Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Tarahumara: the "running people" and the restaurant

There's a book floating around in the running world that set off a movement of sorts. The book's main topic, barefoot running, has become a phenomenon in a lot of running circles.   I read Born to Run a couple of years ago and it was a fascinating  blend of science, culture, history, physiology--all combined with good, "can't put it down" storytelling.

The book's major focus is on an isolated group of northern Mexican indians, the Tarahumaras, and their almost super-human running abilities. These people are known to run very long distances only in their minimalist style rubber soled sandals to spread out, distant settlements or in tracking excursions/foot races, outrunning their prey.  And we're not just talking 10 miles, or even marathon distance. We're talking 50-100+ miles in one setting.

So when I heard that there was a restaurant called the Tarahumara in tiny Midway (Utah),  I was intrigued and  knew we needed to try it out. Its reputation has grown so much that people come from miles around. Rated  "Best Mexican" by the one of the major newspapers in our state. 

The beautiful valley location of the restaurant is another plus to me. My early life was lived here; the fondest years of my childhood, actually. I just love the twenty minute (or so) drive up gorgeous Provo canyon on our way there. This restaurant has now become a favorite get away-eating out jaunt. 

We'd never taken the whole family. After the urging of Mexican food fanatic Sam, Isaac decided this was the place to go for his birthday dinner. We all loved it. Can't you tell?

One of my favorite things about this place is the fantastic complimentary salsa and condiment bar. A varied and unique assortment of over 20 salsas for the baskets of fresh, warm tortilla chips. Oh, man. I can't decide if I like the fresh mango pico or the honey chipotle better.

The desserts and pastries are superb, as well. Everything on the menu fresh, authentic, and from scratch.

Every time I've gone, I've always ordered the veggie fajitas. Anytime I've gotten vegetarian fajitas at other places, I'm often disappointed with the scanty onions and peppers (mostly onions) filling my tortillas. Here, a welcome change.  A grilled selection of summer squashes, red onions, red and green sweet peppers, eggplant, (and another vegetable I can't quite identify), all so beautiful, spicy, and colorful. I love the option side of fresh greens tossed with the very tasty passion fruit dressing.

So if you are in the area and looking for a great Mexican, this is the place for you.

I think the birthday boy will agree.

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