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Utah Treats

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In the tradition started by Pastameshugana, I start a new topic on Utah. (Mostly in the hopes of finding somewhere to eat in Moab)

Moab is not a place to go to eat in my humble opinion. Chains and a few pricey upscale places.

There are three long time Mexican restaurants patronized by mostly Gringos. We have tried two out of three (the third is out of our snack bracket) more than a few times and are never very happy with the food.

Small, excellent family run Hispanic restaurants have popped up and disappeared just as quickly.

Imagine my joy when upon arriving in Moab this time we found a new restaurant, no decor, no ambiance, very few gringos, lots of hispanics, workmen coming for their lunch, etc, reasonable prices, paper plates, plastic cutlery...AND WONDERFUL FOOD.

Mi Ranchito Mexicano at 812 S. Main. If the restaurant gods are just, it will still be here next time around.



learn, learn, learn...


Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Here's the skinny on Utah:

Red Iguana has the best sit down mexican food experience.

Tacos El Paisa has the best street taco in town.

Takashi is the best sushi, best japanese and, dare I say, best restaurant in town.

Mazza does good middle eastern food.

Hong Phat has an amazing and cheap (2.50) banh mi

Forage does metropolitan dining, beautiful and inspired tasting menus.

Pizzeria 712 in Orem has a great wood-fired pizza.

Settebello does a good Napolitano in downtown SLC.

Lucky 13 has a great burger.

Caputo's has a great Italian sandwich

Moochie's does a meatball and a philly you wouldn't believe if I told you.

The Paris does French bistro food decently well.

Maxwell's up in Park City does a good New York pizza....

I'll post more if I remember any of my other favorites.

"Make me some mignardises, &*%$@!" -Mateo

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Well, you mentioned Moab... To be perfectly blunt I'd rather heat up a can of beans in a campfire than eat in Moab.

Hell's Backbone Grill in Boulder has a wonderful food philosophy that, unfortunately, shines much brighter than their fare...

Cafe Diablo just outside of Torrey is rumored to have good food, but their menu has never impressed me.

Amangiri which is located near Big Water has a wonderful menu and kitchen (I staged there and was lucky enough to eat).

Parallel 88 in Springdale has a terrifically uninspired menu which doesn't even showcase any of the ingredients that are available just down the street.

St George offers nothing more than national/global chains.

Besides that I can't think of any restaurants in any rural towns that are of merit.

edit: I forgot to mention Communal in Provo. My friend Colton (who also opened Pizzeria 712) opened it last year and it has a really nice, accessible and well prepared menu.

Also, the Tree Room at Sundance is supposed to be good, but I heard it has gone downhill.

Pago in SLC is overhyped, overseasoned and ran by people more concerned with how they look on their fixed gear bikes than providing good service.

Vinto is actually a very nice restaurant in SLC. Inexpensive, unpretentious and fresh flavors.

Spruce (which is no longer affiliated with the California original) needs a little while to get back on their feet and head in the right direction, but Adam Findlay is a talented chef who I hope can do it.

If I think of anything else I'll post.

Edited by Bicycle Lee (log)

"Make me some mignardises, &*%$@!" -Mateo

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  • 4 years later...

Sad news about Moab dining. The new roads are finished and the new bridge is long open.  And the little hole in the wall Hispanic restaurant Mi Ranchito Mexicanois gone also.


A new Mexican restaurant, Los Jilbertos, is open and it's awful.  Truly awful.  Plus, an old-timer, La Hacienda, is closed. 


As noted above by Bicycle Lee, you're better off opening a can of beans in Moab than trying to eat out.



learn, learn, learn...


Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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I hate it for you, Darienne, but at least you have the cooking skills to not suffer as much as someone who does not.


I'm so lucky to have Rancho Grande within walking distance. With huaraches (my fave), gorditas (second fave), pupusas, sopes. tortas, platillos traditionale, platillos de marisco, and of course tacos, tamales in banana leaves and burritos, y mas.


For your vicarious enjoyment, here are the yelp reviews:  http://www.yelp.com/biz/rancho-grande-cary


They don't have their own website, and if you try to call in your order, as an English speaker you won't succeed.


But when I go down there, between my rudimentary Spanish and hand gestures, we are able to put together a very satisfactory meal.


The atmosphere is off-putting. LOUD. They have TV's BLARING  in Spanish (on multiple channels) :wacko: . Children are allowed to run wild way beyond even what they do in casual Gringo restaurants nowadays. Everyone shouts above the TV's. There's sometimes mud on the floor, depending on the weather, because this is a blue collar restaurant that caters to Hispanic construction workers.


The first time we went we ate in, and my husband, although he worked construction, and prides himself on his command of the Spanish language, doesn't have that much knowledge of culinary terms. So I ordered for both of us.


We sat at a table, and he was complaining about the mud on the floor, etc. I told him, "We're not eating off the floor, and what I can see of the kitchen is as spotless as mine. Our table's also clean." He settled down, and we had a great meal, but subsequent ones have been to go in the comfort of our home.

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