Ever since Barbacoa Mexican Grill opened in 1998, ordering a meal has turned into a creative pursuit. At the fingertips of everyone who walks in the door is an edible artist's palette that they draw upon as they orchestrate the creation of their dream burrito, burrito bowl, or tacos. Inspiration begins with a foundation: hand-trimmed barbacoa beef slow cooked in a chipotle paste, shredded pork with roasted pineapple and a honey glaze, or even steamed vegetables. Then a rainbow of salsas, a choice of beans, and individually monogrammed grains of rice combine to create a fully personalized meal.
Now spread throughout Utah, Barbacoa Mexican Grill has also branched out beyond its inimitable meals. It strives to establish and strengthen communities by working with local nonprofit and charitable organizations. The primary focus of the restaurants' grassroots endeavors falls on the promotion of healthy, active lifestyles and the support of underserved children—evidenced by their cooperation with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah.
Terraces of tortillas tower over simmering mole, a special recipe that has been passed down for three generations, on tables in the 15-year-old eatery with a family atmosphere. Here, in Blue Iguana's kitchens, Chef Castillo imparts the culinary arts of the Aztec empire to his team of cooks using his knowledge of Chihuahua, Mexico. In this province, families fiercely guard such traditions to honor their forebears and preserve their culture's legacy for future generations. Castillo specializes in mole recipes, which teem with rich ingredients such as chocolate, almonds, and pumpkin seeds. Guests seeking a lighter meal can customize tacos with a choice of more than 10 fillings, including grilled yellowfin, charbroiled sirloin, sautéed mushrooms, and spicy pork chorizo. The margaritas are mixed with the restaurant's brimming top-shelf tequilas such as Patron Silver and Don Julio. Diners can also visit the Park City location for breakfast dishes.
La Fountain Mexican Restaurant caters to cravings with a packed menu of Mexican favorites. From quesadillas to chile relleno platters, the cooks whip up authentic dishes that can be paired with rice and beans to create stick-to-your-ribs feasts. Homemade flour tortillas transform the typical burrito or taco into something special, and breakfast is available at any time of day.
Nacho's Libre Mexican Restaurant taps into traditional Mexican culture through a varied menu of seafood and meat dishes wrapped in tortillas and paired with imported beers. After entering through the bright-pink façade, guests take in the dining room’s paintings and servers occasionally clad in a Mexican luchador’s traditional mask, cape, and Van Halen T-shirt. Chefs craft mole sauce in 10 variations of chilies, spices, and chocolate, and diners can create their own platter combinations of burritos, enchiladas, and chimichangas. Nacho's Libre also slings fare for quick delivery as well as catering for parties, meetings, and ocean-liner christenings.
The smell of fresh coffee fills the air inside both locations of BlueStar Juice Bar and Coffee Café, where staffers eschew corporate cups to roast their own beans into three artful coffee blends. Blenders also churn fresh fruit and veggies into juices such as the Cobra, which gives apple and carrot a mild gingery bite, or the Fruit Fusion, which combines fresh, seasonal picks.
BlueStar staff strives to create a genial atmosphere. At the café location on 2795 South 2300 East, customers can submit juice blends or sandwich recipes to add to the menu, and canine companions are welcome indoors or on the patio. Alternately, the downtown drive-thru makes for a quick refueling stop for drowsy commuters and cars that run on eco-friendly caffeine.
Serving up daily specials and a long list of menu staples, the chefs at Rio Grande Cafe construct Tex Mex?style plates of tacos, enchiladas, and burritos. Favorites include sizzling beef or chicken fajitas, and the Super burrito stuffed with three kinds of meat and covered with sauce and cheese. Pair meals with a drink from the selection of cocktails, such as house margaritas or mojitos.