You know a local place is gonna be fantastic when you hear it from all sides, and Salt Lake City's, Red Iguana
definitely fits that criteria... First off, an old buddy recommended it (thank you E-Man!), then we got an email from a local (thank you Dave!), and every site I checked out raved about it. When I went saw the menu
AND the fact that Los Lobos loves it
, I was more than sold...
Needless to say, I was craving this stuff the entire drive from Denver (all 8 hours and 537 miles worth!) and when we got to the Avalon in Salt Lake City, we found out our soundcheck was a bit delayed so I had to get the food to go... No worries though, I called Lucy, who gave me the lowdown and helped me get a nice variety of their house specialties... Lucy (below) was right on - thanks for you suggestions!
Now, I don't know about you, but when I think of Salt Lake City, I don't think "awesome mexican food," and I certainly don't think about perfect mole sauce. Now I will. Wowee wow, this might have been the best mole I've ever had... Between Walt, JB, and I - we sampled three of Red Iguana's seven mole sauces (Amarillo, Poblano, and Negro) over some incredible enchiladas with chicken/avacado and carnitas. Each one had it's own unique character, perfectly balanced between smokey, spicy, sweet, and all jaw-droppingly, shout-out-loud good. (please pardon my crumby iPhone pics - it tasted waaaaaaaay better than it looks here.)
I also took Lucy's recommendation and got an order of Chile Verde Burritos with fall off the bone pork, which had been slow-cooked in a green chile and tomatillo sauce for hours... Yahtzee! This was no football sized atrocity, just two fresh flour tortillas, filled with beans, perfectly cooked pork, and smothered in a blanket of green chile/tomatillo goodness. This is how the pros do it - cook it slow, cook it long, and use lots of love (and they're definitely pros - doing it well since Dylan went electric.)
Anyway, I am now a believer in Mexican food in Salt Lake City... Thank you Lucy and thank you Red Iguana!