After checking out Salt Lake City’s holiday activities and having churros, it was time for dinner. Yes, we ate dessert first, but we are adults. We can do whatever we want to!…just don’t tell my mom. So we drove over to Red Iguana.
Red Iguana the THE place it eat if you want Mexican food in Salt Lake City. Heck, it is THE place to eat in Salt Lake City period. In 2008, Red Iguana the food network featured Red Iguana on its show Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives. The show featured Red Iguana’s 7 different types of mole.
Red Iguana, however, has not slowed down since getting its 15 minutes of fame on food network. They have expanded to a second location and are still continuously putting out the best Mexican food in the state. Any and every list of best restaurants in Salt Lake City or even Utah will contain Red Iguana. It is a must stop on any trip to or through Salt Lake City.
Red Iguana’s Mole
Mole is an earthy sauce that combines spicy, sweet, sour, traditional spices, and thickeners. The most famous moles feature chocolate in the sauce, but typically the chiles are the star of show. At red Iguana there 7 moles are mole negro (black), amarillo (yellow), poblano, verde (green), coloradito, Pipan, and Almenderas.
Red Iguana’s Menu/Food
While known for their mole, Red Iguana has more than just mole on their menu. Their menu contains their take on all of your traditional Mexican favorites. This includes tacos, burritos, chimichangas, and tostadas.
Because they are known for their mole, and because I have never had mole before I went with a mole dish. I ordered the Huevos Motuleños. Huevos Motuleños are pork carnitas smothered in spicy mole amarillo & melted jack cheese, topped with two poached eggs and two strips of bacon.
I am very torn about my Huevos Motuleños. I really liked them, but at the same time I didn’t. This dish really has two different phases. The initial taste and the after taste… which I am going to call the aftermath. When you bite into them it is absolutely amazing. All of the flavors work perfectly together and bring you to a world of flavor that you you really didn’t know existed. The pork is delicious and well seasoned, and works perfectly with every other element on the plate. The mole. OH. MY. GOD. The mole itself was out of these world. I would have devoured every bite if it weren’t for the aftermath.
I am someone who likes spicy, but I am not someone who wants to torture myself with spice. The aftermath of the Huevos Motuleños is pure agony. While on the initial taste the flavors are out of this world, it is extremely EXTREMELY spicy on the back end. While I was enjoying every bite of it, halfway through the dish I just couldn’t take it anymore. Which is why I am torn. I truly loved the dish, but its aftertaste was so spicy I couldn’t finish.
While Stephanie, not a mole fan, ordered the Chile Verde Chimichanga. Which is their Pork Chile Verde and refried beans wrapped in a flour tortilla deep fried, topped with chile verde, melted jack cheese and served with guacamole and sour cream.
Stephanie really enjoyed her chimichangas from Red Iguana. She felt that this was some of the best Mexican food that she has ever tasted. She agreed with me that the flavors of every element of the dish worked perfectly with each other, but unlike mine her dish did not have the abrasive after taste. However, after having a bite of my dish, she regretted not trying one of the mole dishes. The Red Iguana mole was unlike any other mole she has tried.
Red Iguana is a moderately priced restaurant. An entree at red iguana will run you between $10-$20 per dish, but the quality is well worth the price. In total Stephanie and I paid $24.28 before taxes and tip (about $12 a person). Not too shabby.
Red Iguana is one of the best Mexican restaurants in Salt Lake City if not the entire country. Their food is all homemade and the flavors are out of this world. However, you do need to be careful if you eat here as some of their dishes, while delicious, can have very assertive spices which can set your palate on fire.