Kimball Junction in Park City has become a bonanza for discerning diners, with excellent restaurants located there such as Ghidotti’s, Hearth and Hill, Maxwell’s, Vessel Kitchen, Sushi Blue, Bartolo’s, 11Hauz, Red Rock Junction, Shoyu Sushi, and others.
Loco Lizard Cantina
But long before any of those places existed – dating back to 1999, in fact – there was Loco Lizard Cantina. I’ve been dining off and on at Loco Lizard since 1999 and have always loved the friendly vibe, ambiance, and good food and drink there. The food is made fresh daily – right down to the homemade chips and salsa that kick off a meal.
I like to start things off at Loco Lizard with one of their Margaritas, although it’s sometimes difficult to choose which one. Do I want a pomegranate Margarita? Or maybe a cucumber Margarita? Strawberry, raspberry or mango? How about a zippy jalapeño Margarita made with 1800 reposado tequila, Patrón Citrónge Orange Liqueur, house-made Margarita mix, and jalapeño puree. In addition to killer Margaritas made from scratch, there’s also a lengthy list of white wine, red wine, sangria, mojitos, domestic and imported beers, and specialty cocktails like Sexo en la Playa.
Homemade Guacamole and Pozole
Homemade guacamole ($10.99) or queso fundido ($9.99) are always a good idea at Loco Lizard, but so is beginning a meal with a cup or bowl ($4.99/$7.99) of pozole. Not enough Mexican restaurants serve pozole, in my opinion. So when I see it on a menu, I inevitably order it. The pozole here is a rich tasting red chile stew of chicken, pork and hominy. Alongside are traditional garnishes such as shredded cabbage, lime, cilantro and crumbled queso.
A specialty at Loco Lizard is their enchiladas, and you’d be nuts not to try them. There are chile Verde enchiladas, enchiladas Suizas, and enchiladas Bahia, but my favorite is enchiladas bandera, which is red, green and white like the Mexican bandera (flag). It’s a hearty combo plate with a rotisserie chicken enchilada smothered in green sauce, a beef enchilada with red sauce, and an enchilada Suizas topped with white sauce ($16.99). If that’s not enough, there’s also a hefty portion of rice and beans alongside.
Just like the aforementioned pozole, I’m also a sucker for chile verde of any kind. I never pass it up. The chile verde ($14.99) at Loco Lizard is a good one – a thick and rich stew of green chile peppers and tomatillos, nicely spiced, with big, tender chunks of roasted pork and a large serving of rice and tortillas to scoop up that heavenly verde sauce.
My wife adores a good seafood taco and at Loco Lizard you can choose any two tacos stuffed with Alaskan halibut, Gulf shrimp, wild salmon, or mahi-mahi – or mix and match – for $14.99. My wife selected the mahi-mahi and the shrimp for her two tacos and was quite pleased with herself. We were both impressed that the tacos were served on homemade flour tortillas, plus pico de gallo, fresh lime, guacamole, shredded cabbage, rice, beans, and chipotle taco sauce.
I think my favorite Loco Lizard entree is one with complex flavors called the Seafood Relleno Dinner ($16.99). The chef takes two de-seeded poblano peppers and roasts them, then stuffs the peppers with a seafood mixture of Gulf shrimp, Alaskan halibut, wild salmon and mushrooms. The poblano peppers are then topped with a vivid looking and tasting tomato-cream sauce and blistered Mexican ranchero cheese. It’s an artful and appealing dish that’s as gourmet as anything you’d find in Paris.
In addition to lunch and dinner daily, Loco Lizard offers Sunday brunch from 11 AM to 4 PM with tempting menu items like chilaquiles, huevos rancheros, breakfast quesadilla, chorizo omelet, steak and eggs burrito, and much more.
There may be newer restaurants than Loco Lizard in Kimball Junction, but you won’t find one that is as beloved by both locals and tourists, alike.
Culinary quote of the week:
I’m convinced that anyone who doesn’t like Mexican food is a psychopath. — Jim Gaffigan
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Originally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.
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