For more than four decades, the Cardenas family has been feeding Utah diners tacos, burritos and richly-flavored moles at its legendary Red Iguana Mexican restaurants in Salt Lake City.
Many shoppers may be surprised to find another Red Iguana outpost at the new City Creek development, which opens Thursday.
Taste of Red Iguana, a quick-service restaurant, is one of eight Utah-based eateries that will compete for dining dollars with more than a dozen national chains, such as The Cheesecake Factory and Texas de Brazil Churrascaria.
Red Iguana owner Lucy Cardenas believes in the strength of her restaurant’s history and name recognition. “Since we’ve been in the valley since 1965, a lot of people know the restaurant and are excited to see us here.”
Here are some details about where to find these restaurants with Utah roots.
Bocata •Food court. This eatery is owned by the same people who brought Settebello Pizza to Salt Lake City. Sandwiches are made using bread baked in a brick oven, and feature meats, slow-roasted in house, and premium cheeses. Salads and soups also available.
Blue Lemon •55 W. South Temple, (outside Nordstrom’s). This fast-casual restaurant, which opened its first location in Utah County three years ago, serves sandwiches, salads and entrees such as braised beef short ribs and fiery fish tacos.
Chang Chun • Food court. Family-owned and operated since 1988, this fast-food restaurant offers traditional Chinese cuisine including cashew chicken, Mongolian beef and spring rolls.
Farr’s Fresh Ice Cream •Located on level 2, near Macy’s. Farr’s Ice Cream has been a Utah company for some 90 years. At this self-serve store, which will open in May, customers can get the original-recipe ice cream with their choice of toppings. Soups, salads and sandwiches also served.
Hagermann’s Bakehouse Café •15 W. South Temple. This café was a favorite dining spot before the mall was conceived, and it has weathered the construction on the strength of its fresh-baked breads and pastries, and breakfast and lunch sandwiches.
Kneaders Bakery & Café •located on level 2 above the food court. This local chain has more than a dozen stores in Utah, Arizona and Idaho, and is noted for its house-made bread. The menu includes hot and cold sandwiches, salads, soups, breakfast items, pastries, pies and rolls.
Mykonos •Food court. Owner Sean Dehghani offers Greek favorites, including chicken and pork souvlaki and gyros.
Taste of Red Iguana •Food court. This local favorite offers a smaller menu that its two sister restaurants, but the food is still made in an on-site kitchen using the family’s long-time recipes. Customers will be able to order tacos, burritos and enchiladas – including the enchiladas suizas covered in the popular mole poblano.
Eating at the mall
Whether you’re seeking a simple sandwich or Brazilian meats on a stick, you should be able to find something to satisfy your hunger at the new City Creek Center.
* Blue Lemon • Utah-based business offering fresh-made soups, salads and entrées
Cheesecake Factory • 200 items from pizza to steak; 50 cheesecake variations. Serves alcohol.
* Hagermann’s Bakehouse Café • Gourmet sandwiches, soups and salads
* Kneaders Bakery & Café • Soups, salads and sandwiches on artisan bread
Pine and Sixth inside Nordstrom • Breakfast, lunch and classic diner fare
Texas de Brazil Churrascaria • Meat cooked in the traditional churrascaria open-flame style. Serves alcohol.
* Farr’s Fresh Café and Creamery • Self-serve frozen yogurt and ice cream.
Godiva Belgium 1926 • Truffles, bars and hot cocoa
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory • chocolates, caramels and candy
Food Court/fast food
Big Sal’s • Salads, soups, baked potatoes and wraps
* Bocata • Sandwiches, bread baked on site
* Chang Chun • Chinese fare
Chick-fil-A • Chicken sandwiches, waffle fries
Great Steak & Potato Co. • Philly cheese steak sandwiches
McDonald’s • hamburgers, fries and shakes
* Mykonos • Greek food
Roxberry Juice Co. • Smoothies, yogurt
Sbarro • Pizza, pasta, other Italian fare
Subway • submarine sandwiches
Suki Hana • Japanese teppanyaki grill
* Taste of Red Iguana • Mexican fare from a Utah favorite
* Indicates a restaurant is Utah-owned.
Off the City Creek path
Don’t want to fight the crowds for dinner? Here are 13 restaurants within a one-block walking distance of the new City Creek Center.
Ahh Sushi • 22 E. 100 South; 801-359-6770. Sushi, Japanese.
Bayleaf Bar and Grub •159 S. Main St.; 801-359-8490. American, Asian. Open 24 hours on weekends.
Braza Express • 147 S. Main St.; 801-359-8009. Brazilian grilled meats.
Caffe Molise • 55 W. 100 South; 801-364-8833. Italian.
The Garden Restaurant • 15 E. South Temple; 801-539-3170. American food on the 10th floor of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building.
Gandolfo’s • 158 S. Main St.; 801-322-3354. New York-style deli.
Lamb’s Grill Café • 169 S. Main St.; 801-364-7166. American in historic downtown building.
Lion House Pantry • 63 E. South Temple; 801-539-3257. Cafeteria-style eatery in a historic pioneer home.
Michelangelo’s on Main • 132 S. Main St.; 801-532-0500. Italian.
Naked Fish Japanese Bistro • 67 W. 100 South; 801-595-8888. Sushi, Japanese.
Nauvoo Café• 15 E. South Temple; 801-539-3257. Quick-service on the main floor of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building.
Martine • 22 E. 100 South; 801-363-9328. European, Mediterranean.
The Roof • 15 E. South Temple; 801-539-1911. Buffet on the 10th floor of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building.