“I had their unearthly mole. You have to try it. I cried a little it was so good,” confessed a trucker – and TBS client – who prefers to remain nameless . . . but not hungry.
Welcome to Red Iguana Restaurant in Salt Lake City, Utah – “worth the drive and more,” according to the aforementioned trucker.
Ramon and Maria Cardenas opened their first Red Iguana restaurant in 1985. Despite seating only18 diners, the restaurant was an immediate success. One reason was undoubtedly the fact that the Cardenas family had been serving Mexican food in the Salt Lake Valley since 1965. Lucy and Ramon Jr. – Ramon and Maria’s children, started at a young age to wash glasses, greet and seat customers, and cook. Today Lucy and her husband and their family of 130+ employees continue to offer the legendary Mexican Cuisine her parents cooked with love and joy.
The restaurant has won nearly two dozen, “Best of” Awards, and in September 2008, was featured on Food Network’s, “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.”
In September 2008, Red Iguana was featured on “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.”
More than 700 diners come to the restaurant 363 days a year.
An hour-and-a-half wait for seating almost any time inspired the opening of a second Red Iguana only two blocks away. Annual revenue for the restaurants has now grown to more than $6 million today from $4 million in 2009, and both restaurants are regularly full.
While their extensive menu offers everything from cochinita pibil to enchiladas suizas, the collection of mouthwatering moles (seven in total) is the signature showcase and a tribute to Mexico’s national dish.
Negro mole with half peanut butter mole with chicken
Taquitos De Borrego Adobado — Lamb Breast braised in Ancho & Guajillo Chile Broth
Red Iguana’s signature Valentine’s Day dish:
Halibut en Mole de Fresca – 8 oz. halibut seasons and seared to perfection nestled in strawberry mole topped with strawberry salsa and an edible orchid