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When a planned visit to Mexico went belly up a few weeks ago, I decided to roll with the punches. I figured if I couldn’t go to Mexico, I’d let Mexico come to me and enjoy a little la vida loca right here in Salt Lake.
The corner of 300 West and 900 South is about as close to Mexico as you can get without trains, planes, or buses. There are two authentic restaurants on that corner: a funky little place called Tacos La Reyna de Michoacan and another homestyle Mexican restaurant that’s quickly becoming one of my favorites. It’s called Taqueria Lolita. But Lolita isn’t a typical Mexican taqueria. Sure, you can get tacos at Taqueria Lolita but the real specialty is authentic entrees served at Lolita – dishes like grilled steak smothered with caramelized onions called bistek encebollado, goat stew call birria, and an incendiary plate of spicy shrimp with chile known as camarones de al Diablo. Whew, I can still feel the fire from that one.
Taqueria Lolita isn’t a fancy joint. But it’s warm and inviting, a family-owned restaurant where owner Jesus Sanchez greets each guest at the door with Hola Amigo! or Hola Amiga! Senior Sanchez opened Taqueria Lolita about three years ago after moving to Utah from Cuernavaca, in Mexico. And holy guacamole I sure do like the food and the people there, not to mention Lolita’s spectacular red chicken mole.
So for authentic Mexican flavors and real family-style Mexican hospitality, just pull up to the corner of 3rd West and 9th South and grab a chair at Taqueria Lolita. It’s muy bueno.