Friday, April 3, 2009

Mark Anthony's Mexican Food: Smother it, please!

I'm kind of liking this "feature a local business on food for thought friday" thing because it means I went out to eat (i.e. I didn't have to cook) and hopefully had some really tasty food. So far I'm two for two when it comes to featured restaurants.

A couple weeks ago I wrote about Blue Lemon Bistro, a new restaurant in Highland that offers a wonderful and flavorful twist on healthy food. (I am going back tonight for a meet-up with my Twitter gals.) Today I bring you Mark Anthony's Mexican Food, a little restaurant hidden in a Herriman strip mall. But don't let the strip-mall facade fool you; this little Mexican place may be small on size but it is big on flavor--especially if your order is smothered in their famous homemade chile verde!

I was introduced to Mark Anthony's Mexican Food (not to be confused with Mark Anthony's Italian Food up the road 0wned by the same guy) by my sister and brother-in-law. We stopped in last Saturday with my parents to see if it lived up its "hole-in-the-wall Mexican" reputation. (That's a compliment, promise! If you ask most people, hole-in-the-wall restaurants are hidden treasures and the very best kind!)

When I saw something about Mark Anthony's famous homemade chile verde I asked if it really were famous. Instead of simply answering "yes," they gave me a small sample. Within about 1 1/2 seconds I could taste why it was famous: spicy but not too spicy, a rich, almost smoky flavor
and meat that was so tender it melted in my mouth.

I of course ordered the Smothered Chile Verde Burrito combination plate, which came with beans and rice. I didn't have to wait long for my order to arrive, which was a good thing because that sample of their chile verde had me craving more...and I was hungry! The rice was awesome and the beans taste as well, though I wish I had the option of black beans (my fave). My mom loved her cheese enchiladas, which arrived topped with lettuce and cheese. (The lettuce was a new thing for her, though I think she enjoyed it.) I can't remember what everyone else ordered; I do know it was pretty quiet while we a
te because it was that good!

If you know me, you know I have to finish off a meal with something sweet so I ordered the fried ice cream. I was told their vanilla ice cream is made fresh daily so it will have the best and richest flavor. The verdict? Overall this dessert was really, really good. The ice cream was scrumptious and the "fried" coating perfect--not too heavy, not too light with a nice flavor. It was drizzled with caramel and chocolate sauce and served with ship cream.

What didn't work for me? They ran out of whip cream just after they started putting it on, so it arrived in a less-than-glamorous state, and the larger styrofoam cup they served it in only dwarfed the already single-scoop portion size. If it had been about $3, I might not have minded, but at $5 it was a big price to pay for such a small dessert, even if the ice cream were homemade.

BUT Mark Anthony's salsa made up for the fried ice cream disappointment. I bought some chips and salsa to go since my dear husband wasn't feeling well and was left (intentionally) at home. We broke open the salsa the next day and it was quite possibly some of the best salsa I've had in a really long time. Everything was super fresh, super crisp (I hate soggy salsa) and the ingredients were in just the right proportion. I'm no chef so I couldn't tell you everything that was in it, and of course I forgot to take a picture (I'll leave food photography to my friend Quinn over at Limelight Food Photography), but I'm pretty sure it had onion, tomato, cilantro, some green pepper and of course lots of other salsa-y ingredients. It wasn't runny but more like a good pico de gallo, which is another fave.

The menu also includes breakfast burritos, nachos, tacos (ground or shredded beef, carne asada, carnitas and fish), enchiladas, chimichangas, and a children's menu. I felt $1.29 was a bit much for things like extra cheese and sour cream, but the rest of the prices (fried ice cream aside) were very reasonable.

My mouth is watering just telling you about my recent experience at Mark Anthony's Mexican Food. I'm jonesing for some more--it's a good thing I'm heading to my sister's tomorrow. I'll be picking up some chips & salsa and maybe even a chile verde burrito to go! Wish I had a website for you but they don't seem to have one. Here's the info in case you're in the area. If you're over at The District in South Jordan, it's worth the drive! --Emily

Mark Anthony's Mexican Food
5530 West 13400 South
Herriman, UT

P.S. They cater!

Photo 1 by marzbars, shared via Flickr.
Photo 2 by ajc3, shared via Flickr.
Photo 3 by erin.kkr, shared via


Maria said...

Never heard of this place. We will have to travel down to try it!

mom said...

Cheese enchilada please!

Samantha said...

Really like to try this one out! Love Mexican food!