatas are also incredibly delicious. Try the Kitchen Sink.

La Cai Noodle House: The Pho is the shining pillar at this Vietnamese Restaurant. It’s good but don’t overlook the Bun: Vermicelli noodles with charbroiled beef or pork served with a delicious egg roll. On the side, they serve it with a Vietnamese Vinagrette that could make your shoe taste good. I often find myself in the car while it drives itself to La Cai Noodle House.

Halfway there on the list of the best restaurants in Salt Lake. And here is another 5:

Enchiladas at Stella Grill

Enchiladas at Stella Grill

Stella Grill: About 2-3 times a week, I drive past this restaurant. Each time I would tell myself that I would eat there soon. All those “next times” added up to over 3 years. It was time to go and I sure found out what I was missing. Try the enchiladas; they are enhanced with chocolate.

Feldman’s Deli: When you hear the term “Sloppy Joe,” you immediately think of that relative who can’t cook and therefore manwich is what fills their cupboard. But how about a Sloppy Joe that is stuffed with pastrami, corned beef, topped with cole slaw & thousand island on rye? It’s so big that you can have it for lunch and dinner.

Brewvies: We often eat in front of a movie-at home on our couch. If we want to go to a movie, we either smuggle food in or use our kid’s college savings at the concession stand. At Brewvies, you can eat delicious homemade food while you watch a great movie. Their “Teasers” menu can be a meal in itself. How about some slow roasted pulled pork nachos? The pork has been roasting all night.

Taqueria 27: Isn’t a taco bar where you go to the nearest neighborhood taco cart and order  1 of each? Not quite! Taqueria 27 is a taco bar with 9 styles of tacos including the taco of the day. Don’t forget the Queso Fundido but honestly, you had me at 5 types of Guacamole.

What do you think? Are these some of the best restaurants in Salt Lake City? What are your favorites?

Happy Eating
Pig & a Jelly Jar on Urbanspoon

Lorena’s Mexican Restaurant: There’s a steak in there?

Lorena's Sign

Last Friday I had an appointment in North Salt Lake at 12:30pm. I dropped my daughter off in Holladay just after 11:30am and headed north. Knowing that my appointment was rapidly approaching, I turned my attention to the most pressing issue of the day: where to get a good lunch in a short amount of time? That pressure can be overwhelming!

Thankfully I recalled seeing a short segment on a restaurant in North Salt Lake. I knew that it was a Mexican Restaurant and I was pretty sure that I could find it with hunger as my guide. I arrived and the place looked busy; but a party of one was easy to seat.

First they bring out their homemade chips and salsa. The chips are thin, cripsy and delicious. The salsa is very spicy, but addicting; keep your water close by. I wolfed it all down and then hoped that I had room left for my entree.

Lorena's Chips & Salsa

Wanting to try something new I went with the Mexican Steak. This consisted of a top sirloin steak (cooked medium rare) smothered with a thick chili sauce, rice, refried beans, homemade fries, grilled onions and bell peppers. It was a mountain of food.

It took a while to get to the steak. By the time that happened I was full from the other items; especially the fries. They are hand-cut, crispy, spiced with paprika and other delectables and worth eating them all.

There's a Steak in there somewhere!

There’s a Steak in there somewhere!

By the time I got to the steak, I took 2 bites and placed the rest in the to-go container. It was tender; not very flavorful but it didn’t need to be with everything else on the plate.

Lorena’s is worth exiting the freeway for. The service is wonderful in addition to the delicious food. I kept peeking at the dishes the waitresses were carrying. They all looked wonderful.

At one point while taking a picture of the food, my waitress walked up and said “are you trying to make someone jealous.” “everyday in every way” was my reply. Not really, but I did think it.

Lorena’s Mexican Restaurant
2477 South 800 West
Woods Cross, Utah, 84087

Happy Eating

Lorena's on Urbanspoon

The Kathmandu: Exquisite Indian Cuisine!

This is a repost of an earlier column. The reason is that just today I ate a new Indian buffet (at least new to me). The food has resonated so much that I just had to get something out there about delicious Indian lunch buffets. Review on new place coming soon. 

For my Mom’s Birthday on January 3rd, we took her out to lunch. She ultimately left it up to us as to where we would go, but she did hint that Indian cuisine is one of her favorites. Thankfully my sister thought of The Kathmandu on Highland Dr. as she had been there before. Ten of us met there for the lunch buffet.

The Kathmandu promotes itself as “Indian and Nepali Cuisine” but for all intents and purposes, it could be classified as Indian food. Nevertheless, it is very good. I am not sure which dishes are exclusively Nepali; most of the food here can be found in other Indian restaurants around town. What sets this place apart is definitely the flavor. This place rivals Tandoor in goodness. Everything from the Naan, Rice Pudding, Vegetable Coconut Korma and Butter Chicken has a stronger, more distinct flavor than I have experienced at other places.

If there was a bad dish in the lunch buffet, I didn’t find it. The location on 3142 S. Highland Dr. was incredibly convenient, and the price was hard to beat: $10.75 for the lunch buffet. That is all the food you can eat. I finished two plates and would have loved to go back for three, but could barely move.

If you are in the area, go here for lunch. If you are not close by, it’s worth the commute. Since I have not eaten here for dinner, please let me know if you do and what you ordered.

Happy Eating.

The Kathmandu on Urbanspoon

Left Fork Grill: Small Town-Diner Feel, Great Food

Left Fork Grill Photo #1

What an opportunity it was to be able to write about a fabulous restaurant hidden between office buildings and industrial. You would never expect it and are at first confused by the yellow, red and blue sign. It’s worth turning around to enjoy it’s fare.

Left Fork Grill: Small Town-Diner Feel, Great Food

Happy Eating

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