Hidden gems and buried treasures are hard to come by in local dining. Most places offering good food for a great value are discovered by foodies and bloggers and quickly become well known. Here are three buried treasures Heather King has prospected. From South Salt Lake, to West Jordan and back to Broadway, check out theses restaurants you may not have heard of, but are pearls worth searching for.
La Oaxaqueña in South Salt Lake lies at the heart of Salt Lake’s dining diversity. Sharing a kitchen with Café Guanaco (because they are owned by the same family) La Oaxaqueña focuses on Oaxacan cuisine such as tlayudas, moles and Oaxaca-style hot chocolate. Oaxaca, located in southern Mexico, is historically known for seven distinct moles and La Oaxaqueña features five, including the complex, chocolate-spiced mole negro alongside rojo, coloradito, verde and Amarillo. Also try the iconic dish, tlayudas, which resembles a Mexican pizza. A plate-sized baked tortilla is covered in refried beans then topped with shredded cabbage, fresh avocados, tomatoes, Oaxaca cheese and meats including a spicy chorizo, thinly sliced beef strips (tasajo) and chili powder-crusted pork (cecina).
Diners can enjoy their Oaxacan delicacies on the market side of La Oaxaqueña, the dining room to the right, or in Café Guanaco. La Oaxaqueña is located at 499 E. 2700 South, South Salt Lake.
West Jordan’s Thai Delight is quietly taking over the strip mall it resides in one storefront at a time (they recently moved into their third space). The expansion is needed as word spreads about arguably the best Thai on the west side. Try the tom yum gai soup, a hot and sour broth filled with juicy chicken, tangy lemongrass and fresh mushrooms. It’s served in a warming dish and is easily sharable with the entire table. For curry, the massaman is a standard-bearer delivering potatoes, onions, peanuts and your choice of protein in a kicky, coconut sauce. Dependable rice, noodle and stir fry dishes round out the menu. Most will be served with a beautiful covered bowl filled with rice. It is yet another reason to seek out this hidden gem. Thai Delight is located at 6271 Dixie Drive, West Jordan.
Although Blue Poblano has been in its present location on 300 S. for nearly two years, new fans are still discovering the flavor-packed fare on a regular basis. From the masterminds behind Black Sheep Café in Provo, Salt Lake’s Blue Poblano was retooled from its original moniker, Blue Pablano, and moved from Center Street Provo to downtown Salt Lake. Offering craft tacos, burritos and hefty burgers plus brunch on the weekends—all of which is scratch-made in house with meats grilled to order—Blue Poblano is the right mix of casual atmosphere and great food. Order up the nachos with crispy al pastor or chicken chilaquiles with green chili verde. Pair them with a Mexican beer or margarita and enjoy it all on the sun porch inside or patio outside and your taste buds will celebrate! Blue Poblano is located at 473 E. 300 South, Salt Lake City.