I've heard a lot about Tarahumara, a Mexican restaurant in Midway, Utah, which has gotten rave reviews from several food bloggers, along with a 2008 "Best Mexican" award from Salt Lake Magazine. So on a recent visit to the Midway Ice Castles, I decided to stop in for dinner with a large family group.
Tarahumara is a casual restaurant where you order your food up front, then servers bring it to your table. On a weekend night in winter, the place was packed with a family after-ski crowd. I let my family stand in line to order while I cruised the dining room, waiting for a table to open up. I was a little flustered after scrambling for a table, but my mood changed for the better when my husband brought over our baskets of chips, and we started sampling the wonderful selections from Tarahumara's salsa bar.
The salsa bar, which includes about 20 different salsas and condiments, was the highlight of our Tarahumara visit. I ate way too many fresh tortilla chips while sampling the tomato-based, chile-based, herb-based and fruit-based salsas. I would go back to Tarahumara just to sample a few more salsa bar selections.
Our main dishes, which arrived reasonably quickly considering how busy the restaurant was, were good overall. Since I was with a big group, I tried several, and my favorite was the pork chile verde, with a warm, smoky flavor and big chunks of tender pork. It's made with pork loin, so it's relatively lean, but with plenty of roasted green chiles to boost the flavor. Tarahumara's owners are kind enough to put their pork loin chile verde recipe online, and it seems deliciously simple.
Another successful use of green chiles was the chiles rellenos, large whole green chiles that are roasted, stuffed with cheese, dipped in egg batter, deep fried, and topped with sauteed tomatoes and onions. The chiles had a lovely charred flavor, and the cheese was a perfect complement. The dish was a little oily, but I devoured the whole thing anyway.
The pork carnitas and carne asada (sliced charbroiled prime rib) were both a little bland for me, but with the self-service salsa bar, you can flavor them any way you like. I appreciated that Tarahumara gives the option of ordering either green salad or rice and beans with each entree. I got the green salad, which was lovely. Tarahumara serves freshly prepared food using quality ingredients and no trans fats.
I spend a lot of in the Park City, Heber and Midway area, and I plan to go back to Tarahumara to try more of their most popular dishes, including barbacoa made with local lamb, ceviche, fish tacos, tres leches cake, and homemade churros.
Tarahumara Comida Mexicana
380 E Main St, Midway, UT 84049