Sunday, June 2, 2013

Los Molcajetes

Address: 4031 W 4100 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84120.

Review: There's something magical about hole-in-the-wall joints. So often they're among the best food you ever have. They're entirely unpretentious. They're cheap. They're usually focused on food, and not on worthless things like cleanliness and tablecloths. Such is Los Molcajetes (Molcajetes).

I came to know of Molcajetes from a Mexican friend whose food opinion I deeply trust. Apparently, he and his family stumbled upon this place one evening, and it so impressed them they returned the next morning for breakfast. With an endorsement like that, how could I not partake?

Molcajetes is sandwiched between a Mexican grocery store, which come to find out is also quite good, and a hair salon. It's almost impossible to find unless you're looking right at it. Having come from work, I walked in with my pasty white skin enveloped by a Hugo Boss suit. I didn't quite fit in this working-class Mexican restaurant where the proprietress spoke only limited English. None of this was to matter in ten minutes. So, fumbling around with my limited Spanish, I managed to order a taco plate, complete with three tacos (carne adobado, cabeza, and carnitas), rice, and beans. My buddy ordered a cheese quesadilla plate. 

The tacos were good. The meats were tender, juicy, and flavorful. Not the best tacos I've had (that distinction is reserved for some taco truck guys around the city), but they were quite good. The tortilla were nice and crisped. The rice, like all rice one receives at a Mexican restaurant, was blah. I'm not sure why this is, but it seems like all these rices just filler. Anyway, after these two items, I thought I was in for a good, but nothing spectacular, Mexican meal. And then, the beans. Holy crap, the beans. I'm not sure what magic fairy dust they sprinkled over these beans, but they were very likely the best I have ever had. Only some Brazilian black beans and some Southern smoked ham hock beans even come close. The beans were earthy, meaty, viscous, and deeply satisfying. I polished off mine with gusto, and then turned to my friend's. He's not much of a bean guy, so I ate his entire portion. Fabulous, fabulous beans.

We also had horchata, which was sugary goodness, as it always is.

I hope next time I find an entree I enjoy more than the tacos, but it won't rightly matter, because I ain't going back for the entrees. I'm going back for those beans.

Rating: 7/10 (5/10 is average).


  1. Presumably they serve up their namesake dish? I'd be intrigued to know how that stacks up :)

    1. As would I. Love me some molcajetes. That (and the beans, of course) might be on tap next time.