A couple of years ago my friend Roger moved to Heber City. There were a lot of good reasons for the move, but I admit I didn’t love the idea. I complained that Jason and I would never see him, and he very nicely reminded me that it really wasn’t that far away – shorter than a lot of other people’s commutes we knew. I grumbled, but we did drive up, and as a nice surprise Roger took us to a Mexican restaurant in Midway called Tarahumara. Roger has since moved back to Salt Lake, but we’re all still driving up to eat at Tarahumara and a couple of weekends ago the three of us decided to made a quick trip up (about 40 minutes from my house in Holladay).
The restaurant can be a little deceiving from the front. When you walk in, there’s a big chalk board with their menu listed, and a counter where you order your food. Each person’s order comes with tortilla chips, and you’ll want to eat every single one when you see the amazing salsa bar in the back. After you order, you’ll be handed a little electronic device that will buzz you when you’re order is ready. Through a little hallway is the large seating section of the restaurant, and this is where you’ll also pick up your food. Speaking of the salsa bar, I can’t say enough about how good it is. When my dad lived in El Paso, Texas I got used to having a wide selection of salsas everywhere I went, so it’s a real pleasure now to get to visit Tarahumara’s salsa wonderland.
On this particular day I ordered a couple of things to eat and share. The first was the Ceviche. This lime marinated Mahi Mahi comes in a tostada cup and is topped with guacamole and pico de gallo ($8.95). As usual, it was deliciously cold with just the right balance between fish flavors and tartness.
And because I was feeling in the mood for some comfort food I ordered the Carnitas Quesadilla ($6.95). I know from the picture it looks very basic, but I’m sort of addicted to this thing. The pork is perfectly cooked and full of flavor, and there’s a lot more meat here than cheese. It also goes really well with my favorite honey chipotle salsa. Jason tried something new this time, the Chicken Enchiladas ($9.95). Full of succulent shredded chicken and topped with an enchilada sauce that rivals the complexity of a mole, these are much more than your average enchiladas.
Roger ordered the Carne Asada Burritos, and because they’re smaller than your average Utah burrito you get to have two – each with its own smothering sauce ($11.95). My bite of the red burrito was rich and wonderful with the grilled beef cooked perfectly inside. Roger also opted for the veggies as a side dish (versus the regular rice), and the pan-fried green and yellow beans were dressed with a tangy vinaigrette. Roger and Jason ordered yummy Mexican Mojitos ($7.00). I can attest to their refreshing minty deliciousness, but on this day I was out of luck as it was my turn to drive home.
We were completely stuffed by the time we left, but I should mention their wonderful Mexican pastries, which are on display when you first walk into the restaurant. Be smarter than me and save room for one.
One of the other things I really love about Tarahumara is the service and I know that may sound strange at a “self-serve” place. However, this restaurant is family run and you can tell they take great pride in the food they serve and in the space they’ve created. It is a wonderfully comfortable place, and in the summer the patio is one of the best places to eat in Utah.
You can probably tell, and I’ll readily admit, that I’m smitten with Tarahumara. My advice is to try it and you’ll soon see why it’s easy to fall for this place…even if you have to drive to Midway to eat there.
380 East Main Street, Midway, Utah 84032
Hours: Monday thru Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m