For more than three decades, La Frontera has been serving up its down-home, moderately priced Mexican cooking to hungry Utahns. My partner, Dave, and I have also regarded La Frontera as a surefire hangover cure, with its famous smothered burritos (cheese and onion are extra) and, in particular, its ample hair-of-the-dog supply of Dos Equis with lime wedges stuffed into the bottlenecks. However, the cross-town journey to 1236 W. 400 South is murder when your head is pounding and cerebrospinal fluid is slowly leaking out your ears.
Fortunately, the new location in the University District is conveniently closer to home. It’s an attractive, clean, modern facility, featuring exposed brick and faux-rustic tin, on the ground floor of the recently gutted and beautifully renovated Meldrum House building, which now houses visiting theater artists.
We visited in early July, about a week after the Legislature had approved something like 90 new liquor licenses for restaurants. So, I had high hopes that the Dos Equis would soon be flowing. Unfortunately, according to La Frontera manager Pete Gallegos, the facility’s entrance measures 198 feet from a nearby church. And, according to the Legislature, this is two feet too close for comfort, even though the church itself has no objection.
Still, negotiations are under way, and a liquor license is “not completely out of the question,” Gallegos said.
So, rejoice, U students! With or without Dos Equis, La Frontera’s combo plates are perfect for cash-strapped, undernourished undergrads. I unwittingly ordered the “small” combo, which is actually an enormous platter containing enough entrees to feed an entire hall of residents.
I laughingly asked, “If this is the small combo, what must the large combo be like?” The hostess/waitress told me it’s so big it arrives on not one, but two, platters. I imagined the table groaning under all that weight.
201 S. 1300 East